Did you ever notice that disclaimer on medical websites?
You know the ones. The ones that list all of the symptoms that your kid has and tells you how imminent his demise is from the illness you're now convinced he has?
One in particular I was reading the other night said you should take your child in, "If you just have that 'gut' feeling that something is wrong."
Because the doctors on the internet know a much deeper truth that those of us in the Mom category too often fail to recognize within ourselves.
The truth: we know.
We know deeply whether or not our child is seriously ill. I have a coach and mentor who refers to this knowing as your "inner wise woman."
We've all got her. And she's downright psychic at times, too. Waking up seconds before the babe crying in the night. Sensing the fever before it hits. Smelling the distinct smell of "sick breath."
And it's not just illnesses or upsets we know about.
It's the very fiber of her being. Whether your child was birthed through your womb or through an arduous adoption struggle, you know that child in a way you can't explain. You know what's going to trigger a meltdown and what's going to pass. You know just the way to hold her hand. Just the way to stroke his hair.
It's beautiful, isn't it?
Yet how many times have you looked in the mirror and congratulated the woman you see on a job well done?
What if moms everywhere started high fiving each other in the aisles of big-box stores? What if we started to recognize, in ourselves and in our fellow moms, a job well done? Out loud. With feeling.
What kind of world would we find ourselves in then?
I like to imagine it would be one where instead of throwing stinkeye at the mom of the toddler having a meltdown, we would cast an "oh, honey, I know what you're feeling right now" glance.
There are a plethora of ways we can advance this movement. But it starts with me.
First I have to be willing to call out the good I see in you, because I know it's there. I know it like I know myself. I have to be willing to imagine that you are doing the best you can with what you have (because you are). In exchange, I also get to imagine that you're doing the same for me.
The parenting books, the blogs, the theories -- they're all great.
But I'm here to suggest a better way. Moms loving themselves, and their fellow moms, and their children, is bound to make the world a better place.
You know the depth of your responsibility. You know the best way to navigate the little people you've been entrusted with raising up. You know that these people we are raising are our future.
Do you know that you're doing a great job? Do you know that someone is thankful for you? Do you know that (almost) no matter what you do, you can't get it wrong?
This holds true whether you are a SAHM or a WAHM or a working mom. Whether you breast or bottle-fed. Whether you drive a hybrid or an SUV.
My mission in life is to remind you that you are beautiful, mama. You did great today -- even when you don't think you did. What you do is important and you matter. Along with all the other kinds of mom-knowledge tucked away in your pockets and deep in your bones, know that.