I pride myself on being a pretty fierce broad. I have done and said things that other people in my shoes would probably not have the balls to do or say. In fact, part of my charm is that I will still have more balls than people around me in most cases, when it comes to saying or doing things that might be hard to do or say.
However, and it feels like since motherhood my life has become full of howevers, I find myself scared now more than usual. I am less willing to take risks and there is an instinctual caution that I experience. At the most basic level I just cannot watch the news, movies or shows where children are kidnapped, maimed or abused. I have an intense physiological reaction and I can so worked up that I start feeling nauseated. The only explanation I could come up with was instinct–like a mother animal who knows her kids (and husband 🙂 ) would starve without her, I can’t allow myself to get into any scenario where death is a possibility, and the unknown is definitely risky.
I am starting to think that almost any questions that come up after becoming a mother can be answered with two things: hormones and instinct. For men it’s death and taxes.
I also noticed the fear phenomenon when I went on a business trip to Atlanta a few months ago. I was by myself and had never been there, and I was unwilling to take a train at night to my hotel. I also wouldn’t go out to eat alone at night. I suddenly became dainty and fragile and fearful, which I had never been before Sofia. I would have torn up the town in my younger sans-child days.
Now I find myself scared again at making some pretty big life decisions about my house and my career and what directions my husband and I should pursue, and I am terrified of risk. I am not one to dwell in the ambiguous in general–I like my routines and everything to have its place, but I recognize that we need to change direction or we are going to live a waking death, numb to happiness, and slaves to routine.
I think that as much as I am responsible for Sofia’s survival, she is in fact more influential on mine: I suddenly analyze the weight of all my decisions and actions–or lack thereof, and I constantly ask myself, “Is this what I want to teach Sofia? Is my decision or action showing her the best way to live life?” Being able to answer yes to both of those questions is the only thing that gives me the gusto to do what I need to do, even when I think I might crap myself.