I am no parenting expert. I actually don’t think anyone really is.
I think it is much more a case of saying this worked for me and maybe it could work for you. And parenting becomes a series of trial and a ton of error and we keep showing up every day and that somehow takes us all the way home.
But there are truths that I know. I know that kindness is priceless. I know that exhaustion is real. I know that I need to talk less and listen more. I know that my children’s laughter will always be my favorite sound. I know that apologies with depth will always outweigh ones that are forced. I know that there will never be enough money or time. I know that we are all just doing the best that we can.
I know that the greatest parenting advice I can give is this: listen to your gut. Trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone and you know when something is off. You are the one that is their person and their biggest advocate. If you don’t have their back in this wild world than who will? Not that you have to make a big deal out of small things but please speak up on the larger things that inevitably will come. It is okay to seek second opinions. It is okay to ask questions. It is okay to be relentless activist when it comes to your child’s education, health and well-being. And just because someone has a different or higher degree than you, that will never equate to them knowing your child better than you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust teachers, mentors and medical professionals, but if you need further explanation or if you feel that something is wrong, it probably is. Do not be afraid to ask questions and speak up.
On Sunday, my eleven year old Niko cut his finger, reached for a paper towel and passed out, all of his dead weight went backward, hitting the back of his head hard on both our kitchen table and then our tile floor and when I reached him he was unconscious. After a few of the longest moments of both of our lives he came to, his finger was bleeding profusely, he didn’t know what happened, his vision was blurred but at least he could speak and move. I went to the fastest option, urgent care and they told me to go the ER. The doctor there looked at him very fast, glued his finger, gave him Motrin, concluded that he didn’t have a concussion and said to not play soccer that day and sent us on our way. The next morning Niko’s vision was still blurred and he still couldn’t read some letters. I kept him home from school. I knew that ER doctor was wrong. I just knew. So we went to our pediatrician (which by the way if anyone is wondering who the best pediatrician in Anne Arundel County is it is Dr. Gvozden and his completely amazing staff). They ran much more extensive tests and determined yes, he did have a concussion. No school, no testing, no soccer, no screens, no really using the mind of any kind. But he’s going to be okay because they were on top of it. And if it was improperly diagnosed, the rehab and recovery would be much more significant. It is his brain, after all and we need it to be okay.
It was my gut that picked up the phone to call the pediatrician. And there of course have been times that I have questioned if I was overreacting or if my child was really sick and I’ve taken them in and they ended up being fine but I’d rather be wrong and have that peace of mind of them seeing my kids than to be constantly second guessing whether or not I should have taken them the day before. There is nothing in this world more powerful than a mother’s intuition. So listen to yourself. You know more than you will ever give yourself credit for. Thank you for your voice, your strength and your advocacy. Your child is lucky to have you.
Katie’s essay and tangent collection about motherhood, life and imperfection, Happy Broken Crayons is available on Amazon now. Thank you for reading. You are the (queen) bees knees. Happy happy holidays and happy happy new year to you. In setting your hopes for 2018, please think about your word. I can’t wait to hear it. Xoxo
To read more blogs by Katie Moore click here.
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.