I used to love watching scary movies when I was younger. I still have memories of junior high sleepovers, when a group of us girls would make buckets of popcorn, curl up in our sleeping bags and watch horrible, D-list movies like “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and “Child’s Play.” We’d scream and shriek, finding some kind of bizarre delight in scaring ourselves. As an adult, I still got a thrill from a good horror flick, much more so than my husband, who jokes that you cannot make a scary movie unless it has the word “The” in the title (“The Others, “The Cabin in the Woods,” “The Shining.”)
But then I had kids. And scary movies were no longer fun or silly. They became, well_, scary_.
Isn’t that strange? That was certainly a side effect of motherhood that I was not expecting. But every time I watched some young starlet meet a horrible death onscreen, all I could think was, “What if that was my child?” Even watching movies like “War of the Worlds” or “I Am Legend” made my heart race when I’d think about how I would save my kids if my family was caught in such a terrifying situation. I soon lost my ability to watch gory scenes without squeezing my eyes shut, and movies like “Cloverfield” kept me up late at night, long after the credits ended.
So much has been written about how motherhood transforms our lives. You know, meaningful things like, “I’ve learned more about myself than I ever expected,” and “Being a mom has given me greater purpose,” etc… That’s all well and good — and mostly true — but after wincing through yet another scary movie, I got to thinking about some of the unexpected and, hmmm, less profound ways motherhood has changed me — like my new distaste for horror flicks. For example:
- I find it physically impossible to stay up past 10pm anymore — the time that my girlfriends and I used to head out for the night back in our “single lady” days.
- My idea of a perfect Friday night involves a glass of wine, my flannel PJs, my new People magazine and my early bedtime (see above).
- “Hanging out with friends” has been replaced by “playdates.”
- My regular manicures have become a once-a-year event.
- I’d rather buy my daughter a cute outfit than treat myself to new shoes or bags.
- Going out to dinner at 5pm on the weekends is perfectly acceptable — and preferable.
- I still have an extremely sensitive, post-pregnancy sense of smell (wasn’t that supposed to go away?), which means I am always the first one to sniff out the dirty diaper.
Has motherhood changed you in some unpredictable ways?