Being a mother does not especially mean being a woman or giving birth. Maternal instincts mean the bond between the mother and her child. But is it necessary to give birth to feel the special bond with a child? Can the father have those instincts too?
According to The baby & toddler show:
The maternal instinct is intended to refer to the sense of gravitational pull a mother feels to her child and her child’s welfare. It is often relied upon to ensure the safety and security of a child.
Does the instinct `kicks in` during the pregnancy months? Or is it something that can be developed in the presence of children and while taking care of one? In my experience, maternal instincts have been developed towards my nephew. Even though I was implicated in the nurturing both of my niece and nephew, I fell into a strong connection with the boy who is younger than the girl.
I was 17 years old when he was born, but even if I was so young, I think I was very aware of my maternal instincts and how to take care of him. In time, I moved out of my sister’s house, and this situation I thought would damage our relationship. But while I was visiting, one night he had a nightmare and chose to come to my room. He waked me up, not his mother (even though she was closer). That night he asked to sleep with me and since then, every time I visit, he sleeps with me.
I even discovered that he behaves differently in my presence than in my sister’s presence. With me, he is calm, loving, and passionate about his favorite things. I somehow encourage him to talk about the things he loves, so that I discovered he loves astronauts and dinosaurs.
Our maternal instincts something specific to women?
The phrase `maternal instincts` can be `paternal instincts` too. In our culture, there is this idea that fathers should have a specific bond with their children. For example, for a girl, the father should be protective, and towards a boy, he should be an example.
I have met many men that had a special bond with their children, especially when the family was a single-parent family. In the normative gender roles, the feminine and the masculine element have specific duties towards the child and in the family. However, those gender roles can be reestablished by the members of the family.
Are our maternal instincts specific to motherhood?
As I previously said, men can feel this type of instincts too, and women don’t need to give birth to have them. But does the act of bearing a child and giving birth make you more aware of your bond with the child? It may be the case, or it may not. In my experience, my mother had no maternal instincts, even though she gave birth three times.
Being a mother is not for every woman, and maternal instincts are not something to gain or look for. I think they come naturally, as in my case. But even though I do have maternal instincts, this does not make me less afraid of bearing a child or giving birth. You can manifest your maternal instincts no matter the biological link between you and your children. So, adoption sounds like a good option for me, regarding my fears, but also my wish to help other children.
How do feel towards a newborn baby? Are you afraid of holding him in your arms? Or are you fascinated? Do you think you have these maternal instincts?