the simplest advice

bundled beau and mama

I’ve lamented recently about our continual struggle with sickness. One wave hit us for a few weeks in December, followed by another wave this month. I hate talking so much about sickness, but at the same time, this blog is about the life of my little family, and we’re in the thick of illness.

Yesterday, I was telling my mom how Beau is still wheezing and having a lot of trouble sleeping at night. I told her I wasn’t sure if I should take him back to the pediatrician (after two visits last week) because I wasn’t sure there was anything more they could do for him, but at the same time, I’d hate not to take him if his condition is worsening.

Being the sage mother she is, she never tells me what I should or shouldn’t do when making decisions. If I ask for her input, she’ll give me advice that I will think about and then make my decision, one way or another.

After updating her on Beau’s condition, she didn’t tell me what to do, she simply told me that I have to trust my gut. My gut told me to call the nurse and describe Beau’s condition, and after doing that the nurse told me I needed to bring him in. So I did, and I’m glad I did, because the pediatrician wanted to tweak some of his medication and extend his breathing treatments in the hopes that it would help open his airways.

But as I was thinking back on it, as cliche as it sounds, trusting your gut–or instinct–is the most powerful weapon we have as mothers. Last week, when I made four trips to the pediatrician between both boys, I questioned myself quite a few times. Is he really that sick? Maybe it’s just a bad cold? Am I overreacting? But he was fine at his wellness appointment last week. Will the nurses think I’m crazy? Will this much medicine hurt him in the long run? Will the doctor think I’m one of those crazy moms who actually likes taking her kid to be seen?

brothers arms

But you know what? They are my children, and as their mama, I am more in tune to them than anyone else on the planet. I am hypersensitive to their needs because that’s how God created mamas. Their pain pains me, bringing tears to my eyes at times, because I am their mama. And it’s true, no one else will love you like your mama.

So these experiences with sickness and multiple trips to the doctor have taught me to brush my insecurities aside. These are my kids; I know them better than anyone else; trust my gut.

My husband may think I jump the gun too often. The mama who only practices holistic health may shake her head at modern interventions. The receptionist at the pediatrician’s office may look a bit shocked when I walk in the door 5 times in one week. The pharmacist may may know me on a first name basis and ask to set up a playdate once we’re well. Some may think I’m crazy for not believing that the doctor’s diagnosis of a cold really is just a cold. Some may remind me that sickness just takes time to heal and that I have to practice patience.

I don’t believe I have all the answers, and I don’t believe doctors do either. But what I can tell you is that I’m trusting my gut. That may mean back-to-back visits to the pediatrician. That may mean questioning the doctor’s diagnosis. That may mean we hibernate at our house for weeks at a time. That may mean I throw our schedule out the door. That may mean my baby sleeps with me at night because he needs the comfort and I refuse to let him cry.┬áThat may mean others call me the crazy mom.

But you know what? My gut has never failed me, not once. And when I look straight into the eyes of my little boys and know they rely on me to take care of them, that’s all the assurance I need that it doesn’t matter what others may think; I should trust my gut.

all boy jm swinging