I was warned. When I was pregnant with my first child, my friend Dana filled me in on this little secret.
The curse of motherhood can actually begin while you are still pregnant. It can also be cast onto father’s. The curse is simply this. Even the smallest possibility of real danger will project a movie like display of mental images of the worst possible scenario. And dammit, it just feels all too real. For example, today I was pretending to be a zombie chasing my daughter in the park who unfortunately was running in flip flops. Now, this kid could run a 5k in those crappy, lesser safe, plastic high heels. However irrational, in those two seconds the curse projected a mini horror flick in my head of her running in the poor choice of footwear; tripping over the asphalt, bloodied face, and busting out her front teeth. Flash to her future first kindergarten school picture completely toothless with a scar across her forehead.
Not all curse visions are vanity based. I’ve been jolted out of my sleep numerous times to check on my newborn who I was convinced had stopped breathing in her bedroom. I have dangerously tiptoed back into her room during nap time to double check that I actually did bring her into the house after she had fallen asleep in the hot car. I’ve also pulled over my car on the side of the highway to finger sweep the mouth of my toddler who “may have” fallen asleep with a chicken nugget in her mouth. Don’t even get me started on necklaces, cords from window treatments, and dry drowning. My husband might strangle me if I ask him one more time to check their pupils after that awful hollow thud sound of a head bang.
The curse of parenthood gives you the disturbing ability to visualize the worst possible chain of events before anything has happened. I’d be willing to wager it’s some sort of protective mechanism designed to keep our children alive. But in the heat of the moment, your adrenaline is pumping, and in the back of your mind you are mentally locating your phone and thinking through how you will give an address or directions to the 911 operator in an unusual location.
For some of us parents irrational fears have become a part life. And are unquestionably the source of grey hairs and fine lines. For the other parent in the relationship, they laugh, make light of our crazy and ask “what’s for dinner?” It seems to me that the curse is usually only cast onto one member of the household. I’ve told my husband a hundred times that he should be grateful that I am the worrier. Since I carry the curse, he doesn’t have to.
Every night before I go to bed I do a double check. A final goodnight kiss, a tuck of the blanket, and lay my hand on their bellies to feel them fill with air. I wouldn’t wish it away because the curse of motherhood is what protects the greatest blessing of motherhood, children.
I’ve also foreshadowed future potential headlines with/without mug shots of myself. Check it out! In The News: Mom’s Gone Crazy
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