Donegal mammy Maria Rushe talks about the difference in mums’ and dads’ ideas of safety.
Yesterday, we were exploring our beautiful county, as we love to do.
We were on beaches, we found the Boardwalk, we drove off the main roads and over mountains. And as we passed Loch Salt, Mammy said to Daddy “Let’s pull in and have a look over the Glen.”
We got out, jacketed up and started to wander.
Himself and Mini-Me took off up the hill, their big long legs like deer, bouncing over the wild landscape.
Myself and Short-Bum had to move a bit more slowly, with her taking a bit more care on the uneven and new floor below her.
I looked up to see Himself and Mini-Me standing on the horizon, in the distance, FAR too far away from me for my liking.
From where I stood, it looked like they were on a cliff, standing perilously close to the edge of a sharp cliff which obviously, they were going to fall off… In reality, there was lots of ground around them and of course they were in absolutely NO danger, whatsoever.
Still, Mamma Bear felt that unwelcome surge of Mamma-Bear-dom where I needed to get closer.
“Hi Mammy, Look at us!” shouts Mini-Me.
“Hi Darling. Be careful!” singsongs Mammy
I am inwardly screaming “GETDOWN GETDOWNGETDOWNGETDOWN!” and wondering why many long years of marriage hasn’t yet qualified us for psychic abilities so he can hear me threatening in my brain “HUSBAND, I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON’T GET MY CHILD OFF THAT FECKING NON-CLIFF IMMEDIATELY!”
Instead, myself and Princess make our way over to them where yes, I can see and confirm that they are perfectly safe. I even managed to stop my inner shaking to snap some truly beautiful photographs.
“OK it’s time to come down now!” says Me, hoping the panic and fear isn’t obvious to the girls.
“Not at all! Come up so you can see this properly” says Twat boy, clearly oblivious to the utter panic that, (for no real reason) is seeping through my pores.
“It’s time to come down please. NOW!” says Me. (Frantic eyebrows not being observed)
“Pass Princess up to me so I can let HER see!” says HIM.
ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? NOOOOOOOOOO! NOT HAPPENING. FECK OFF DADDY BEAR…
“No. She’s fine here with me thanks.”
It was bad enough watching the big girl up there, out of my reach. I’m aware that I can not pass my dislike of heights on to my girls, so I can stay quiet knowing that she has a bit of sense and knows to stay close to Daddy, holding his hand and that she won’t go too close to the edge.
The Threenager who thinks she’s a Ninja however? No. She is not stepping even one inch away from me.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the exchange. There may have been expletives and growls and a short argument about me being ridiculous and him being a twat, but soon, we started back down the mountain, both cubs perfectly safe and Mammy seething like a she-witch at Daddy’s inability to see what the problem was.
Yes, I WAS being completely irrational and completely ridiculous.
NO, of COURSE Daddy would never put them in any danger or in harm’s way.
They were both perfectly safe and in absolutely NO DANGER whatsoever. They were with their Daddy, who would never let anything happen them.
But the long and the short of it is, I wasn’t comfortable with my babies being out of my reach. I have an overactive imagination at the best of times. While he saw a fun opportunity for #makingmemories with his girls on top of a mountain, I saw a full on, slow-motion trauma play out, as my imagination foresaw them plummeting off said mountain in my mind.
I’m also a big believer in following your gut.
While things like this never usually bother me, (I’m quite adventurous usually and I encourage them to do things that I wouldn’t do) for some reason, yesterday, it did. It didn’t only bother me. It absolutely TERRIFIED me. I had genuine FEAR. And when a Mamma Bear gets THAT level of fear in her belly, she must act on it.
A few Mums replied to my instastory last night by sending me similar snaps of THEIR Hims with their minions in similar situations. So it seems that it’s a thing? Maybe it’s confidence that Daddy knows he can protect them. Maybe it’s just logic and rationale. Maybe it’s just MEN!
But I don’t think it means that we’re cowards or silly or chicken or anything else. I think that we are Mammas and we just see things a bit differently, especially when it comes to our wee cubs.
The journey home was quiet. 🙂 We got home safely and everyone had a wonderful day. But even looking at the snaps last night, I don’t feel like I over-reacted. Because keeping them safe is all that matters and if I have to throw an absolute strop on top of a mountain, indeed I shall.