Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Oooops I forgot my maternal instinct

I don't really remember the first time I saw all three of my children. It was more-than-likely due to the cocktail of morphine/epidural/pethidine/oxytocin/codeine that I was off my face on every time I gave birth. I sort of recall seeing The Eldest One but I was busy hallucinating about a dog licking my face to be too bothered about the newborn in front of me. So I certainly have never had that surge of unconditional love when maternal instinct supposedly kicks in straight after birth. My experiences are more like that bit in Alien when the creature bursts out of John Hurt's stomach. My kids are still extra-terrestrial to me and I often have no idea where they came from. We've somehow managed to get ourselves bound together in a curious sort of 3-legged race where we'll only cross the finish line when they turn 18.
I mentioned this to The Husband earlier and he laughed it off (possibly panicking at the thought of social services) and said I have a great maternal instinct. He meant it in a 'lioness protecting her pride' sort of way. When I have to pay out fifty quid to the plumber who has found pencils shoved down the sink, when The Toddler wakes up during Desperate Housewives, when I get asked two minutes into a car journey 'Are We There Yet????' - yeah I agree, my reactions to the kids can certainly be instinctual and definitely animalistic.
OOhhhhh you know what I'm talking about. We've all had those vomit-in-the-hair, how-long-til-bedtime, smash-your-toy-to-pieces, Husband-come-back-NOW moments.
Then I realised something. My non-maternal instinct is very much part of my maternal instinct. I say horrid things to the kids only because they can wind me up like no other human on this earth. I never fully ditch them in the supermarket when they are kicking off. I only ever smash the toy and throw the pieces out the window because they are bashing each other. I experience such humiliation and frustration because they are my children. All of this is surely deep rooted in my maternal love - right????

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