I’m actually really fortunate to have fantastic relationships with my kids.  Perfect relationships, ah…no.  But great communicative healthy relationships.  I respect their choices and really think that they are awesome people… LOL….all Moms say that.  But we have dialogue and things are REAL.

I think, looking back, it was my intuition….my feeling of what was really going on….that made the difference. 
It was like my “spider sense’ was tingling….LOL….I could just tell that something wasn’t right.

Let me explain…..

When my oldest was 4 weeks old, he stopped pooping.  My GP at the time said he was constipated and
had me give him water and suppositories. He would poop a foamy white substance after the suppository but nothing changed.  This went on for at least a week and was worsened by his constant crying.  I knew something was wrong despite the doctor’s assurance that this was normal, and I asked to see a pediatrician.  One look and the Pediatrician said that I wasn’t producing enough milk, so my baby wasn’t getting enough….which would have shown on a growth chart if…eh…there had been one.  He saw me 3 times a week for 2 weeks to make
sure the medication was working and my child was thriving.

That Doctor told me to trust my instincts.  It stuck.

Later on, one of my sons stopped wanting to go to school.  ….he hated his life….wanted to move…  I paid attention.  His demeanor was a serious departure from my happy child of a few weeks before.  Something’s not right.  It took days of prodding and listening to what they said and what they didn’t say to figure out what was going on.  He was being bullied.  He faced it everyday…he didn’t understand what he did wrong….he was crushed. We contacted the appropriate educators and things were taken care of.  …not easily…it’s never easy. Things actually got worse before they got better …but the point is, it was handled. It was handled because I knew there was a problem…because I paid attention and listened to my gut.

Early in the teens, one of the boys started to become sullen and reclusive.  Normal for teens, right?  Yup…totally normal…..but yet, not.  Not his normal self….something not right…..  After school I would ask if everything was ok….  But not really get a response. Something’s not right.  I knew it in every core of my body….  Laying on his bed for the third night in a row in silence…my head was screaming something’s not right….but all I could do was lay there.  Silence.  So close to tears and wanting to help…desperate for my child to open up to me… it was serious…I just knew it.

“Mom, what should I do if someone I know wants to commit suicide?”

…and there it was.  An issue that neither of us were equipped to handle, but the explanation behind all of his stress and anxiety.  A friend had been confiding in him for weeks and all he wanted to do was help her….all he wanted was to make her happy. But sometimes the best thing you can do is realize that some things are bigger than you. Some things are better taken to a professional. And we got through that too.

And then, probably one of the hardest times of my life…was when I
missed something. 

I ignored that little voice.

The call from the school came out of the blue.  Are they actually talking about my child?  Wait.  What?  How did I miss this?  Insides screaming at me that I was a bad Mom….I wasn’t serving my child….he’s been going through something all alone.  And yet, there’s a naggy little voice in the background.. “but you did know something” … “you sensed a change”….”are you really surprised?”. 

Luckily we got through that too…but man, hard times.  Hard talks.  Hard emotions. ..and a feeling that I had let him down.

I was angry. Angry at myself for letting him down.

I will never again ignore that little voice.  I will never again ignore my instincts…….

Parents, trust yourself. 
Know your child.  Listen.  Pay attention.  Listen not only to what your child says, listen to what they don’t say.  Listen to how they say things.  And listen to your gut….the part of your soul that’s the mother lion….she knows.  She can smell it.

Trust yourself.

Trust your instincts.

XO

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