Of cause you would think it’s the other way around, that becoming a mother actually makes you braver and more courageous, tough as nails and fearless, gives you nerves of Steele, but every time I pushed out another 3.5 kg from my uterus and gave birth to a precious life, a little bit of my bravery died.
Where first I couldn’t bear to see someone hurt another child, whether physically or emotionally, abused kids has now been added to my long list of phobias. Its a hurt so hard to explain I am unable to put the feeling into words. I am unable to describe the magnitude of the pain that ripples through me when an adult touches a child with anything less than love and tenderness, but if I had to, soul crushing would come close. Heartbroken now seems like a walk in the park.
Almost a year ago I made the mistake to watch the movie Sarah’s key. I cursed my husband throughout the movie for not warning me what it was about. That night I cried and prayed myself to sleep. If you are brave enough and more fearless than me, then you should definitely see it. I knew at the time of watching that it was only a movie, but being a mother, the reality of it became so vivid that I imagined my own kids in those concentration camps. This is what makes motherhood so indescribably hard. You can never again experience anything bad without putting your kids into that same picture.
You call me Superhuman. Supermom. But if I could choose only one super power, I’d choose to have the ability to keep every child, on this God given planet, safe.
I am scared. Not for MY life and what could happen to ME, but for the well-being and safety of my children. I realise I’ve started praying more often and with more conviction since the day my first child was born six years ago. Because I love God, and also because I know, without a shadow of doubt, there’s no other way to protect my family.
Where once I reveled in peace and quiet, I now go into a fit of panic if I don’t hear my kids’ constant bickering with one another while playing around the house, or if a minute goes by that I don’t hear the word “mommy” being shouted for one reason or the other. When those cold chills run down my spine and I break into a cold sweat, my nerves can only be calmed once the familiar chaos continues.
When I was younger I thought spiders were the scariest things on earth. Now the scariest thing for me is allowing my kids out of my sight, which is crazy because how do I keep them locked up. How do I keep my kids from playing outside, or from going to school, or from spending weekends at grandma’s?
I don’t. So, I kiss my kids goodbye every morning just after 5am, before I make my way to work.
In that moment I am aware that in just a couple of hours their dad will drop them off at school and they will bravely face another long day without me there to keep them safe. I don’t need to be there. I can’t. Tonight they will assure me again with beaming smiley faces how much fun they had and excitedly tell me of all that they’ve learned.
I then softly kiss three pairs of cheeks and hurry out the front door to face another day in pursuit of bravery.