GeekMom is thrilled to welcome Kari Byron, the female face on the hit Discovery Channel show MythBusters and host of the Science Channel’s new Head Rush, to our site. Kari will be sending us regular updates on life as a MythBuster Mom.
“Holy crap. I am a mom!”
That is seriously what I was thinking as the dust settled around me from shooting a .50 caliber rifle. On my first experiment back from maternity leave, I found myself perched on a hill in a rock quarry aiming a huge firearm at a remote-controlled SUV covered in phone books. But how come I still felt like me? I figured once you become a mom, you settled down and let the waistline of your jeans slowly creep north.
I guess a lot of people thought the same. The first reaction I usually got to the news of my impending little one was, “Your life is about to change. You won’t be jumping out of any more planes.” Or, “Are you still going to work at MythBusters?”
In one respect they were right. My life was about to change. Pregnancy is a hard state of being on its own; but add the aroma of rotting meat, the sounds of gunfire and the haze of a working metal shop and you have a rough sea ahead.
In the beginning, a little nausea and napping under my desk was all I expected. When I really took a look at what I do on a daily basis, however, I realized being a pregnant MythBuster was going to be hard. Welding smoke, paint fumes, mold-making gases are all toxic. Turns out, there is no such thing as fetal earphones for shooting a gun or blasting a bomb. Skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping were all out.
None of this seemed like a sacrifice compared to the health of my mini, of course, but 10 months of data collecting was the worst! (That’s right; I said 10 months. Let’s bust that nine-month myth right now.)
Then Stella Ruby arrived. All the exciting experiences that I watched from a safe distance were completely dwarfed by the adventure I was just about to begin. Everything did change, but not the way I expected.
“You will take less risks as a mom,” everyone told me. What?! I am still me. I don’t hold back from doing daring things. Of course I still jump out of planes! What really changed was that my everyday life has become a profoundly blissful experience. I get just as excited about peek-a-boo as I do about counting down an explosion.
Even though I will have to eat live bugs this season and possibly handle poop, I am not fazed. I still do exciting, daredevil, and wild things — but now I do them so that my little girl will know that a mommy can distinguish between a C4 and an ANFO explosion.
If I want my daughter to be an adventurous independent woman who doesn’t shy away from new experiences, I will have to be that woman too.
Kari Byron is a born tinkerer and explorer. By the age of 5, she was experimenting on her sister and using dolls as crash test dummies. Luckily for her parents, they always caught her right before her little sister took a ride down a laundry chute or was the subject of an “around-the-world” attempt on the playground swings. Kari began her career as a sculptor and painter before finding her dream jobs on MythBusters and Head Rush, where she gets to explore and experiment to her heart’s content. Kari lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and one-year-old daughter.
And remember: the all-new season of MythBusters starts this Wednesday, October 6th at 9pm et/pt on the Discovery Channel.