Defining “mommy instinct”

You know how your mom always knew stuff? She knew where to find your missing shirt, when you didn’t do your homework, and how you put on make-up and hiked up your skirt as soon as you got to school.

If you’re a mom now, you’re starting to understand this gift of prediction and perception. This is called “mommy instinct” and it’s going to become indispensable as it develops. It’s closely related to women’s intuition, and it’s equally as nebulous and hard to pinpoint, but it’s quite obviously focused on mommy-related matters.

Because “mommy instinct” is hard to define, people (husbands) may scoff or roll their eyes when you talk about how you just knew DD was going to whack her head on the table. Here are some more scenarios where the “mommy instinct” comes into play.

It’s that feeling you get when:

  • You just know the baby is about to projectile vomit…and he does.
  • You’re on your way to DD’s first dance lesson and you know she’s going to have a complete rang when you try to leave her with the instructor…and she does.
  • DS is jumping on the couch and you know he’s going to land on his head…and he does.
  • The house is suddenly too quiet and you know the baby is playing in the dog’s water dish…and he is.
  • You forget to open up a fresh diaper before you take the dirty one off and you know the baby is going to pee all over…and she does.
  • The baby seems to be opening his mouth for food, but you know he’s actually getting ready to sneeze all over you…and he does.
  • You just know DS is going to poop because you just realized you forgot to pack diapers/wipes for your shopping trip….

…and, yes, of course he poops again. So, if knowledge is power, what stops us from preventing some, if not all, of these mishaps? Exhaustion, for one. Nerves, panicking…probably all of this. Also, I think that “mommy brain” counteracts “mommy instinct” to keep us all humble and more human. If we were able to effectively contain throw-up, cushion each and every fall, and protect our kids from all kinds of bacteria goodness we wouldn’t only be super-mom….we’d be just a little less likable. So, moms, let’s congratulate ourselves on having the right instincts, and following them when medically necessary. But let’s not get too hung up on having it all together or kicking ourselves for not acting/reacting quickly enough so that we can remain nice, normal, imperfect…and relatable…humans.

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