Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Figuring it out as you go

My son had a terrible migraine last week after school. He has only ever had two migraines before, and I don't think he remembered having them, as he was clearly in a lot of pain and had no trouble telling me that he felt "like he was dying."

I gave him some medicine, placed a cool compress on his face, dimmed the lights and held his head in my lap. He was so helpless in that moment and just wanted his Mom. It made me think of all the other times in his childhood when he needed me, like all those cluster feeding nights when he was a baby, or the first time he got a bloody nose and we sat on the bathroom floor while I was telling him a story to try and calm him down, or when he had a fever dream when he was sick and we had trouble waking him up.

All those instances are not part of his long-term memories (I asked him later on and got a confused look), so I wonder if this incident will make the cut. What I am thankful for is this time of my son's life, when he can clearly tell me what is wrong.

I loved my son as a baby, but when there was something wrong with him, I would get frustrated. I would get frustrated because he couldn't tell me, and so I would have to look up his problem in a baby book and I wasn't even sure if I was diagnosing him correctly. That was the nerve-wracking bit of parenting a baby - not being able to trust your instincts and not being able to trust a book, either.

But, most of us feel that way. Even now when my son can talk to me and there is no good book to reference for this time of his life (they always stop at toddlerhood) I am never 100 percent sure that I am doing this Mom thing right. On the other hand, my son is happy and healthy and a good person.

Maybe, like most parents, I should keep trusting my gut.

Who do you get reliable parenting advice from? Tell me in the comments.

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