A 3 a.m. wake-up call and before I even step foot in his room, I know. I know the difference in my baby’s cries. This one isn’t the scared cry, it’s the sick cry, which is different still from the “I fell and skinned my knee” cry. I pick up my crying toddler, and my mom thermometer immediately alters me that he’s hotter than normal. There’s something so instinctual about putting your cheek up to your baby’s forehead and instantly knowing their temperature is off. 

It’s my job to know and remember each of their allergies. If their vaccines are up to date, and which antibiotic they had last. A mom’s mental record is more accurate than any medical file, I’m sure of it. 

It’s our job to be their advocate. To know when something is off with them, even when all the bloodwork and test run show nothing.

We know our children better than anyone else on the planet. We know when they are tired, or hungry, or needing space, or needing a hug. There’s a certain instinct that is created once you become a mom.  

I may not have gone to medical school, I may not have gone to nursing school, but I can self-diagnose an ear infection, flu, hand-foot-mouth, and croup like it’s my J-O-B. Because it IS my JOB.

I’m made for this thing called motherhood. I am perfectly designed to be their mommy. I have been pre-wired to love each of my kids in drastically different ways based on each of their needs. 

So when I walk into our pediatrician’s office and describe their symptoms and suggest certain tests to be run . . . they believe me. When I tell them to swab for strep because I could tell by watching my son during his basketball game that something wasn’t right with him, they do it. When I tell them that one antibiotic doesn’t work on my child, they prescribe another per my request.

Because I know them. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

I know how their little bodies react to certain medications. I know which ones are going to make their stomachs upset, and I know when it’s best to let their little bodies fight it off themselves.

I know the course of a typical stomach bug in our house, and I know when they’re so dehydrated that they need to go to the ER for IV fluids. I know when their breathing becomes too labored for their little bodies to keep up. I can recognize a concerning rash, know how to stop a nose bleed, and when to ask for help. 

I also know that mommy is often the best additional medical treatment. So although I do not possess a medical degree, I know my babies sometimes better than I know myself. 

Sometimes, moms are doctors too, just without the medical degree.  

You may also like:

I Am Their Comforter Because I Am Their Mother

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

Michelle Tate

A native Texan, born and raised, I married my college sweetheart, and now spend my days raising our three young boys. In another life, I was an elementary school teacher, before diving deep in my true passion for my own babies and writing. Follow me on Facebook at Raising Humble with Michelle Tate