I think that the mother instinct comes from the fact that the baby lives inside you for so long. Kind of like my tummy instinct, where I know when I am hungry, or my colon instinct where I know when I have to… well, you get the point. When something is going on inside your body, you usually have some connection to it.
Here is an example of what I think to be the acute nature of my maternal instinct. Picture me in the kitchen… I have to put The Munch down so I can do things like use knives, or take a bite of ice cream without her pulling the spoon out of my mouth. So I got into this habit of putting her in this laundry basket that I had sitting on top of a chest. This was cleverly called “baby in a basket” time.
This ritual had been going on for about two months, when one day, as I was sitting reading an important article on Lindsay Lohan, I noticed The Munch leaning over the basket to look for a toy she had just dropped. I thought to myself “Hmmmm I see potential disaster here. She could probably tip that thing over, and then fall out of the basket, and off the chest onto the hard kitchen floor!” So I put the basket on the floor, and within minutes, she dropped another toy, leaned over to look at it, and the basket poured over, depositing her into the dog bowl of water.
Since the basket was on the floor, this was really not big deal, but had I not moved it, I think The Munch would repeat this memory to her first boyfriend explaining why she not only has trust issues, but also an intense fear of heights. As such, I would like to think that my mother instinct kicked into over drive, and helped me to protect her. In this instance, my mother instinct was positive.
But what about when my maternal instinct makes me say “go fuck yourself” when she wakes me up at 5am ready to start the day? Or when my motherly instincts want to throw her like a football when she won’t go to bed? Maybe the important thing about connecting to your instincts is distinguishing which ones are your “Mommy Dearest” inclinations, and which ones are your “Marry Poppins” ones.