Gum in Your Hair

A blog for parents under the big sky.

Editor’s Voice

photo by Ashley Dawn Photography

I recently came across a letter I wrote to myself when I was pregnant with my first child. I was dreaming about what she would look like and who she would become. It turns out I was remarkably accurate. Which is somewhat scary. But that’s what I want to share about this month: the “mom feeling.”

I’m talking about that certain feeling you get, like a premonition. It could be the second you wake up in the middle of the night because you think you hear your baby crying, but she’s not, and then five seconds later she is. Or it could be the day you drop your son off at school, leave the parking lot to head off to work and you just know he’s going to be calling you soon to come home early for some reason: mystery illness, bad hair, mean kids...and then he does. Those moments when your child attempts to do something that you know will result in injury and it happens, and then you want to slap yourself because you didn’t say anything. Those things.

When they are little it’s fairly easy to handle. You just parent. You trust your gut, put yourself in front of the feeling and completely and utterly ignore anyone who says you are being overprotective, crazy or nervous. Seriously: Other people’s opinion DOES. NOT. MATTER.

Babies and little kids are fragile but, for the most part, pretty easy to keep safe from the scary intuitions and premonitions – simply because they rely on you for absolutely everything. You can’t do anything about the second your back was turned, allergic reactions you had no clue would happen, faulty baby equipment etc...that stuff is happenstance and life. But you can do something about the things you just feel might happen. That you have control over.

As they get older, kids break from us parents (as they are meant to) and begin their dangerous solo attempts at independence. This starts at about 2 years old with the “I do myself” phase. And it just gets bigger. Stronger. And more real.

We all know I tend to overshare in my editorials, which is why I number my children and don’t name them. I’m not going to number them or share a specific story here. I’m just going to honestly tell you that you should always trust your gut.

Nothing horrible has happened to my children – thankfully! I should start by saying that. And yet it could have, on a few occasions. But you know what? On those few occasions, I got that weird mom-gut-feeling, listened to it and got involved; I used my God-given mom voice.

The minute they leave your protective arms for daycare, preschool, kindergarten, they are out in the world with people you hope will shelter, care for, and love them. If at any moment you have that weird mom feeling – act on it.

I have... and I have been thankful that I did.

I truly believe the world is a good place and I’m glad I brought three beautiful babies into it. There is so much wonder and beauty out there. I also believe that as parents we need to expect the unexpected. Or better yet, accept the possibility of the unexpected.

We can’t protect them from everything, forever. But we can, as parents, act on the one unknown, unfamiliar and impossible thing we have in our corner – intuition.

Use yours. Damn the naysayers. You’ll thank yourself someday. You were given a child and you were also given a gift...the ability to feel when the universe might take a turn for the worse for your kid. Always listen to this. Always believe in it. Always act upon it.


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Editor’s Voice

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