Mothers don’t sacrifice themselves. Not even for Sherlock Holmes.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains a moan about a key plot point of Sherlock, Series 4, Episode 1. If you haven’t caught up on that yet, you might like to come back later. If you’ve seen it or don’t intend on seeing it, read on … you don’t need to watch it to understand my rant.

Right. So in this episode, Watson’s wife Mary, who has just had a baby, takes a bullet for Sherlock and dies. Sherlock is generally a show that I feel has pretty good writing and convincing plots. But this little twist, designed to give us all the feels, just rang false for me. I couldn’t get with the empathy.

After thinking about it for a bit, I realised why. Mary had just had a baby. And Sherlock, though a very close friend, was just this fairly annoying bloke who solves mysteries with her husband. I simply can’t fathom why a woman with a baby would make a decision to put her life at risk to save an arrogant man who was standing there DARING someone to shoot him. Call me a judgey mum if you like, but in my experience, mums don’t take their lives so lightly.

When you have a baby, especially in the early days, that baby is the centre of your universe. They become your reason for getting up in the morning. They might make you forget to eat, but they are also the reason you remember that you need to feed yourself. In the early days, caring for your baby is the rhythm of your existence, and your need to be with them is visceral.

I suffered through some dark times with my babies, including PND, and it was because of them that I didn’t give up on myself. I may have felt hopeless and at times that I was not bonding with my baby, but my thoughts were still all turned on the baby, and I battled through the bad feelings to survive and to make sure my babies were cared for.

I can forgive Mary for trying to “disappear” to get away from the bad guys that were hunting her. But when she sacrifices herself, she was already in the clear from the assassin-types. Then Sherlock was just standing there asking this lady to shoot without moving out of the way. Perhaps he already had a death wish. And she’s all like, “I could push him out of the way, or tackle the shooter, but nope, I’d rather jump in front of the bullet”.

I don’t know if the man who wrote that script is a dad or not, but I just don’t think parents are that slapdash with their lives. And that’s why the plotline is, in my opinion, totally unrealistic.

Perhaps my Sherlock outrage says more about me than anyone else, but it has got me thinking about how loving our children means loving ourselves. I think it’s wrong to unnecessarily expose oneself to danger when you have kids to look after. And that’s a lesson that I should apply to my daily life as well. Obviously I don’t have much opportunity to jump in front of bullets anyway, but there are more mundane things I could do (and maybe you, too, if you feel the same), to look after myself. I should do it just for myself, but looking after myself is good for my kids too!

So here are a few things, serious and less so, that I’m going to be careful about, so that I can look after my kids and myself.

Dangerous holiday destinations

I have a friend who enjoys visiting places that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office would prefer you avoid. More power to him and his sense of adventure. But for me, I have become a total travelling sissy since having kids. I’ve been travelling to utterly rural and random caravan parks in the hopes that no one wants to make a violent statement in those sorts of places. I obviously can’t avoid London, but I don’t see any reason to go somewhere doubtful if I don’t need to.

Health stuff

If I have the slightest doubt about my health, physical or mental, then I take myself off to the GP. There is no point waiting around and wondering if things will resolve on their own. Better to have peace of mind. And I’m extra mindful of how lucky we are in the UK to have the NHS. I can get peace of mind without emptying my purse!

Looking after myself

I’m giving myself permission to spend time exercising and worrying about what I’m eating. These things take my attention away from my kids but ultimately make me fitter so that I can be around for them in the long term and, in the short term, be healthier to enjoy my time with them.

Doing stupid stuff

Should I try to jump off the back of the Routemaster bus before it has stopped? No I should not. Should I drink an entire bottle of vodka on a rare night out? No I should not. My kids stop me doing those fun things that I might have risked when it was only my arse on the line.

Don’t be a hero?

I often think about what I would do if I found myself in a crisis situation – a crash or a violent incident. While I would like to think of myself as someone who would help others where I can, I know that my biggest priority would be keeping myself safe. Not for me, but because I don’t want my kids to be without their mum.

Going out to meet my problems

I used to be a fatalist about just about everything. I used to think “Oh well. It’s no big deal. If I die, to die would be a great adventure (you know, like in Peter Pan).” Now, instead, I think how to solve my problems without risking my wellbeing. Not that many of my problems involve life and death. But I do think about these things…

And Mary should have too.

Two Tiny Hands
A Mum Track Mind

Author: The Mum Reviews

Writing about women's health and wellness (especially for mums) as I try to stay sane in my crazy life.

18 thoughts on “Mothers don’t sacrifice themselves. Not even for Sherlock Holmes.”

  1. That was my first thought too! How could she do that and leave her little girl without her mum? I know it’s just a script but yeah you’re right, she could just have pushed him out of the way. Apparently it was because in the original stories Mary’s death is alluded to by talking about Watson’s bereavement, this meant she had to go and the writers say they did it this way to keep the element of surprise, instead of making it end of series – regardless she was going to die apparently. Sorry got all Sherlock-geek there but I googled it after thinking how could they kill her when she’s just had a baby!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well yes i know she had to die too, but they could have thought about a better way off doing it! I wasn’t best pleased the the Watson cheating storyline either as I don’t think that holds true to his character!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought the same thing! But I think in sherlock that perhaps it was years of training from her previous job that kicked in.

    Couldn’t agree more about the other things, although I have always been the kind of person who will get involved in an emergency but I’m certainly extremely risk averse in other ways. Anxiety doesn’t help either – especially with travelling!

    It’s definitely an instinct isn’t it, to protect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not watched Sherlock at all seems a bizarre plot line your right. Yes I would do anything to protect me and my son rather than be a hero. He means so much to me. Dave and I were on some docks by the sea the other day and I said to him what would you do if he fell in, stupid u know, but even he said he’d jump in after him!! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah – we watched this on catchup last night and it really didn’t ring true for all the reasons you outline. I’ve skimmed your list but I start to panic when I think about stuff like this (I sooo too easily catastrophise) so when I felt my chest tightening I stepped away – I’m sure it’s all very sensible though. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is brilliant. Now I have never watched Sherlock but I get your sentiments here and absolutely agree. Me and that baby would be as far away from the guy with gun as humanly possible! Secondly it is so true I have never placed so much value on my life as I do now. Like you I am much more cautious with travel and there are certain places I just won’t go that I would have before. I value my health and neve miss any routine appointments ya know he dreaded smear for example and in my day I was that numtpy to walk home late in he dark, jump of big cliffs into the sea on holiday – nope not no more friend you will find me on the sun lounger applying sun cream with my feet firmly on the ground! Excellent post lovey thanks for sharing it at #familyfun xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There were so many “scratchy head” moments, where both my husband and I were actually confused as to why they were included.
    Killing Mary in that way was one of them. Watson engaging in some extra-marital texting was another.
    And so on!
    But as a mother dieing for someone who isn’t your child is very unlikely. I understand her “job” was out of the ordinary but s-t-i-l-l….
    Anyway this still won’t stop me being gripped and looking forward to the next episode! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t watched this but have seen so many facebook statuses about the same thing! I feel like I have been missing out! Thank you for linking up with #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

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