It’s funny until you have children of your own you never quite understand what Mothers mean when they say certain things. Things like; ‘Mums just know’, ‘It’s a Mother’s instinct’ and ‘I’m Mum it’s my job’. Now I am a Mummy I understand completely. When it comes to your children you instinctively know what’s wrong with them and will do anything for them. You are no longer number one, they are and everything you do is about them. I think added to this, as the Mother of a Disabled child the insinct is heightened further, as you are your child’s advocate.
I also believe, as a Mother of any child you really do emotionally connect with your children and have a special bond. I remember when Isabella was breast-fed I would always wake up just a few minutes before she would, it was like she was giving me time to wake up. Even now if I wake in the middle of the night, Isabella usually wakes a few minutes later.
From the moment you find out that you are pregnant I really think as a Mummy you don’t ever really sleep properly again. To start with its from the excitement, then you can’t get comfortable and need to wee about 20 times a night! Once you bring your little person home you don’t sleep , as you keep checking on them and as the months go on you still sleep lightly, as you are always on guard ready to jump into action should you need to. I will hear the slightest shuffle coming from Isabella’s cot or the faintest cough on the monitor, even if I am asleep. I will then lay quietly in the dark and listen out to see if she needs me.
I stayed at home with Isabella when she was first-born and I am now a Full-Time Carer for her. Not to stereotype, but generally it’s Mothers who say at home with their children.(Although I do know stay at home fathers) As they spend so much time with them, they really know them inside out; their likes, dislikes, quirks and preferences. They understand their different cries and facial expressions. They know when they are ill and what best to do. Which brings me to my point; Over the last few weeks some things have got me thinking about the well known phrase, ‘Mum Knows Best’.
There is a special family that I am part of called SWAN (Syndromes without A Name) http://swanuk.wordpress.com/about/
It is a project run by Genetic Alliance UK offering support and information to families of children with undiagnosed conditions. It is a great family to be part of, as we are all in the same boat and know how each other really feels. We share our highs and our lows, our happy times and our sad times. Recently one fellow Swan Mummy posted on our group upset because they knew that their SWAN was ill and the Doctors didn’t take them seriously, as it turns out his mum was right and thankfully now he is receiving the relevant medication and is on the mend. Other Mummies have had problems with School and Nursery settings that are not right for their children, but again people are not listening to them. It really frustrates me, whatever happened to, ‘Mum knows best?’
We Mums spend the long hours in the day and night with our children, yet people see them for a few minutes and think they know best. I always think back to the several visits I made to my local GP insisting that there was something wrong with Isabella. He was sure there was nothing wrong with her and it was only after I pushed and pushed that he referred me. I shouldn’t be like this. We shouldn’t have to shout to be heard or to fight to get what is best for our children. The professionals should listen to us, so they can use their professional skills to give our children what they need. We are the voices of our children and we should be listened to. Without our voices our children wouldn’t be heard.