I am a Mama Lion-Not a Tiger Mother

Jan Gambino Health Guide
  • There has been a great deal of talk about Tiger Mothers, moms who set high educational and achievement standards for their children. I expect a lot of my children but I am not a Tiger Mom. Rather, I am a Mama Lion- fiercely protective of my cubs, ready to pounce if needed to keep them safe. You know the saying, “Don’t mess with the Mama Lion”. Well, that applies to me when it comes to the health and well being of my children.


    When my reflux baby didn’t eat, sleep or grow like my other babies, I knew something was wrong. Yet there were many obstacles to getting her the care she needed. It took a long time to get a diagnosis and treatment plan in place. I went back and forth to the doctor, the specialist, the big city hospital and the specialty clinic. I did my own research and networking. I asked questions, lots of questions. I was persistent to the point of annoyance. I didn’t give up or let anyone stand in my way. I was the Mama Lion, protecting my little cub from danger and standing my ground until I knew she was safe. Finally I assembled the medical team she needed to help her overcome her reflux.

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    After that, I was always on edge. I was a bit wary and distrustful. Only I knew what was best and how to protect her.  Just like the Mama Lion is alert for danger at all times, listening for sounds, going ahead of the cubs and sniffing the air for signs of trouble lurking around the bend. I did sleep at night but I would wake up as soon as she was barely stirring. I could wake up in an instant and come to full alertness. I was ready to check her breathing, burp her or give her the next dose of medication. My senses were fully alert for subtle changes in her behavior, cry, color and movements to sense if she was well or not.


    Some would say that this is overbearing and hyper-vigilant. But over and over again, I was the first to notice a subtle change or symptom that was an early warning sign of a worsening of her reflux or asthma. Ultimately, it was my persistence and vigilance that lead to a diagnosis and ultimately the treatment that helped her get well.


    Now my reflux baby is older and I can let my guard down and even sleep at night without listening for every sound and movement. But I will always be a Mama Lion.

Published On: February 26, 2011