A Mother’s Intuition

Elizabeth Irvine - Houston, Texas
Entered on April 27, 2011
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It was my first job out of college, and it was overwhelming. I was twenty-two years old, green, fresh out of school, and scared. The hospital’s Neonatal ICU was a place of great intensity. I can still remember the yelling of orders. “Start an IV ASAP and get that drip going now!” And I’d scramble to do so, all the while knowing I had to hook up the heart monitor on a different baby, check a temperature, suction . . . a list of “to do’s” so long that I teetered on the edge, feeling so overwhelmed I did not know where to begin. There were so many critical tasks to perform, and so little time. As hectic and frightening as it was, those early days in my nursing career taught me to develop the ability to keep a cool head and allow intuition to move through me to get the job done. When I think back on those days, it was as if I had found a guiding presence from deep within, a calm intuitive whisper that led me. “Relax. Focus. One thing at a time. You know what to do.” Once I understood how to use this intuitive feeling, I have never stopped listening to that voice.

Actually, for me, the challenges of motherhood do not feel so different, and that same feeling of trusting my intuition as a nurse continues to guide me as a mother. For me, as wonderful as motherhood can be– it also can feel overwhelming, hectic, and holds uncertainties. And the challenges and unknowns are constantly changing with every stage. Now, as a mother of three teenage children, I find that I have had the capacity to perform in ways I never thought possible. Much like my experience as an ICU nurse, mothering has shown me that my reservoir of intuition is deep.

Mothers utilize intuition every day, often unknowingly. Frequently my body knows long before my head catches up the right thing to do, and as a mom I have learned to use my intuition when I answer or guide one of my children. There have been many days when one of my kids is just off-key, not sick or in any trouble–yet, but if I need to get to the root of an issue I take a moment to pause, relax into my breath, and truly listen to what they have to say or observe what they are subconsciously trying to tell me. I feel solid as a rock when there are no barriers of assumption, nor judgment, nor criticism. This way of being present with my children drops me into to a place where my intuition can lead me, like the voice that guided me as a nurse. I find the same intuitive voice. And I listen.

Most moms call on their intuition and can “read between the lines” with their children. Even though most of us have it– most of us fail to acknowledge our gift and use it to strengthen our confidence in mothering. My intuitive whisper has become a very natural way for me to maneuver the challenges of motherhood and reminds me to believe in my own abilities. This I know for sure, and in this I believe.