Last night, Husband and I went out for dinner with some friends after going to see a house that a couple of them had bought, and over dinner a few of us started talking about this post. I wrote it on Friday before last and since them my blog has seen its busiest day ever and the most comments I’ve ever had on a post. There were opinions from all angles, all walks of life and certainly lots of debate over the issue.
What was interesting to me though, was the opinion of my real life friends. One of my best friends, Jamillah, commented on the post and quite frankly, what she wrote is deserving of a whole post of its own, to follow later.
Over dinner, the two friends in question had a different point of view. Neither of them has children and they were both keen to point out that as well as the fact that neither of them could say that they wouldn’t do the same thing as the woman who left their kids in the car if the circumstances dictated, they both made the point that until you have children, your hazard perception is completely different. They wouldn’t necessarily view the situation and think of all of the bad things that might happen to the child, because its not part of their consciousness at the moment.
It got me thinking about when that ‘mothering instinct’ kicked in for me. When I was pregnant, my step-Dad and I were having a conversation and he said to me “It’s bullshit when people tell you that you’ll just suddenly know how to do everything, you learn as you go along, same as everything else in life”. At the time, this was a huge relief to me as I was so stressed about knowing how to take care of Sausage, but this sort of took the pressure off. However, that protective instinct has been innate, for me, from the word go.
When I was pregnant, as soon as I started to show I felt very vulnerable. I felt like an easy target, like any potential opportunistic mugger or other criminal would see me as a soft touch because I couldn’t run, couldn’t fight and would want only to protect my baby. I must admit, it was crippling for a while, I didn’t like going out without Husband as I felt so defenseless.
That was like my precursor to the instinct to protect Sausage at all cost. When she was born and things when wrong, when the Doctors were taking her blood and making her cry, I wanted to rip their heads off. I’m not saying it wasn’t irrational, but the strength of feeling I had for her meant that I would literally kill for her if I needed to. It’s an incredible and overwhelming feeling and completely unlike anything I’ve experienced before becoming a parent. You have NO idea what love and devotion can feel like until you have a kid. I’m not saying you have to give birth to a child, I’m certain anyone who adopts, uses a surrogate or any other option feels this way too, it’s chemical. It’s the same for Fathers too, I imagine. I can only speak for Husband, but I know that he’d do literally anything for our daughter. Anything.
It makes me wonder about women who don’t feel this way about their kids, people who hurt their children, don’t listen when they tell them they’ve been hurt in some way, choose a partner or someone else above them. There must be something missing in their heart and brain to not have this level of feeling for their kids, surely?
I’d love to know what you all think about this. When did that feeling kick in for you? Do you agree with my assessment or do you think it’s over-the-top? Let me know!