before i had kids, i always thought the idea of mother’s intuition was just a cliche. even more so, while i was working, i don’t think my mother’s intuition was every truly tuned into my kids… there were too many other distractions. being home with them full time means i now truly know what mother’s intuition is. it’s so loud that sometimes i can barely hear what anyone is saying.
i can feel a meltdown coming moments before it occurs. i know immediately when something is missing amongst our gear. i can sense vomit before it leaves my kids’ mouths. i never thought i would know my kids and their behaviors and trends so well but i do. and it’s AWESOME. i like some predictability, but frankly, kids are not predictable. however, being home means i get the chance to be more in tune with them which i am finding gives me an overall leg up in my life as a mom.
i am certainly not perfect though and i make my share of mistakes when not listening to my intuition. take a recent friday as an example… ugh, the thought of it pains me as i type. the kids and i had driven +4 hours on thursday to visit family and it had been a very long day. we have done this a few other times and i learned to allow the kids a reset day (i.e. no plans) immediately after a travel day. their sleep and play time suffers on travel days and as a result, i find that they need a day to sleep in, stretch their legs and generally reset their schedules.
for the most part, i give them this reset day but a few weeks ago – i don’t know – i think i forgot. instead, i jam-packed their schedule with a grocery store run first thing in the morning, then a playdate at a horribly busy outdoor public water park, all while hoping to see my cousins who planned to drop by the park for a visit at the same time. can i say huge mistake? HUGE.
it was hot. there were much bigger kids everywhere. the ground was wet. i couldn’t feed my kids fast enough and my son wanted desperately to go into the water park… so again, against my better judgement, i let him… only for him to bang heads with an older child within minutes. this was the absolute low point of my day, and perhaps, even the past 6 months.
i knew better. my gut told me to keep him out of the park. my gut actually told me that morning to cancel the playdate… but i trudged on. i want my kids to learn how to roll with the punches and sometimes i ask too much of them while other times they do extremely well. it’s truly the yin and yang of parenthood. but my kids are young (both under 3) and we have plenty of years for water parks and playdates… and i should have known better that day.
there was a bright spot though… we left immediately after the head banging and after long naps, the kids were like brand new. we had a great evening playing outside and everyone was happy. i was refreshed and grateful.
after events like the above, i am reminded to pay closer attention to my intuition. one thing i never ignore is that feeling that vomit is coming…. the fact that i can sometimes sense this before it happens and direct the contents into a bathtub or sink is truly priceless. i would get laid off again just to learn that.