Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Go with your gut

I was recently included in a group message by a grade school friend who is about to have her first child. She was looking for suggestions on a pediatrician from all her "mom friends" out there in cyberspace.
As I sat there reading the other responses from the other women who either LOVED their pediatrician or were just lukewarm about them, I thought of what I could contribute. I like our doctor. That's about it. He is knowledgeable, he is friendly and listens to my concerns, he has a sense of humor and the kids like him and the nurses there. That being said, I think the wait time is waaaaaay too long when I have made an appointment in advance - would he wait for me in that fun little room if I was running late??? Of course not! I have heard other doctors accuse him of giving out antibiotics like candy and having too many patients to handle. The jury is still out on that one. You may be wondering why in the world I'd entrust my five most precious blessings to someone who I don't fully trust. . . .
The answer to that is that there is no one out there (besides Tim) that I fully trust when it comes to my babies! It is a scary business being a parent - I've heard it likened to your heart walking outside your body, and I'd say that is pretty darn accurate. Suddenly, you love someone so fiercely, and and at the same time spend every waking (and sleeping) moment terrified that they will be hurt by something or someone - or worse yet, hurt by you! God forbid I make the wrong decision in terms of what I think is best for them. Am I being strict enough or too strict? Letting them be kids, or not teaching enough responsibility? Giving them enough activity or overscheduling?
I realized as I read this email today, that as moms, the most powerful tool we have is our gut. My mom used to say that she never really worried about me getting into too much trouble as a kid because I had such a good conscience. That same little voice inside from when I was a kid, is what guides me today. Its that feeling in your stomach that something's just not right. Its how I know when my 9 year old is trying to pull a fast one on me, or when my 3 year old's ickiness has gone past just a regular cold. Its how I know that a certain child needs a little one-on-one mom time or that 2nd grader saying they don't feel good is worried about something at school.
I don't claim to know better than a doctor, but I do believe that my gut feeling rarely leads me astray. I will never put my full trust in a doctor, teacher or anyone when in comes to my child, and that is the advice I would give to any new mom. Do what feels right and what works best for your family. Be an informed mom, do your research, don't be afraid to ask questions. When you don't feel comfortable with the answers you get, ask different questions or different people. After all, you are your child's advocate!! They need to know that you are on their team. That's not to say that things will always turn out perfectly - its a rare night that I go to bed feeling satisfied with everything that happened that day. But like they say, hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully we learn from our mistakes. My mom says nobody ever tells you all the guilt that comes along with being a mom. So true- I like to think that plays a part in keeping me determined to do right by my kids. There's an instruction manual for every petty little thing ever invented, except children. So in the meantime, I'm gonna keep going with my gut!!

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