Home Engineer: From terrified mum to superhuman

Monday April 19 2021
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If the child let out even the tiniest of coughs, the hair on our arms stood up almost instantaneously, and assorted versions of Armageddon began playing in our minds. PHOTO | SEARCH

By Nation. Africa

The Year of the Cat. Before you ask, no - there is no such year in the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Have you ever heard of the phrase scaredy-cat? Well, cats are some of the most easily scared animals, terrified at the tiniest of things. Remember, though, that the same scaredy-cat is also said to have nine lives.

This ancient proverb claims that cats are generally intelligent, intuitive, have lightning-fast reflexes, quick decision-making skills and remarkable dexterity and agility. This correlation is intended to be made with us women whose past year can easily be characterised as the year of the cat – one which has seen mothers terrified at every turn, yet at the same time has seen them evolve into the most invincible of beings.
Amended list of worries

Since the beginning of the pandemic, mothers began to deal with the scary fact that our children were quickly susceptible to infections and life-threatening viruses.

It started with the sudden closure of schools and blaring warnings of a deadly plague about wipe out the human race. Our inbuilt instincts turned us into terrified beings whose mission was to ensure the kids were always safe. Our list of worries was amended to include constant screams, which revolved around ensuring hands are religiously washed, cessation of movement is limited to within the house for all and mask-wearing became more critical than even other key essentials their daily wardrobe.

If the child let out even the tiniest of coughs, the hair on our arms stood up almost instantaneously, and assorted versions of Armageddon began playing in our minds. That fever which was so often drowned by spoonful’s of Calpol without giving it a second thought started to become top priority which forced us to buy the most sophisticated thermometers available to ensure we don’t miss out even on that point one variation.

So terrified were we that not only did every tiny disparity our children exhibited get us riled up but, even if we stepped out of the bathroom ourselves and sneezed more than once, we went into overdrive.


Our lives became one of fear, suspicion of others and general panic with each of us carrying the mantle of ensuring we do not fail those near and dear to us in these most trying of times.

Terrified mums…

However, a year later, the terrified mum has become superhuman. We have perfected our new normal around the home, with our children and even for ourselves, ensuring our nine lives do not run out.

We have evolved into sanitisation experts, facemask selection professionals, hygiene freaks and have even become activity monitoring radars whose range from which the smart-asses can no longer escape.

This evolution has indeed turned us felines into intelligent creatures who have adapted to the new normal and ensured everyone within our fold is safe, strong and healthy.

As the world continues to stand up to applaud frontline workers for their sacrifice and determination during this time, let us forget not that mother who ensures her child and the future generation of the world is safe from the evil jaws of invisible intruders alongside every other woman who continues to ensure they have turned their homes into safe zones providing comfort to all from the fearsome outside.

With shoulders broad enough to carry the worrisome weight of the globe and a heart big enough to offer hope and strength within its embracing warmth, salute to each woman out there who continues to make the world a better place for every single one of us.