The biggest fear a mother has

I have been married to a mother for almost 16 years. She wasn’t a mother when I married her, she became maternal post-matrimonial.

And I think it is fair to say, that after 16 years of being married to a mother, I have a pretty good understanding of what mothers need, want, and fear.

Mothers NEED love.

Mothers WANT appreciation.

Mothers FEAR Daddy’s having to do their daughters hair before they leave the house in the morning.

I am pretty sure that the thing that keeps most women exercising and eating right is not their concern about leaving their husband but rather the fact they are scared to death at the mere thought of their husband being responsible for the daily care, nurture, and styling of their daughter’s hair.

I do not speak lightly of this fear or mock it for I have smelled the deathly smell of this fear in my very home, and I know that it is real.

Once when the girls were little, say maybe ages 2, 3, and 4, The Beautiful Bride happened to be out of town on a Sunday. On this particular Sunday the girls were all in a fairly cooperative mood and so I decided to take a run at going to church. I rummaged through their closets and found matching outfits and got everyone dressed.

(At this point I should have known there was a problem with going to church. Because EVERYTHING else that could possibly have been needed that weekend when Mommy was away was pulled out, organized, and explained in significant detail in a rather lengthy memo. There was no mention of church going attire…Big clue.)

But I missed the clue and so I got the girls dressed, ran a brush through their hair, a different brush across their teeth, and marched everyone out the door.

As we headed off to church, my phone rang.

“So what are you guys doing this morning?” said the very cheery Beautiful Bride.

“Oh,” I said. “We’re headed to church.”


Then silence.

Then a sound that sounded like a whimpering stuffed animal…

Then I swear I smelled fear coming through the phone.

“Uhm…did you say that you’re going to church?”

“Our church?”

I must admit the response was not nearly as overwhelming as I expected. I expected “Yeah…what a great Dad you are” or “Hip Hip Hooray, I am so proud of you.”

Instead of “nice job” I got nausea.

“Really…Did you go to our church?”


“Well,” she said “what about their hair? Did you got to Nana’s to let her do their hair?”

“No, I did their hair.”

Sniff, sniff…there’s that stench of fear again…

Then after a short pause came a torrent of questions…“Uh, here’s the thing. Do you know how to do their hair? Did you brush it? Did you use any hair bows? Which ones? Did they match the outfits? How did you know which ones to put in? I didn’t leave any out so how did you know which ones were for each girl? Did they stay in? What about their bangs? Did you pull their bangs out of their eyes?”

The fear was palpable. And it was bigger than any fear I had seen (or smelled) before.

She was not concerned that I would wreck the car with her family inside. She was not concerned that I would run off and join the circus. She was not concerned that aliens would come and take us to Mars.

She was however, scared to death that I was letting the girls leave the house with their hair looking like scarecrows who had been struck by lightning and then had their straw heads inhabited by a flock of buzzards.

Looking back on the whole thing, I can’t say that I blame her.


Posted on December 1, 2011, in Dad stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Ah I have witnessed this same fear.

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