A mother’s intuition is born the day her first baby comes into her life, but the intuition is like the baby itself: new, fragile, and in need of nurturing.
My intuition and I have had a tenuous relationship over 9 years I have been a mother. Sometimes we get along, working together in harmony, doing the whole mom-thing together, moving mountains. Sometimes I fight her and instead choose doubt as my soul sister, clinging to uncertainty because I am too afraid to face the truth that my intuition is illuminating.
But over the last few years, especially since I starting trusting my gut about Benji, ultimately discovering his learning disabilities and Autism, I’ve started to become better friends with my intuition.
Because she is usually right, and following my gut instinct is usually a lot less scary than ignoring the problem.
My youngest son, Eli, just has his 18 months check up (yeah…he was almost 20 months…fourth child. Poor kid) and at his appointment, I did something that I never would have done 7 years ago when my twins were his age.
I told my doctor I had concerns about Eli’s speech development.
I mean, 7 years ago, I wondered about my twin’s speech development too, but I had a pocketful of excuses that I rattled off in quick succession to my uncomfortable intuition:
Oh, they’re just boys.
Boys develop speech later than girls.
They were premature.
They just need more time.
I wondered, and waited, and didn’t pursue resources that could have given my twins early intervention that could have really helped them develop at an ideal time.
In the past year, we’ve paid thousands of dollars and spent hours upon hours in therapies to help our 8 year old son develop and get stronger in areas that could have been addressed years ago, if I had only listened to my intuition.
The guilt is real, ya’ll. But I can’t go back so I’ve adopted a new parenting mantra:
When you know better, do better.
So, instead of wondering, worrying, asking all the opinions of every friend and family member, and allowing myself to be tormented by the idea that my child might not be developmentally “normal,” at Eli’s check up, I embraced my intuition and told my doctor about my concerns.
Last week, we had an evaluation at the Infant Toddler Connection, a national program that provides early intervention for children who are infants to age 3.
And do you know what? My intuition was right: Eli qualified for speech therapy intervention to help bring his expressive language development up to par with his cognitive development.
It was all so simple this time around. I had an inkling of concern, I did some research, I asked my doctor, we scheduled a test, we got answers.
No angst, no talking myself down, no sleepless nights, no tears of self-doubt that I did something “wrong” and that’s why I’m on this path.
I simply saw a need in my child’s life and sought answers to meet that needs in a timely fashion.
I wonder why it was so hard for me back then. I think my pride refused to let me admit that they—I!–needed help.
They say pride goes before a fall and I’ve been brought low by my experiences. But falling on my butt also taught me humility and I’ve found that being humble is a key to finally embracing the community that ultimately helped me get on my feet again.
Eli’s going to start therapy pretty soon, and because he is in the 0-3 age range, the national program will cover most (if not all) of the cost of the therapy sessions.
But even more than that, I’m proud of the way I’ve grown, of the ways I’ve shed my fears about asking for help.
It’s taken me almost 9 years to get to this point, but I’m getting there: I’m finally learning to trust my gut.
How have you learned to trust your gut, as a mother, or simply as an adult?
How have you learned to let go of your pride and embrace community when you have a need?
Share your story below!
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