Thursday, June 6, 2013

Biological Beacon

Way before Raphaela was born, when it was just myself and Harry "The Highlander," I could hear Harry meowing from three floors downstairs, and always had this sixth sense regarding his feelings.  I used to think that he had somehow imprinted on me, and that a small piece of my brain was now dedicated to his care.

A recent article in Scientific American explained that beyond the expected emotional and physical bond between mother and child, there are actual deposits of the cells of the first born child within the brain of the mother;  like a permanent homing beacon that connects a mother to the needs and unspoken desires of her offspring, a possible scientific reason that each mother recognizes their own baby's cry within the crowd.  The more children a woman brings into the world, the less the "biological deposit."  This might also explain why mothers seem to know what mischief their kid is brewing when it becomes suddenly too quiet; the "eyes in the back of the head" phenomenon.

The research also noted that within a mother's brain, the location of cell deposits of their progeny compete with the cell deposits of their own mother, the child's grandmother.  Which might explain why grandmothers constantly tell their daughters that they know better because they've been doing this parenting thing longer, and that we are somehow getting it wrong and ruining our own children.


Yeneilyn Ham said...

Hi my name is Miryam and I live in Florida. I am about to go through a divorce. I have three children and on my own. Any words of advice?

Doc said...

Miryam, I wish I could give you a magic pill that would make it easy, but it isn't. And often when there is an ex in the picture it can be more difficult, because the children constantly feel torn between their two parents. I would tell you and your soon to be ex-husband to constantly reassure the children that this is not about them, it's between the adults. They don't have to fix it and they should never doubt that wherever their parents are living, they love them no matter what.
For yourself, build a support system of family and friends and consistent baby sitting. The happier you are, the more secure your family will feel. And when you are ready, you may even find someone who loves you and wants to take on you and your family.