Disclaimer – You’re going to think I’m a bad parent.

You know how much you go nuts loving your kids when they’re little? You proclaim gallantly, “I shall allow nothing to hurt my children!”, or, “I shall always protect my babies!”, or even, “I will rip apart that thing which threatens my darlings!” And you mean it, because they’re small and innocent and precious, and who but you can care for them properly?

Moving on – you know how irrationally scared you get of that one tiny thing in your life? For instance, I once jumped out of a moving car (as the passenger) because a spider came down from the ceiling. I made my husband accompany me to the bathroom in the middle of the night after we watched a scary movie (Beetlejuice). I pushed friends/family out of my way to safety during a Halloween hayride, sacrificing them to save myself. It’s that feeling of desperation, of crazy, of unreasonable fear that takes over and turns you into a horrible human being.

Friends, I challenge you to intertwine these situations and emotions; mix irrational fear with undying protection and see what kind of person you really are. If you’re anything like me, it’ll turn out that you suck at life. And you may feel guilty about it, but there’s nothing you can do except nod your head and relish in the fact that you had every intention of being a hero.

Which is what I did when forced to face an irrational fear and save my children. I’d like to tell you that I overcame my little slice of crazy, but I would be lying. And, as you’ll find if you read on, I’ve already done enough damage.

At 6 a.m. one normal weekday morning, I was somewhere in between pregnant and highly pregnant with my third child, getting ready for work, when I heard screams from the room my 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter shared. I assumed, like any normal pregnant mother, that they were fine and just being pains in my ass. I geared up for the early morning shouting session and swung open the door to their room.

It was then I faced an irrational fear of which I had no idea I maintained – bats. The one that was circling the ceiling of my kids’ room looked something like this:

Photo Credit: vmcampos via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: vmcampos via Compfight cc

It is here I would like to emphasize that I love my children. They can be beasts, but in general I would fall down and die for them.

But friends, when faced with the demon bat shown above, my love was replaced with fear and self-preservation. What else could I do but scream and slam the door shut on them, then call for my husband?

I still loved them – from the other side of the door. And I can still hear their screams as my husband saved the day with a blanket, heroically storming into the room, fear set aside, in order to save our little tykes. When the bat was released outside, unharmed but no doubt shitting its pants, my husband looked at me sideways and contemplated my motherly instinct, which was clearly nonexistent. I make no apologies, friends. That bat wanted my blood. It looked at me, I swear.

The trick here is to be a bad person before your children are old enough to remember. If you are unfortunate enough to have a little smarty-pants kid who reminds you of “the day Mommy didn’t protect us”, my advice to you is this:

Always use your pregnancy as an excuse.

“But honey, Mommy had to leave the room. I had to protect the baby in my belly.”

Being the lovable, precious darlings your kids most certainly are, they will nod in agreement, and understand that a mother, even a bad one, has her reason for selfishness.

So get off my back. I refuse to feel guilty.

(It was a big bat.)