Sunday, January 21

Mom's Intuition

As a mother, I frequently walk a fine line between overreacting to my child's ailments & underreacting. For me, it all depends on the situation.

Yesterday, Samuel's nose started running. No biggie. However, before he went to bed, he started complaining that his head hurt with every sniffle. Sounded like a sinus infection to me, but I sent him on to bed with instructions to get a good night's rest. When he woke in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, he came to my side of the bed & said, "Mom, I feel hot." He's a bit of a hypochondriac & always insists that he's running a fever (kinda like his mom!), but it was true this time. I felt his forehead & instantly knew he was running a low-grade fever. When the twins were born, my friend, Sherry, explained to me how a fever actually helped the body fight against infections. She advised that if my child were running a low-grade fever, but still acted happy & fine, then I should let his/her body do the work it was trying to do. In other words, I shouldn't interfere with medication. I never knew that was a fever's purpose, so this was a new concept to me. Since that time, I have tried to go on my instinct, rather than a thermometer, when treating any of my kids' illnesses. I would say for the most part, I've been pretty good about judging whether or not an illness requires a visit to the doctor, over-the-counter medication, or just lots of love & rest. So, when it comes to the sniffles, a fever, a cough, etc., I'm pretty laid back. We'll get through it with some Vick's & TLC. Or, if I think it warrants antibiotics, I'll definitely make a visit to our wonderful pediatrician!

However, when there is blood involved, I almost always FREAK OUT! Or, if I see an injury occur, like a head-first fall onto the tile floor, I do not respond like a calm & collected mother. And, unfortunately, I'm afraid my hysteria probably rubs off on my children. A few years back, when Sydney & Samuel were around 3, Sydney shut a screen door, jamming Samuel's thumb in it. When she finally opened the door & he was able to remove his thumb, I saw something abnormally sticking up where it shouldn't be. My first thought was that he had severed part of his thumb & it was barely hanging on. And, of course, I flipped out! I was making an already bad situation even worse. Thankfully, we were at my mom's house & she finally turned to me & said, "Amberly, you have got to calm down because you are scaring him." Oh, yeah. She was so right. Our kids watch our every move & pay attention to exactly how we handle situations... whether it's a crisis or not. And, this was certainly no crisis. He lost his thumbnail, which was sticking straight up, perpendicular to his thumb. But, it was nothing a little antiseptic ointment & a Band-Aid couldn't fix. (See, I told you we use Band-Aids a lot!) Another time, when Samuel was much smaller, he pulled a small, marble top table over on top of his mouth. And, there was blood! Lots of blood! And, I flipped out! Thankfully, we had some good friends over at the house & the husband happened to be a physician's assistant. It was tough getting Samuel to let us look into his mouth, but when he finally did, he decided the cut wasn't threatening & that it would eventually heal fine without any intervention. And, it did. I've dealt with several more falls & knots & black eyes & scabs & bruises & black eyes & busted lips & cuts since Nick was born. Did I mention black eyes? I think I've gotten a little more relaxed when I encounter these types of injuries, but it takes a lot of self-control on my part to stay calm for my children's sakes.

Overall, I have learned to trust my mother's intuition when it comes to my kids. I can read their signals like it's our very own secret language. I know when they're getting sick... I know when they're just tired... and I know when it's time to call my doctor & get something stronger than children's Dimetapp. Thank goodness for my wonderful pediatrician who trusts my instincts 100% & thank goodness for a mother's sixth sense!


Becky said...

There's nothing worse than seeing your kids get injured and it sounds like you've had some dooseys. But isn't it strange how in the cases you mentioned, there always seemed to be another (more calm) adult present? Seems like God knows you need a little extra help in those kinds of cases so He makes sure you've got it.
Come to think of it, most of my kids worst injuries have happened when there was someone else besides just me with them. (Except for Ava's broken arm, which I didn't even realize was broken. But I have to tell you that after she got hurt and was crying, I had a feeling deep down that she was injured in an unusual way and I even called Cody and told him that something about it just didn't seem right because I had so much trouble calming her and getting her to stop crying and then she just wanted to be held and was acting so strange. Mother's intuition. Yep, we know, don't we?)

Lynn said...

Aren't Sydney, Samuel and Nick so blessed to have such a sweet Mom. The biggest blessing to me is seeing how you spend so much time on the spiritual health of your children. They can count on you physically, but their eternity is determined by their spiritual health. You do an amazing job!