Intuition is one of those skills that is more innate than learned, and it seems to me that even the learning of it is intuitive. Intuition is the ability to understand something quickly without over-thinking. Most of the time it is difficult to explain intuitive knowledge because it is based on a thought process so savvy to the subtleties and nuances that many who rely on intuition do not realize how keyed into them they are.
I tend to utilize intuition quite a bit, and I have been described as an intuitive mother. It is one of my greatest strengths. I am that mother who knows what the child wants.
I once took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator full battery in college as part of my psychology major. I scored as an INFP (Introvert INtuition Feeling Perception) personality type. What does that mean? It means that my tendencies veer towards being inside my own mind and making decisions based more on how I feel about things, and that I tend to keep an open mind. That isn’t to say that I can’t be judgmental or base decisions solely on facts. I can do that too, just not as often. Maturation, experience, and our environment effect how we operate no mater what our personality type.
Though I utilize my intuition, I always try to dig at the why. If I feel that something will work or won’t work, I try to figure out what it is that makes me think that. When I look at my son and just know that he wants me to do something for him without him verbalizing, I look at what cues he gave me to let me know. This is particularly important as my son’s language development is behind the curve and it is making it difficult for others to understand him. My being a psychic mom isn’t helping.
This is the first time my intuition is proving more of a disadvantage than an advantage in my mothering style for one of my children. I know what he wants, but how do I know? How do I explain his cues to others so they can understand? How do I keep myself from responding to the immediate cues I pick up and work to facilitate his language development more? These are my latest challenges.
For all my intuitive knowledge I have determined that I need help. As a result he will now be seeing a speech pathologist who will help both of us: him by working on speech development, and me by helping me understand more of what he needs. This does not mean that I am a failure as a mother. I think I’d be a failure if I didn’t recognize that I need help to help my son.
The way I see it, as a mother my responsibility is to do the best for my children. As I am not an expert on everything I will need to consult experts. My intuition works to help me care for my children, but not everyone is intuitive. My son will have to learn to communicate effectively with others, especially when I am not around. Herein lies the weakness of one of my greatest strengths.
It is difficult to admit, and it does make me feel badly. I have mother guilt like anyone else because of my limitations. Just because I understand that I am not a failure as a mother doesn’t mean I can keep that niggling feeling from creeping up on me. However, the main thing for me to do is to admit my limitations and seek out ways to either overcome them or compensate. My children are more important than my pride.
*Photo: Looking Through My Crystal Ball by katerha, obtained through Flickr.