Posted by: Jenny | January 25, 2007

A conversation…

In a conversation that I had over dinner on Saturday evening, the topic of motherly instincts was brought up.  It is one of those things that has just been rattling around in my brain, looking for an outlet.  I hesitate to blog about conversations I have with people I know read this blog, but what can I say.  (hey ‘the cool‘ way to kick start a blog topic)

So motherly instincts are you born with them, or do you learn them as you become a parent?

I have my own opinions, both before I became a mother, and now that I am one.  But just for curiousity’s sake I would like to hear all of your opinions, both mothers or not.  Come on you lurkers, maybe this will draw you out… 🙂

In a long, super clicky search for a nice page to link to about motherly instincts, I somehow came up with this and it made my brain hurt.

So I will write more about how I feel about this, and include some of ya’lls thoughts on the subject too!



  1. I think some were innate and kicked in the moment my children were born. On the other hand, each stage of their growth prepares me for the next. A year of bottles and formula (or breast milk) and then you add in baby food. Then you add little bits of finger food, then you start making meals… etc. I think every stage is just getting you ready for the next one, but the love and protectiveness I felt at birth.

  2. Let me rephrase what I said because I know I didn’t express myself very well. I don’t disagree with motherly instinct so much. But I think there are some things that have to be learned, otherwise there wouldn’t be 101 parenting books published every year. But, maybe there is a difference between parenting and mothering. What do I know, I haven’t birthed no babies.

  3. I’ll let you know after April. 😉 I do think there are some “motherly” instincts that don’t necessarily apply to having children. Husbands are sort of like children, and when Noel gets sick, I usually know what to do and no one taught me that. Or maybe watching my mother take care of my whining father when he was sick taught me. Ha!

  4. You are totally right. I think however one can get bogged down in books and discourse. And some people need a million books and classes and even that won’t help!

  5. So, I think that it is different, but the both work together. That motherly instinct is the thing that kicks in before you even have the baby, the intense need to care for it. To protect it.
    Which has nothing to do with being a good parent. It may drive that need, but you learn as you go along! I think that motherly instinct is that constant ‘mom’ running in the back of your brain. You can’t turn off that. You can go out for a night, and not have to actively care for your kids ( babysitter or what have you) but you still have that mom running no matter what.

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