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 otherwise) 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 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.