Mama Bear Moments

As most of us know, one of the most dangerous things a person can encounter is a mother bear protecting her young. Because cubs are often killed by predators and kin alike, mother bears know that they can’t trust anyone (human or otpam_and_b1.jpgherwise) around their precious offspring. However, like me, a mother bear would prefer to avoid conflict (and many other forms of interaction) when given the choice.

For this reason, I often wondered what I would do should I witness my own cub in danger. What I didn’t realize is that there is no “wondering” involved. When the cub is in danger, the bad-ass we know as Mother Nature takes over and your inner Mama Bear kicks in.

When my son was about a year old, we went to a kid-friendly cocktail party. There were a few other kids there, including a two-year-old that I’ll just refer to as “Mean Little Shit” (to protect his identity should he outgrow his condition). My son was just starting to stand on his own, so I let him hover at my knees so he could do some exploring. Out of the blue, MLS walked up and pushed him over. Right next to a glass table. For no reason. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, “What the f*ck, dude?!” Oops. Not very Gymboree-friendly–a deadly combination of a bad swearing habit and Momma Bear instincts. I was, at once, horrified, shocked and relieved. Horrified by the looks of the adults who overheard me, shocked by my visceral response, and relieved to know that that innate protection mechanism was there. I could, and would, protect my cub–even if it meant alienating a few other bears.

It’s getting a little easier now that my son is two, is far more social than I ever was, and is in the >95 percentile for weight and height. But I’m pretty sure the Mama Bear will always be there…just in case.

Pamela Metivier


Pamela Metivier is a single mother and a serial entrepreneur–both by choice and both requiring a bit of insanity. After happily spending many long days and sleepless nights nurturing  two startup companies and a consulting firm, Pamela made the decision to take on another role: to become a single mother at 40.  She’s embarked on this adventure, not alone, but with the help of friends, family, and a devoted co-parent. It’s been a wild ride where clipping tiny fingernails is more nerve-wracking than pitching to VCs and surprisingly tough decisions include: whether to call back the frantic client or finish nursing the baby, whether to decline a meeting that conflicts with Kindermusik class, and whether to replay The Wiggles three times in a row while you hammer out a proposal–and super tough ones like whether to take stock instead of cash when you have a mouth to feed. Pamela has learned the hard way that “conventional wisdom” is great… if your life is conventional. But if it’s not — and fewer people are living traditional lifestyles than ever before — then making the best decisions, maintaining one’s sanity, and having a blast as a single mom are all possible if you’re willing to say “hell with it,” dive in, and just do it.