Lessons from Leigh: Trust your maternal instincts

I’ve got two cuties myself, even though they’ve never graced the space. Just like moms whose child was featured, I strive to raise these cuties — without going insane.

Despite being a newcomer to SWFLmoms, I’ve had the pleasure of parenting two amazing kids, Luka and Keira, while living in this wonderful community, and although nothing prepared me for what lies ahead, I do it with the best of intentions. Each week, I’ll share those ‘lessons’ with you.

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A year ago tomorrow I was in labor, welcoming my daughter Keira to the world. Her birth — like her brother Luka’s just 15 months earlier — brought a multitude of emotions to light, such as elation of no longer being pregnant (not an enjoyable experience for me) to self-doubt. As my mind raced, those thoughts had me asking, will I be a good mom?

Preceding both of my children’s arrival, I sought out information in preparation for motherhood (hoping to learn how to be a good mom). I would see and hear things, only to later Google them for further review; I skimmed books after books, magazines and Internet sites, scouring them for the best parenting advice.

But all that failed to prepare me for the “year of firsts” — and not the good ones everyone talks about. Those firsts are the X factor, the unknown aspects of motherhood no book or Internet site could explain and one that other mothers realize is virtually un-teachable.

In those situations I learned the most. Like Luka’s first cold, I vaguely recalled reading something about the inaccuracy of an underarm temperature, failing to remember to add one degree Fahrenheit to the reading. It took a late-night call to the doctor to dispel my anxiety then.

How about the time he drank bug spray. While the amount was moderate and non-lethal, the event caused a state of emergency at my house. Now I have Poison Control on speed dial and pasted on the refrigerator for others — not to mention, securing such items away from curious toddlers.

Or times when sibling rivalry crops up, like when Keira dares to touch Luka or when he takes a toy from her.

And possibly the worst — when my pediatrician visually diagnosed my child with a scary viral outbreak, only to later be proven wrong by test results.

From these real-life situations I learned one thing — trust my instincts. I know what is right or not so right for my children and no longer look for validation from some “expert.”

But there are times when my instincts are out of sorts and I need solace from another mom. When that happens, I turn to my trusted group of moms, most of whom have already gone through what I am experiencing, for help. These moms, such as my longtime pal, Heidi who lives in Kansas (my home state) with her four children ages 2 to 14, give me a much-needed pep talk and I snap out of my state of confusion. Usually, those talks will leave me with enough mom know-how to solve (or prevent) any problem.

Other times I turn to my own mom who gives me the best aid possible, unconditional love for both of my children.

So, while I may not have years of parenting experience nor a higher education in childcare, I am a mom of two, contemplating their wellbeing with every decision I make, fighting against those who disagree and sheltering them from abuses whether real or imagined.

That’s what makes a mom a mom.

Connect with me at naplesnews.com/staff/leigh-tahirovic

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