A mom just knows. That's all there is to it.
I didn't know this or believe in it when I was little. Probably because my mother wasn't really very capable of being a mom when I was growing up.
But in my adult life, I've learned it both as a daughter and as a mommy myself.
A mother doesn't have to be biological to be a mom. A MOM is the person who can tell that something isn't quite right, even without the words. I learned this as I finally was allowed to develop a relationship with the woman whom I now think of as my REAL mom; the one to whom my father has been happily married to for a quarter of a century. She is the one who will give a strong word to put me in my place when I need it, but will also be on my side no matter what if I need that too. And sometimes she will even show up without warning with a two year supply of aluminum foil and tampons (among other things) from Sam's Club, just because she loves me :)
And this lesson was again clear to me as I took my own son to the doctor today for a throat swab. As a medical professional, you would see us as a mother with an eight year old who has NO fever, NO aches of any sort, and is acting perfectly normal. And you'd take one look at the mom bringing him in and say she is off her rocker for insisting on a throat swab.
But Mama knows! Mama knows that when her child runs a tiny fever for even a short time with bunches of other symptoms the previous day, he has strep. How? Because mama knows the circumstances leading up to the symptomatic day, and Mama knows her baby, even when her "baby" is no longer an infant. So when the strep test came back positive today, the doctor was in shock. But I wasn't. Mamas know when something's just not right.
I was so relieved that I went with my instincts to take him in, even though he was acting fine. I would have run the risk re-infecting the third grade classroom that has had one or two kids out with strep EVERY SINGLE DAY since Christmas vacation ended (and actually even before).
I went in to let Noah's teacher know that he would be out with strep and to also get his homework for the rest of the week. It was kind of cute because his teacher is a brand new mama, with a six month old baby, and I could see in her eyes that she too, already knows her own precious one.
Yup, a mom always knows.