What Does a Mother Know?

For Mother’s Day, I drafted this brief essay and forgot about this dusty draft until Father’s Day yesterday. Better late than never, my thoughts on what we mothers know:

We mothers are used to playing catch-up. We often lose the battle with rinse-and-repeat tasks like laundry and dishes. We may start our text messages with “Sorry for not getting back to you sooner!” with the greatest sincerity. And yes, not too long ago, we knew about the latest restaurants in town but now we’re adding them to a never-ending list of potential date night spots. Our inboxes, to-do lists, to-read lists and to-make lists are full.

On the flip side, when it comes to our children, we’re typically a few steps ahead because a mother knows the undercurrent of her kids.

We glance at the rear-view mirror and roll down the windows in the car to offer fresh air when our kids start to look carsick. We hear the change in their voice when they describe their school day and press or more information or let them have space to come to us with questions and doubts. In the morning we nudge them awake and swear they grew overnight and add “get new clothes” to our mental to-do list. Our kids catch us off guard, of course, but when we trust our intuition and ourselves, the cliché rings true – mothers really do know best. We know our children and we get to tell them stories about and how much they were loved before they were even born. We know them and all their quirks, triggers and gifts. We consult with our tribe of moms to discover the right remedies and pick-me-ups. Our to-do lists may be lengthy, and we are far from perfect, but we try to stay one step ahead of our kids and give them our very best.