Is Maternal Instinct Only For Mom?
I was married in 2014 and decided to stay childfree for some time. Yes, for four full years, I was involved in my doctoral degree and I thought it would be too much to handle both baby and research at the same time. Also, my research involved dealing with harmful chemicals every day I did not want my baby to grow in my stomach in such a toxic environment. I successfully submitted my thesis and went for a baby straight away as I knew my biological clock was ticking. The world seems entirely different now after a baby. Let me tell you why,
T S Upasana
Before having my baby, I never ever thought or empathized how a mom would really feel like. I just knew they were happy, having children and I saw children as stress busters. I always loved playing with children right from my childhood but never knew being a mom is a totally different world. I must say, I thought kids same as adults with no much changes except their size and their random actions. But after becoming a mother, suddenly I felt close to all the moms in the world! How?
Recently, when I was travelling in a bus, I noticed a crying baby and a mom who was trying to calm her down. I could empathize with the mother so took the situation in hand, asked a teenage girl sitting near the window seat to switch over so that the baby could be diverted by seeing moving vehicles outside. I even started soothing the baby, playing and giggling and started creating an instant connection and at the same time I was rewinding precious moments with my baby as well in my mind. I am sure this was not my nature before! I hardly noticed mom with babies in bus, neither did I care for the crying baby as it was someone else’s and none of my business. So how did I develop this motherly care? Yes it happened only after I became a mother.
Scientific studies too support this theory by experimental evidences that maternal instincts are found majorly in moms. The caregivers for mom especially her husband, her father, sister and daughters only develop this over time and not instantly. How blessed we think, but the scientists attribute it to a chemical named ‘oxytocin’ that is associated with maternal bonding with baby. This peptide hormone, Oxytocin is released from pituitary gland and plays a crucial role in social relationships, reproduction and mainly in after childbirth. Investigations on mice reveals the fact that, mother mice produces oxytocin after giving birth whereas normal female mice do not produce this hormone and that is the reason why they do not show motherly care towards newborn. Whereas, when the normal female mice was injected with oxytocin they voluntarily, took care of new born mice although they belonged to a different mother, thus proving the role of oxytocin in various life forms. Simply put as ‘happy chemical’ is not released all the time but when it releases it gives you the feeling called TRUST.
Trust is the foremost thing when it comes to maternal bonding. Be it any kind of relationship, for it to exists, trust is the base and only upon which relationships could be built. It can be between a husband and a wife, between sister and brother, between friends, between colleagues but of all, the trust between a mother and baby is most special. The newborn has nobody else except its mother to trust for its survival and I feel, the maternal instincts greatly help the mother – baby bonding build instantly with loads of trust within each other. So, you may ask, is the mother the sole person who gets these instincts. The answer would be NO, as there is always a grandmother who gets these instincts as well!
Grandmothers play a very important role when it comes to grandchildren. They are filled with experience and wise. Being a mother already, they can stand in the shoes of the new mom and be very helpful in all the stages through child birth. Studies also say that, grandmothers too acquire the motherly instincts when a new child is born. Even though the grandfather and father too develop the bonding instincts but only after some time but eventually, they too develop. Indeed grandmother’s support is always there for the mother and the baby including the time after weaning. They are the most trusted people to babysit when mothers have other duties to perform. In older times, the mothers had to reproduce more and went for next childbirth, so often the grandmothers will take care of her other children but nowadays it is replaced my mother leaving the child for work and still grandmother plays the same role. Be it woman going to work or for another child, the mother baby bonding is truly beautiful.
Nowadays many women prefer to stay childfree but no matter what, they still form strong bonds with infants that are kept under their care, be it a sister’s kid or anybody else, invariable of their gender or social status humans still develop strong connections to kids which is a healthy way to the entire society. Being a mother of a toddler, I experience everyday how my child trusts me for each and everything. when he builds his first lego airplane, when he enjoys watching rain, when he learns to dance for tune, When he falls down, when he breaks his toy, each and every moment he comes down to share it with me because he knows I am his trustworthy person who comes always for first aid and who always be there to rejoice his happiness and success in his little milestones.
When it comes milestones, I feel the family which you live, along with the society plays indirect roles that helps us to bond with the baby much better by shaping us into the motherhood roles perfectly. The love I developed for my baby started even before I conceived him, caring for him genuinely throughout the pregnancy with regular checkup, following proper doctor’s advice and taking guidance from fellow mothers and care centers. Of course, my husband was there throughout this breathtaking journey in each and every step and I am happy that he has taken up the responsibility so well and that allowed us to grow up as parents beautifully along with our child’s growth.
Seeing the fellow mothers at home, during travel, visiting hospitals & doctors, yoga trainers, mommy groups in social media, friends have all brought me a step closer to them due this motherhood and the maternal instincts which help each other to bring up better children in a better world. With lots of things to share, smile and learn from each other I will definitely agree, Children are really a piece from heaven that has fallen into our hands to make our life meaningful.
About T S Upasana
I am Upasana, mother of a wonderful toddler. I chose to stay at home over a career in science to witness each and every stage of my son's first trivial three years. I wanted to capture and cherish all the beautiful moments by being with him when he reaches his little milestones with no regrets in life later. I am in constant search for ideas, tips and strategies to manage and tackle everyday issues faced as a mom as motherhood is real hard work and would love to share all my findings with fellow moms to make their life easier.
This is personal experience and point of view of Mrs T Upasana as a mother. Happy Motherhood does not take responsibility for the contents and those not necessarily represent point of view of Happy Motherhood