If you have every watched an animal give birth you have no doubt witnessed the amazing matronly experience of a mothers instinct at work. A dog will give birth to numerous pups and will somehow understand at a deep level that one is unwell. They will push it to the side and almost hide it from the others in the event that it is sick. As they protect the well puppies they somehow draw on a deep sense of knowing that the one is not going to live. It is painful to watch them leave it in the embryonic sac and even human intervention can not force them to nurture it. As heart breaking as it is to watch, it is innate proof that a mothers instinct exists for all creatures on Earth.
For humans the unique and individualized mother’s instinct is often a force to reckon with. When a woman becomes a mother she somehow taps into a psychic and connected power to understand the intricate details of another human. In a society so advanced the instinctive qualities of a mother are still often overlooked or thought of as excessive worry or paranoia. Imagine bringing your baby in to the doctor. No fever, no wounds, no illness that can be diagnosed. But as a mother, you just know that something is wrong. It might be written off as colic or some other infant problem – yet still at night you lie awake with a nagging sense that something is just not right. Usually and eventually you find out you are right.
Try as modern medicine or science does to explain the phenomena of instinct there are no words or definitions that can nail it down. It is just something, much like the silence that comes with snow, that exists above and beyond all else. Millions of mothers from all levels of education and walks of life can be in one place and somehow feel the pain or suffering of their child. It is evident when you lay eyes on your child many hours before the fever comes and know that they are sick. Take them to the doctor and you will be sent home until the symptoms surface. But you know already. As mothers gain experience raising children they become even more adept at figuring out what ails their children or what makes them happy than any other person; including the child.
Perhaps the fact that giving birth to a creature who lives inside our womb for so long enables us to forge a long standing connection to their innate side. Perhaps it is because mothers feel a love so strong for their children that it is able to transcend language and traditional methods of communication. Perhaps it is more a phenomena of shared energy. Perhaps it quite simply the urgent desire to protect and shield that allows a mother to bridge the gap between time and distance and feel the heartbeat of their child. More than likely a mother’s instinct will never be explained!
In a day and age where people are inundated with the easy access to knowledge and information it seems appropriate that the explanation of a mother’s instinct still remains vague. The longer we have our children the more proficient we become at using our instinctive sense when it comes to our children. We know when they lie long before they do it. We can hear the angry conversation between our child and a friend and almost feel the heartbreak ourselves. Are we drawing from our own experiences or is the instinct a real evaluation of the connection between mother and child.
A mother’s instinct is not saved for times of strife or illness either. There comes a point in most woman’s life when they naturally gravitate to the warm and soft cuddly infants they see in public. For many, this love of nurturing life starts with a kitten or puppy and grows into the undisputable urge and need to have children. The instinct allows a mother to know without asking or researching what to do to take care of a fever or to get a fussy baby to sleep. While dads look on baffled about which way the diaper goes on - women seem to automatically and naturally know these things from the very beginning.
The whole nesting thing that goes on during the latter stages of pregnancy is one of the other instinctive qualities that seems to go without explanation. Even a woman who was able to live in environmental chaos every day of her life will suddenly wake up one morning and make things right and organized and clean. They suddenly acquire the skill to make a bed feel perfectly comfortable and fold clothes and tiny socks so perfectly that they look plain undisturbable. When the baby comes a mothers body is taken over by instinct and is able to defy pain and suffering in the first attempt to nurture life. It is an amazing thing to witness and even more dramatic thing to feel.
People say the most dangerous place to stand is between a mother and her child. A mother’s instinct can turn perfectly sane woman into erratic and hysterical fighters with super hero strength and ability. Mothers are able to do anything in effort to protect or provide for their children often against all odds and all the while maintaining a silent river of feeling that runs smoothly between them and their child.
So many women are asked, requested, advised or encouraged to forego their deepest and most disturbing thoughts when it comes to their children. There are tons of books that can explain every aspect of child rearing and offer up some anecdote to solve any child raising problem that a mother may encounter. Lots of moms give over to the avalanche of information yet eventually find that their innermost thoughts, the ones they rarely share with others, turns out to be right. A mothers instinct is no doubt a compass that enables a child to remain safe and a mother to remain able to protect, love and nurture like no one else can. Woman should be encouraged more to listen to their instinct and to act on it more than not; despite conventional and modern literature or advice from pediatricians.
Probably one of the most endearing and loving qualities of a mothers instinct is that it often transcends their own children and is able to reach all children in need. Just like a dog who has taken on orphaned kittens or a cow that allows an orphaned calf to draw milk from them; motherhood is not just about having kids – but about taking care of, loving and nurturing life in a way that only a mom can.