When I was pregnant for the first time, I read these articles on mother-child bonding – how the first few months of a child are the most defining ones as far as bonding is concerned, etc. My initial instinct was – what a load of crap! How can my bonding with my child be defined by what I do in the first few months of a lifelong relationship?
Anyway, too shy to challenge research, I chose to believe it. Okay, fine, there were the hormones too. I remember being borderline obsessed with how much or how little time I got with my kids in the first few months.
I came across a similar article somewhere today. But, 12 years and another child later I realise my instinct was right – it is all over-rated. My kids and I are doing just fine, thanks for asking. It’s the other end I am talking about.
Just look at life and you see the innumerable people that came and went in your life. You didn’t connect with many and they drifted away. And there are a few that have stayed around and you became invaluable to each other.
Read that last line again. You became invaluable to each other.
Guess what? This happened even though you did not hold each other when you were a few days old! Miracle, isn’t it? Okay, so I don’t have statistics, but this just instinctively feels right.
I went further along this line of thought. Let’s say even if it were true. That the strongest bonds are those formed in the first few months. My obsession, as mild as it may have been, was so misplaced. As a mother, why would one restrict their child to bond only with themselves and/or their spouse? Thankfully, I didn’t do that. But, was wondering what if I had.
That would be so silly. As if a person’s bonding is limited. As if love is limited. As if any emotion is limited. Well, I believe that a person can be in love (romantically, too!) with more than one person at a time, but let’s not digress.
Extrapolate it though, we do have father figures and mother figures in our lives. We have motherly feelings for others’ children, even some adults. We have those feelings for our pets.
It seems so obvious that it feels dumb to even put it in writing. And its not just new mothers, right? You do see parents obsessed with their teenagers falling in love, mothers trying to resist her son’s new bride, jealous lovers, possessive spouses – they are all around.
I refuse to believe though that bonding as limited.
Love cannot be that limited. You are not that small.