Motherhood Instinct Gone Wrong

By Polly Conner

Motherhood instinct is a powerful thing. It has served myself and millions of other moms well since the beginning of humanity. Moms tend to just know. Know when a kid is really sick or just faking. Know when a child needs a hug instead of a timeout. Know when ice cream for dinner is just the right thing to do for the family. Moms can hear their child’s cry among a cacophony of noises and bring a sense of comfort to their children that no one else can. Motherhood instinct is powerful.

Unless it’s wrong.

Which was the case two nights ago when I found myself outside looking for a lost baby that turned out to be a cat. Spoiler alert, but I didn’t want you to go into this post thinking it was going to be all serious and sentimental.

Here’s how it went down. 

Two nights ago, around one in the morning, I wake up to a faint toddler cry. “Maaaaaaahm….maaaahhm.” It’s not uncommon for my two year old to wake up and need a little comfort. But this cry sounded different. It sounded more distant and tired. I thought he was mid-dream and would go back to sleep eventually so I didn’t pop up too quick.

After a few minutes of dozing in and out between the “Maaaaaaahhmms” I realized that he sounded pretty sad and might need some mama love. I peeled myself out of bed, gave my husband an envious look on his ability to sleep through the cries, and started to make my way to my toddler’s room. As my senses grew sharper, I quickly realized that the cries weren’t coming from his room. Or from any other room in my house.

The cries were coming from outside!

“Why is there a baby crying outside?!” I thought to myself. I grew panicked.

My 1:00 AM reasoning skills told me that there was a toddler crying outside my house in need of help. I bolted down the stairs, flung open the door, fully expecting to find an abandoned toddler on my porch.

Well, plot twist, nothing was there. I step outside, pleading for this poor baby to cry again so I could find it. My next theory was that a toddler had slipped out of its bed and wondered outside without the parent knowing.

“Poor thing! Where are you!! I’m coming to help!”

And then I hear it again. It was shorter this time. More like a, “Maaah!” The noise came from between my neighbor’s house and mine. I knew it was close! I sprint through the wet grass, in my dorky pajamas I might add, still in search of the baby.

I didn’t have my contacts or glasses so everything was fuzzy but as I approached the area, I was startled by a small creature that flung itself over the fence and scampered away from me.

But, I had no time to think about what that was. I was on the trail of a lost baby.

I stood there for a few minutes mentally pleading for the baby to cry again when my brain actually started to work.

What creature could fling itself over a fence like that? A fox? Baby deer? Cat? Oh yes, it was probably a cat.



The lost, deserted baby that I was desperately searching for suddenly became questionable. Was it the cat the whole time?!

I began to laugh out loud, looking even more like a crazy person. I mean, I was outside at one in the morning in my pajamas, frantically looking for a phantom baby. Now laughing.

Crazy person. Totally.

I laughed the whole way back upstairs and even woke my husband up to tell him the story. Which he remembered zero of in the morning I might add.

Moral of the story, motherhood instinct isn’t always 100% correct AND cats can sound a whole lot like a crying baby.

The end.


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