So, it’s almost go time. Baby has been cooking for nearly 40 weeks, and ready or not, she is coming. These final weeks have been filled with anticipation, preparation, and so much love and support from those that care for me. I can officially say I am nesting. With preparing her room, my home, washing clothes, and installing car seats, all my energy has been centered on making sure that her arrival will be a smooth transition for her and I. This time has also sparked other feelings. A heightened sense of protecting this seed is slowly emerging, and despite all my pre-pregnancy constructs, the claws are coming out!
The mama bear syndrome is the instinctual beast that is released on anything that is perceived to attack or challenge a mama’s dominance or her offspring. In other words, DON’T COME FOR ME (or my baby) UNLESS WE SEND FOR YOU. Being a new mommy in my mid-thirties has afforded me the opportunity of seeing many mommies come before me. So, I know a mama bear when I see it. Believe it or not, I had an open opinion of disdain for Mama Bears. I can remember going to visit Bestie Nikki’s little ones as infants, and literally being put on a timer in terms of holding them! She’d sit less then 5 feet away, and just wait. Then, after what felt like only 10 minutes, she’d say, “ok, I’ll take her now”. I’d give her so much slack about it…in a loving, Bestie kinda way, of course! And she could care less. She was going to show me who was boss! Then, I couldn’t grasp the need for protecting her cubs from even the closest of people. I couldn’t understand how or why she went so hard for them. Then, didn’t fully get it…but now I do. I’ve have to just admit it.
My name is Veronica…and I am a Mama Bear.
My little one isn’t even earth side yet, and I already feel a strong urge to protect her from ANYONE with even the potential of harming her. I can see my claw marks showing up everywhere. I am really trying to be remain calm, collected, and aware that I am not the first person to have a baby, and my baby is not the second coming of Christ. I, however, understand now how a Mama Bear is created. Pregnancy, rather it be easy or difficult, is an emotional roller coaster and a huge physical sacrifice. You gain weight, you can’t drink, and you make substantial adjustments to ensure a tiny life is sustained and successfully enters the world. Ain’t nobody changing their life for 40 weeks, laboring for hours, and pushing a watermelon out of a lemon to just “go with the flow”. That tiny life is EVERYTHING to that mama. She is going to move heaven and earth to make sure that child is happy, healthy, safe, and sound. If that means she obstructs your feelings or your agenda, so be it.
They say recognizing something is the first step to recovery, so I am trying to keep a few things in mind as I continue on this journey.
Get a second opinion – The village has helped tremendously. They help me decipher between moments where I might be over-reacting and moments when my attack is appropriate and warranted. They’ve allowed me to vent…sometimes you just need to get it out.
Lead with Love – In most situations, it’s not what you do but how you do it. In the same way that parenting will require patience and understanding, maneuvering relationships surrounding me need patience and understanding. Its a transition for everyone, not just me. Generally, people just want to help, and regardless of the current feeling…the help is needed.
Do you – Motherhood is just one of life’s many journeys. It is a learning and ever evolving process filled with lessons and blessings. Mistakes will happen…so what! Those that love and care for you will understand. Savor every moment. Be fully present. Be fully you!
So when you come and visit my little love, and I am meeting you at the door with hand sanitizer and a live-in doctor to test you and administer a flu and whooping cough shot, smile, comply, and know that I just want the very BEST for my little girl!
Are you a mama bear? What are your stories? I’d love to hear!
Love Without Fear,