What About Maternal Instinct?


 The techniques, theories + concepts

Many of us become parents for a number of reasons: among others, because we’re convinced wecan do it. Then, we realize that society has a lot to teach us. So we listen. But sometimes, it feels good to remind ourselves that the answer doesn’t necessarily lie in the theory.

There was a time when breastfeeding wasn’t so practical. Now, not doing it feels almost like a sin. At the hospital, you’re taught the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. (A mother welcoming her newborn on her naked chest is a pretty natural concept, we must say.) In the books, they go as far as organizing the attachment. And you know, if you haven’t read the books, sooner or later someone will try to preach you the “proper technique”.

You know attachment parenting, that noble and proven theory based on psychology? According to this practice, the newborn requires comforting responses from his mother as soon as he manifests a physical discomfort; these exchanges then construct his emotional reference points. Like when you comfort your baby.

To comfort. For some, it means to build, even calculate, the attachment that your child will feel towards you. So if he cries, you run to him, because he must absolutely know that you’re there. You. And of course, you certainly won’t leave him with a babysitter when he’s really young, just in case he forgets that you’re his number one. But if you put her down in her stroller instead of carrying her, will she think you’ve abandoned her? You can continue on this train of thought for a long time.

You look up information, you read and listen. And that’s all well and good. But sometimes, don’t you think certain concepts should stay in the books? Don’t you feel that sometimes, on the contrary, they cultivate insecurity? The parents’ insecurity, which the child, an intelligent being, will feel despite all the tricks and practices, no matter how clever they might be.

Teaching your child how to fall asleep on her own, attention “methods”, the inevitability of co-sleeping and all the theories on nutrition; when everything is standardized and the rest, demonized, we sometimes forget to trust our best advisor: our instinct.

Although there are moments when it’s appropriate to turn to your guide, there are others when it’s best to trust yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?

Dear mother who believes in her instinct, share your comments with us in the section below!

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