Before I had my children, I had never exactly cared for anything. I had never even taken care of a pet. In fact when I was first pregnant my own mother bought me a plant just to see if I could keep something alive. I’m telling you this so you know exactly how low the “motherhood” bar was set for me.
So with that said, when I got a call at work, at 10:45 in the morning from my son’s preschool that he cut his chin open, I immediately went into panic mode. Where should I take him? Do I need to call the pediatrician? Should I pick up my daughter too? Did I already prep something for dinner? Do I have my HSA card? Do I know his social? Will I need his social? WHY is my paramedic husband always at the fire station during emergencies!!
But this amazing thing happened as soon as I saw my son. I went straight into “Mom Mode.” It’s like adrenaline, mixed with love, mixed with protectiveness, mixed with unprecedented strength. And the incredible part was that it didn’t rely on years of taking care of something to kick in. It didn’t matter that I was completely useless in medical situations. It was simply there. It washed over me and carried me through the day.
I fully recognize that there are plenty of more terrifying situations that moms have to endure. Even still, I feel awful that my son had to get his first set of stitches at age four. But in a strange turn of events I ended up learning so many important things on that scary day. If you find yourself in a situation like mine – trust yourself, stay calm, and let “Mom Mode” take over.
Here’s what I realized:
- Motherly instincts are REAL and YOU have them. I mean even I have them so YOU certainly do! When I got home and processed everything, I couldn’t believe how much I had accomplished in spite of the chaotic day. I pretty much just went through the motions. Here’s my insurance card, fill out the forms, hold my son’s hand, say prayers, thank the doctor, take the script, pick up other child, make follow up appointment, eat celebratory ice cream. Faith, mixed with the love you have for your children, will carry you through crisis. You are a vessel of care, compassion, content, and comfort, whether you know it or not!
- Your kids are more resilient than you give them credit for. Was my son scared? Absolutely. Past the giant tears welled up in his baby blues, was something I’d never seen in someone’s eyes before..fear. Fast forward two hours and he’s asking me to ride his bike. Sooo just a thought, but the helmet with the CHIN STRAP is actually not the greatest idea when you just got five CHIN stitches! He got over it WAY faster than I did!
- Pivoting is part of life. I love planners, planner stickers, highlighters, to do lists, color coordination and pretty much anything involved with, you guessed it -PLANNING. So let’s just say that getting my son 5 stitches at 11 am, in the middle of a work day, while my husband was at the fire station, was NOT in the plan. My perfectly planned out day now needed rearrangements. Pivot. Some plans had to be rescheduled. Pivot. Some plans stayed in place. New plans were put into affect. That’s life! Learn to embrace BOTH P’s – planning and pivoting!
- You CAN and SHOULD ask for help when you’re in crisis mode. It should come as no surprise to you that I DON’T consider myself a supermom nor do I want to be one. I try my best – everyday – and that’s SUPER enough to me! Hand to God I have texted my husband on occasion and said, “today was tough – we’re getting take out.” Period. End of story. I’m not supermom. I make mistakes, I don’t ALWAYS finish everything on my to-do list, and quite frankly, I want to lay down every once in awhile! So when I was in crisis mode, my mother in law took care of my daughter so that I could focus on my son. (I understand that not everyone has this convenience.) However, even knowing that I had help nearby I still contemplated taking the baby to the doctor with us. It’s uncomfortable to say, I need help, I can’t do this all on my own. It’s like someone is going to come collect your mom card. Oh! You got HELP? Nope! Not a good mom! Did I feel bad that my mother in law watched my daughter all day and feed her all 3 daily meals and bathed her. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I thank God that I have help around me, because I need it. Come collect my card!