Saturday, 5 March 2011

I am a mummy and I have instincts.

I am a mummy and I have instincts.

I listen to them.

And this is what they tell me.

I am not a doctor, so I shouldn't massage my ego at the expense of my child's health, or well being by pretending my comprehension and knowledge of medicine is comparable to that of a qualified physician. Second opinions when in doubt, are good.  No medical opinions (other than my own) ---->  Not so good.

Life is not risk free, so I should hedge my bets by focusing on reducing unnecessary risk where I can. Thus I strap my kid into the seat in the car, I vaccinate him and I use actual doctors, rather than "Woo Ministers" who would make a profit off me at my child's expense.

I love my child to bits and if by prioritizing my feelings over making a rational decision I hurt him, I think I would suffer horribly. So I'm not inclined to seek out information that confirms my bias, I want the real picture, not just the one that feels good to read. I don't have the capacity to live in denial, or convince myself I am blame free when all the evidence points to the opposite, so it makes sense to protect BOTH of us by putting his needs on a higher plane than my feelings or leanings.

I am not infallible. I am flawed, emotionally involved and limited by the fact that no one human can be an expert on all things. So I cannot justify declaring myself the single person who knows what is best for my child, in every scenario, all of the time. I will have to step back, listen and trust professionals at certain points if I want to best serve my son's needs. Real professionals. Not ones who buy their qualifications from diploma mills, or take the lay\psuedo route cos they can't be arsed to put their back into becoming a true professional. I need to seek out Professionals who are held  accountable if it all goes wrong, because I owe my child the economic power to provided for him,  for his whole life, including when I am gone, should malpractice occur.

I gave up being number one the day he was born. I still count, I have no desire to be submissive to motherhood to the extent that I disappear as an individual above and beyond my maternal status. But my desires are not more important than his needs. I'm human which means I have the capacity to be unwittingly selfish and to dress that egotistical leaning up in "being a better mother" in order to quell any pricking conscious that would warn me I am going off piste. I need to pay attention to the pricking to the extent that I actively turn up the volume, so I can listen more attentively. It is my early warning system, so pulling the batteries out of it, sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "la la la I can't hear you cos I'M RIGHT !!!!"  would be one of the least moral things I could do as a mother.

I will fail. As a mother, as a woman, as a human, at at some point I will let my son down. Because I am not perfect. Which means it is a jolly good idea NOT to convince myself that I am infallible and pootle along without any introspection about the motivation behind my choices, the quality of any information I accept as valid and the agenda of those I turn to for  confirmation of my stance. My best protection against failing needlessly is maintaining a critical eye when it comes to my own choices.

My son goes in a car seat, is vaccinated, was born in a hospital by c-section, sees a doctor when he is sick, is provided with an education that is not wholly based on his preferences BECAUSE I am a mother, I have instincts and I follow them.

Maternal instincts are not the sole property of the Militant Crunchies.

We all have them.

It's just that some of us don't see the I in instincts as a green light to it being "All About ME !!!"*

*Two can play at the sanctimummy game, I am not above using it as a neutralizing agent on the basis of fighting fire with fire.


  1. Seconded! Except to say I was demoted from top spot before my daughter's birth. Pregnancy, at least the kind I get stuck with, is not for the selfish. ;)