Conservative Parenting Culture Role Model Conservatives

What Leftists Don’t Get About Motherhood

Motherhood begins abruptly, with a test of the imagination. I discovered this after I became a mother following my wedding in October last year. My child is growing in me, sharing my blood and my body. But I’ve only seen him in black and white, a squirming image on an ultrasound screen. I’ve yet to hold him in my arms or hear anything besides his rapid heartbeat. Still, I have mothered this child since conception.

A lot of this is instinct. My brain is naturally equipped for motherhood, as I learned from reading Michel Odent, a French physician who has contributed significantly to our understanding of the human brain during labor and birth. He distinguishes between the neocortex, the rational part of the brain, and the primitive brain, which controls instincts. Pregnancy revealed my reliance on my primitive brain for maternal intelligence. This was a humbling realization: my body had already created the conditions for a baby to grow, without my conscious knowledge. I was a mother even when I didn’t know it.

But I didn’t seamlessly transition into motherhood. I found it difficult to conceptualize in the first few months, when my outward appearance was indistinguishable from my pre-pregnancy appearance. I was pregnant, but I could still fit into my normal clothing. I was pregnant, but I could still do unobstructed push-ups. Superficially, very little had appeared to change. (Of course, there were still all the concerns that come in the first trimester, when pregnancy complications can arise.) But I was a mother and, seemingly overnight, responsible for the most fragile and innocent human life. Read more…

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