Motherhood Comes Naturally

I wish I could say my maternal instincts were spot on and that when it comes to my kids I can sense their pain and spring into action before nary a whimper. But it’s not true. I’m wrong ALL the time. I talked about when my instincts have served me well on SheKnows Mommalogues, but more often than not I miss the mark:

(video here)

My instincts also tell me that leaving my children to this guy as guardian is a terrific idea, should anything ever happen to me and my husband:
(video here)

I don’t know how most moms distinguish the difference between what is natural instinct and what is not, but I wish I was better at it. I feel like I miss the mark a lot.

If only there was a book that highlighted some of the lies we’re told about how motherhood comes naturally when clearly so many of us have our moments of struggle. OH WAIT! My good friend Jill Smokler from Scary Mommy has released Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies), a book “debunking more than twenty pervasive myths about motherhood. She’s here to give you what few others will dare: The truth.”

(video here)


Everyone who has a mother should buy this book, but also I have one to give away. Leave a comment telling me about a time your motherly instincts paid off OR a time you completely missed the mark and I’ll choose the one I like best.

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  1. says

    I totally thought my hypochondriacally-gifted daughter was lying when she said she was too sick to go to school. I angrily drover her to the ER (mostly so she’d shut up, and I could take her to school and head to work).

    She WAS sick – she had mono, missed a month of senior year (including the prom), and almost didn’t graduate.

    My bad.

  2. says

    I think I miss the mark on the sickness area. You just never know when they are trying to trick you into staying home from school. Usually I cave, but this one time I did not because I was sure he was being sneaky. Well…he was really sick with a crazy virus and when I picked him up he had a fever of 102 that did not go away for two weeks. It was a nightmare full of doctor visits, cold compresses, snuggles, lots of motrin/tylenol and a ton of guilt. He missed the last two weeks of second grade. Mom Fail :(

  3. says

    I thought my toddler was being naughty and trying to defy my by refusing to eat the ravioli she loves at any other meal. I was at the end of my rope when she threw a bunch on the floor, refusing to eat. I picked them up and threw them at her tweet on frustration. One hit her square in the nose.
    Later she had diarrhea. She was sick and not feeling well. Oops no wonder she didn’t want to eat.

  4. says

    I totally expected to see no post over here–the title was all I needed for a laugh today. I want that book. Lots of new mom friends.

    My mom instinct paid off this morning when I was choosing clothes for my 13 y.o. to wear to church (he usually chooses his own–I was doing him a favor while he was busy with something else). It was about 30º with freezing rain. I asked him if he wanted long pants or shorts, knowing full well that he has given up long pants for the year, even if winter hasn’t given up yet. So I got him the shorts he asked for. As we left church he said to me, “I guess it’s not so much of a shorts and t-shirt day.” Totally paid off. And illustrates the fact that 90% of parenting is totally counter-intuitive.

  5. says

    The first time I got Mom Of The Year was when my daughter was four.

    She was cavorting with the other children in a hot tub under the watchful eyes of their parents, who were enjoying an adult beverage. Time stopped as we watched the pony-tailed head of my child dip under the water as she lost her grip on the side of the tub which we had firmly instructed the kids not to release. Without thinking I reached in and hauled her by her ponytail right out of the tub. All the other parents stared, marveling at this use of a ponytail as well as my adeptness at rescuing a child from drowning while staying calm and dry, and not spilling a drop of my drink.

    Also the last time I got Mom Of The Year.

  6. Jodi T. says

    I’m not sure I was gifted Motherly Instincts… Therefore, I am super paranoid and just don’t let my kids do anything or go anywhere. :)

    Makes everything much easier ;)

  7. says

    My oldest daughter got terrible heachaches quite often when she was young, ones that made her throw up and writhe in pain. After various medical tests that all proved negative, I discovered they often happened after what were “stressful” events such as a school exam, etc.
    Not wanting to load her down with pain meds at such an early age and knowing if I could just calm her enough to sleep, then her heachache would pass, I used water therapy and guided visualization with her. I’d read about these for adult pain and thought, “Why not try it?” By using warm, relaxing baths and guiding her in visualizing a calming memory, we were always successful in healing her pain. It took time and patience, but well worth it and eventually she grew out of the headaches.

  8. says

    Once I took my daughter to the doctor basically the *moment* she got strep throat. What? It’s true!

    She was playing, and then all of the sudden she was totally lethargic and burning up with a 103 degree fever. I called our pediatrician and they said I could bring her right in.

    So I did, 5 minutes down the road, and we were there. I asked, “Do you think she has strep throat.” For some reason the Doc was doubtful, but she tested her, and indeed it was positive!

    And she said, “She must have gotten it the moment the fever spiked.” Because, of course she had had no previous symptoms or fever.

    Yeah, I rock it. All the time.

  9. says

    Well…my baby boy was spitting up all the time! I took him to three different doctors and they would change his formula over and over but I knew something was wrong. When he started puking green I took him to that third doctor who told me yes, this is bile, go to the ER. They had missed the malrotation (fancy word for twisted intestine) in the first upper GI. When we returned this time and they did it again the head of the department did it and he went into emergency surgery. By far the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I had to hand my two month old baby over to a surgeon. I have never felt so helpless and out of control. I just had to trust. He made it through and has a nice scar that he loves to tell everyone about. If I had not kept searching for someone to listen well he would not have made it. I don’t say that to be dramatic but it really was one of those motherly instincts telling me something wasn’t right. After all this was my third baby. It’s NOT my first rodeo DOC! :)