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  1. #1
    Port de bras!!!
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    The Mom Gene--do you have it?

    http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs...parenting.html

    Rory Delaney is a three-year-old who has not been out of diapers that long, but she already knows something about changing them.
    Her sister, Saorise, is a five-year-old kindergarten student who already knows what she wants to be when she grows up, a mom.
    Now, researchers at Rockefeller University say the inclination that both Rory and Saorise feel at such a young age to nurture and feed their baby dolls and play with items like strollers could be something they were born with, and something that will definitely impact their futures.
    In a study with mice, the researchers determined that a single gene exists that could be responsible for motivating mothers to protect, feed and raise their young.
    I can say I was nothing like these two little girls. All my dolls were instantly undressed as I was always trying to figure out what's inside, how they work and if they correspond to humans (I hoped they did but was always disappointed). It never occurred to me to feed or change them.

    I am a mother of one and do have the urge to protect, feed and raise my young. But motherhood wasn't my lifelong dream like it seems to be the case with some.

    Thoughts?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  2. #2
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    I've always felt different in this regard. I never really played with dolls, especially baby dolls. When I did, I certainly wasn't concerned with being nurturing. I also never understood girls gushing over how adorable babies are. Personally, I find babies really ugly. And admittedly, my response during my elementary school's career day when another girl said she wanted to be a mom was "But that's not a real career!"

    I wouldn't rule out having kids someday, but I don't think I would instantly transform into a baby-loving person who's all about her children if I did. However, I knew quite a few girls growing up who did feel this way, and there's nothing wrong with aspiring to become a mother and have a family. To each their own.

  3. #3
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    I felt a lot like you. Never gushed over babies, never got the hooplah. However, it all changed once I had my own. Of course I considered him (and still do!) the cutest thing ever and felt all the right emotions and urges when it came to him. Also, after that I noticed that other babies are sort of cute too.

    Hormones are a powerful thing as well as the maternal instinct. Also, I've read that genes can be turned on and off. Perhaps I'd had mine off my whole life before Mini Ice.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  4. #4
    Saint Smugpawski
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    And in a separate yet related item from last week in The Atlantic:

    Not Wanting Kids Is Entirely Normal: Why the ingrained expectation that women should desire to become parents is unhealthy

    In February 2009, someone calling herself Ann logged onto the website Secret Confessions and wrote three sentences: "I am depressed. I hate being a mom. I also hate being a stay at home mom too!" Over three years later, the thread of comments is still going strong with thousands of responses -- the site usually garners only 10 or so comments for every "confession." Our anonymous Ann had hit a nerve.

    One woman who got pregnant at 42 wrote, "I hate being a mother too. Every day is the same. And to think I won't be free of it until I am like 60 and then my life will be over." Another, identifying herself only as k'smom, said, "I feel so trapped, anxious, and overwhelmed. I love my daughter and she's well taken care of but this is not the path I would have taken given a second chance."

    Gianna wrote, "I love my son, but I hate being a mother. It has been a thankless, monotonous, exhausting, irritating and oppressive job. Motherhood feels like a prison sentence. I can't wait until I am paroled when my son turns 18 and hopefully goes far away to college." One D.C.-based mom even said that although she was against abortion before having her son, now she would "run to the abortion clinic" if she got pregnant again.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  5. #5
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    I have mom jeans...

  6. #6

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    My two nieces could be used as a study in contrast. Katie didn't care at all for dolls, no interest at all. Amanda loved them, played with them, dressed them, etc--my sister called her momma 'manda". Fast forward to now--both are in their early 20s. Katie is going to be a teacher, would love to work with special ed kids. She's been working/volunteering with young kids since she was teenager. Amanda has no interest in kids at all--she likes them, has helped out with church/scout things, but she's heading of a career in forensics, and was perfectly happy in letting Katie do "kid duty"
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  7. #7

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    I have a hunch that the more you are around babies, the more likely it is to trigger the mommy feelings. I was hardly ever around babies growing up and never felt a call to be a mom or do the baby doll thing. And when I did play with fashion barbie stuff, I set up a business selling the barbie clothes. But I think if I had seen more pregnancies and babies and related stuff, I would have been more into it.
    What would Jenny do?

  8. #8
    YEAH!
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    I played with baby dolls as a child, wanted to be a teacher, volunteered with kids, and used to play school with my younger cousins... now that I'm an adult, I don't want kids, although I don't dislike them. I would like to have nieces or nephews, but unfortunately I'm an only child.

    I agree with snoopy about being around babies. I was never really around babies growing up. I haven't changed diapers or anything like that. In fact I can't remember ever holding one and I would be afraid to do it now because I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I can't imagine how hard it must be taking care of a kid, so that's probably a big reason why I don't want any.

  9. #9
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    I did baby dolls. Obsessively. And I took care of all the babies in the family all the time. I changed diapers starting at about age six because my aunt (God rest her soul) preferred not to and would hand me her baby of the moment and tell me to go change him (she had six boys).

    And I don't have kids. Not for lack of wanting them. It just hasn't worked out. So I get talked down to by mothers I know and treated like I hate children and will accidentally injure them in my ignorance. The wife of one of my husband's friends made a comment to me recently about my (allegedly) having no idea how to change a diaper. I changed diapers before the woman was born. It is frustrating and hurtful to listen to that crap.

  10. #10
    Loving on babies!
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    Never had it. But I'm a fantastic aunt!
    I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockTheTassel View Post
    I've always felt different in this regard. I never really played with dolls, especially baby dolls. When I did, I certainly wasn't concerned with being nurturing. I also never understood girls gushing over how adorable babies are. Personally, I find babies really ugly. And admittedly, my response during my elementary school's career day when another girl said she wanted to be a mom was "But that's not a real career!"

    I wouldn't rule out having kids someday, but I don't think I would instantly transform into a baby-loving person who's all about her children if I did. However, I knew quite a few girls growing up who did feel this way, and there's nothing wrong with aspiring to become a mother and have a family. To each their own.
    I was never into dolls - horses and cars, yes. Dolls no. I never really wanted to have children. I'm not fond of babies at all. Give me a cute puppy any day - keep your baby to yourself.

    I have a son who I love to pieces - I cannot imagine life without him in it. When he was a baby? That was nothing but a chore. Once he got mobile, though, and especially once he started to talk - the whole ball game changed for me. Then he became interesting and fun, and still is to this day (he's 17).

    Bottom line is that I like other people's kids once they get to be about six. Before that, don't expect any gushing from me.

  12. #12

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    I never had baby dolls. Tons of barbies though. Well, I did have at least one baby doll, but I never really played with it.

    I've always been around babies. 2 of my brothers are 13 and 15 years older than me respectively. My first niece was born when I was 5.

    I go back and forth on the wanting kids thing. Sometimes (like after I've babysat and the kids were little terrors) I decide that I never want kids. But then sometimes, I'll be around an adorable little sweetie, like my niece Arianna, and it's like I get a yearning or something.

  13. #13
    aspiring tri-national
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    I wanted race cars, guns and building sets. And I did love Barbie dolls, had a strong interest in clothes and fashion. Baby dolls left me cold.

    In my teens and twenties I declared I didn't want children, only cats. People who knew me took me at my word, I didn't seem to have a nurturing bone in my body.

    By age 26 I was mothering three half-grown stepchildren and at 29 I had my only child. (I wanted more and couldn't get pregnant.) So I ended up spending most of my adult life raising children and I was good at it, but in an idiosyncratic way. I know for a fact my daughter considers her dad more nurturing, and me the problem-solver, which is sort of gender role-reversal but I don't care...

    Now I am just done and won't get seriously involved with a man with small children, but as long as I could continue to work and have a life outside mothering and stepmothering I enjoyed most of it a lot.

    Moral: you never can tell.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  14. #14
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    When I was five, I was convinced of four things: I did not want kids, wanted tattoos, wanted to live in a city, and I wanted to leave home as soon as I was financially able so I could have my own kitchen where I would melt and eat an entire stick of butter.

    Thirty five years later, no kids, two tattoos, live in a city and have since so since age seventeen, and I got through about a quarter stick of the melted butter.

    So, no kids, butter makes me a little sick, don't want any more tattoos, but don't regret the ones I have.

  15. #15

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    I liked buildings things, animals, cars, being outside, and sports. I had zero desire to be around small children. Even having my own, I was always glad when they got more interesting, which is walking and talking and definitely toilet trained. Babies? nope. Someone comes to visit with a baby, I have zero desire to hold it, etc.

    I love my kids, enjoy them, and enjoyed them more once they got over the baby stage.
    I wasn't even sure I wanted to have kids. I had to really think about it. I don't regret having my children, I love them to pieces. But, I guess I never had the mom gene. My mom did in spades. Maybe it skips a generation.

  16. #16
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    When I was between 8 and 13, my parents were very close friends with a younger couple, Bob and Annie. We lived in Connecticut and they in NYC. They spent almost every weekend with us for four or five years, while Bob built a fiberglass sailboat in our side yard. During the period they had an adorable little daughter, Wendy. I bonded strongly with Wendy but I also saw, very close up and at an impressionable age, just how much time and attention a child requires. That was it. Never wanted them and the wisdom of the decision now, at 57, resonates loudly. I do regret not providing grandchildren for my beloved mother, but I'm thrilled to be childless. It gave me a broader choice of men companions too--they didn't have to be father types.

  17. #17
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    double post
    Last edited by Aimless; 09-28-2012 at 08:53 PM. Reason: double post

  18. #18
    snarking for AZE
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    i LOVED doll clothes, loved changing the clothes, sketching new ones, taking material to the seamstress to see if she could make them stuff. but i never pretended they were my babies. sometimes i pretended we were fleeing nazis across the alps and they needed surgery on the way.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  19. #19
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    I think, like with most things in life, mothering instincts happen on a continuum. There is no on/off switch in humans, IME. Plus, it's way more complicated than mother/not mother.

    I, myself, loved kids at one point and wanted 4 of them. Now I'm kind of meh about them. And in some ways I'm very nurturing and warm and friendly and in other ways I'm fairly detached and clinical. I do know that I don't define myself by motherhood as some women do. But I'm 100% sure *that* is all about culture and environment and not about genetics at all. I do think genetics plays a lot into ones basic personality but things like how we define ourselves is a choice based on a combination of personality, experience and culture.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  20. #20
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    MacMadame - you said it much better than I would have, I totally agree.

    There is no right or wrong - if you don't want children or if you do. We need to accept people to know what is best them.

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