Updated: Feb 8, 2020
This morning I was fighting the inclination to reduce my alarm clock to dust, still lying in bed, and waiting for my little boy to wake up. I was debating whether to send him to school or not.
He was up all night. He woke up several times coughing so hard he was gagging, and then would whimper himself back to sleep. The rattle in the chest was so deep and rough I cringed listening to it. Poor bambino.
These kinds of decisions are troublesome for moms, especially working moms. Do I call into work and tell them I won't be there, even though I have a mounting pile of paperwork to attend to? If I do send him to school, will he end up feeling worse? I have a duty to care for my child, but also have a commitment to my profession.
I was debating with myself…
Do you do that? Carry on conversations with yourself, debates even, all the while hoping eventually you will win? Sometimes it is a close call for me - winning or losing.
Today I decided I better keep him home in the hopes he could rest and recover.
Alright… Now, I needed to figure out if I wanted to take him in to the doctor. There have been a lot of cases of influenza going around. What if this was something more than just a tough cold?
Well… I countered. I could spend $200 dollars figuring out I should have just invested in Klenex. That sounded like a good plan (sarcasm font). Not to mention all the bugs we could pick up at the Urgent Care that would inevitably bring us right back there in a few days. Was it worth the chance?
Fine. Maybe I would just look up what symptoms are indicative of more than just a cold. I would Google-It. That seemed a reasonable idea.
Ugh! My mind is a beautiful thing…
As I was debating with myself, I started to think about the fact that searching for answers on the computer wasn’t an option before. What did they do before Google, those poor souls? It must have been tough back then.
My next thoughts… And… Here’s the kicker.
They depended on each other! That is what they did when they needed advice and support. They relied on the generations of mothers before them. They took advantage of their own personal WebMD’s in their lives.
In doing so, they also connected with family and friends, received support and empathy, and made lighter the monumental task of motherhood.
Searching on a computer for an answer like this is simple, takes little time, and gives you results.
What it doesn’t offer is the opportunity to connect with someone real, to be comforted in your resolve, to ask the questions your heart has – not just satisfy your need for knowledge.
Instead of searching for this answer, I chose to text a good friend and mamma mentor, Karen.
“How do I tell if my kiddo just has a cold, or if I should take him to the doctor?”
She responded right away, “Does he have a fever? How long has he had the cough? Is anyone getting rest at night – and would it be worth it to go to the doctor for that very reason alone?”
“That is a good point. He seems OK otherwise…”
“That was one of the hardest things to decide as a mom,” she advised. “Err on the side of caution?? Let me know what they say if you go. P.S. Trust your gut. It is almost always right.”
…Google would have offered me insight. Karen offered me encouragement, reminded me I have an intuitive ability to make the best choices for my child, and reaffirmed that a decision like this is hard for many moms… not just me.
Ladies, as mothers we have so many questions. As parents we need resources. Our best resources are friends and family, the ones who know us and how we parent, the ones who have logged many hours of experience in the work of raising children.
My advice for the day – pick up your phone when you need help as a mother – not to search for answers on the internet but to reach out to YOUR world wide web of connection. The empathy in your mother-in-law’s voice, or the understanding in a text from a good friend, carries much more value than bits from Google.
Good luck, friends, with those endless mom questions! If you need another resource, you know where to find me.
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