The other evening as we were only part of the way into the long process that is my daughter falling asleep when she asked me how I go up each day in time to get everyone ready for school. An interesting question I thought. I responded that a loud alarm clock helped but generally it is just because I know I have to. My seven year old thought about it for a while and then shouted that she knew what it was. It was Mumsense. A special sense that mums have that tells them important things.
Mumsense. I like it. That describes it perfectly.
We do have Mumsense don’t we? Possibly Dadsense too. That feeling, that subconscious voice that tells you to do things, that tells you there is something wrong or that guides you through the ups and downs of parenting.
So when does Mumsense come into its own?
It is that subconscious voice that shouts at you to peel off the duvet and walk zombie-like downstairs every morning when you feel like you could sleep for a week. Sandwiches won’t make themselves, school bags need sorting, uniform needs sorting and small people need to be forcibly removed out of their warm beds and set on the road to school with everything they need for the day.
When you oversleep and wake up just knowing that you have and jump out of bed and go into overdrive? That is Mumsense kicking in right there.
It is that feeling you get when you have got everyone in the car and you are just about to leave but there is a nagging feeling that you have forgotten something. A P.E. kit, a school bag, that piece of homework, ingredients for cookery, a trip letter that had to be in today, to shut the front door? Mumsense knows and will do its best to warn you.
Mumsense also kicks in the absolute second that they front door clicks shut behind you and you realise that the keys are inside and you are locked out. (If Mumsense could work before you lock the door, that would be so much more helpful.)
When you can hear nothing in the house and yet there are children there somewhere, your Mumsense will be tingling, certain that there is something going on that shouldn’t be somewhere and it is usually spot on.
It comes in very handy when you sense that all is not well with one of your children, it knows where something is wrong or even not quite right. It is the thing that tells you that something has happened at school even when they say everything is fine.
Mumsense makes you wake up at whatever time of night it is just minutes before one of your children starts throwing up. But it also sets off warning sirens at you when they are pretending to be ill just because they fancy a day off school.
It gives you a heads up when they are telling white lies and usually stays quiet when they are telling the truth.
So that is Mumsense. A handy in-built parental warning system. If mothers were superheroes, Mumsense would be our superpower. It is an instinct, maybe intuition, that kicks in I think as soon as we are pregnant and continues through childhood and beyond. If you google mother’s intuition or mother’s instinct, the internet is filled with hundreds of stories where this instinct or Mumsense has saved lives, so it is a powerful and wonderful thing.