Motherhood: Your Brain on Babies

Moms are different from Dads. As I learned while we were raising our kids, it takes both moms and dads, with their different approaches, to do the best job for children.

My kids used to think I could read their minds. My husband joked about how they could spout off a string of baby jibberish and I would understand every word of it. On the other hand, they learned about respecting women not, as you might think, from me, but from their father.

They got self-respect, discipline and a sense of what the world is from both of us. Together, mothers and fathers provide a balanced and, if one of the other of them isn’t indulging their inner narcissism by mistreating their family, harmonious understanding of life, people and themselves.

Nothing else — I repeat — nothing else can do this. I’ve seen the faux science of the faux studies saying that you can raise kids every which way and they turn out “fine.” I’ve also seen the real-life results. I’ve seen the drug addiction, the sexual dysfunctions, the inability to care for or even care about their own children that results from raising kids according to your inner self indulgence.

I’ve listened to parents as they wailed “I didn’t raise them this way,” and I’ve never once said to them, “Yes. You did.”

By the time we get to this point, the damage is done. The kids are ruined people who cannot even properly bond to another person of the opposite sex and raise families of their own.

I’ll admit it does disturb me when the same parents who messed up their own kids — grandparents now — end up raising their children’s children. It is, admittedly, better than trusting these children to their own parents. After all, the grandparents might have made a total mess of raising the first generation, but at least, they didn’t get them killed. In many instances, if you left the children with the children of these people’s raising, that is what would happen.

Moms are absolutely necessary if we are going to survive as a culture, a nation or even a species. Dads are also necessary, but this is the day after Mother’s Day, so I’m focusing on the first love any of us know: Our mothers. If that first love fails, then nothing else we do for a child will undo this early and absolute damage to them as people.

Here’s a brief description of the scientific twist on what happens in the brains of good mothers when they have children.

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  • David Roney

    I liked it up until: “If that first love fails, then nothing else we do for a child will undo this early and absolute damage to them as people.” I completely disagree that it’s axiomatic. The more I study about parenting, the more I realize dads get more and more marginalized, and often, tragically, by faithful moms not understanding the damage they are doing by making dads appear unnecessary. Feminists may have started the trend, but now it’s a just taken as gospel in many homes that dads aren’t as important. Only mothers can fix this, but it will require humility, a character trait waning in America.

    • hamiltonr

      David, it takes both parents and I said that. However, the role of mothers with infants is irreplaceable. We don’t need degrade the role of mothers further than it already has been in order to uplift fathers. That’s a false dichotomy.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    “By the time we get to this point, the damage is done. The kids are ruined people who cannot even properly bond to another person of the opposite sex and raise families of their own.”

    I know I have problems communicating- and seemed to be damaged at one point in my life- but both of my parents are still living and are great role models for letting responsibility overcome narcissism.

    In comparison, I have several friends from college whose parents were NOT good role models in various ways- and they’re all struggling with morality.

    Whenever I hear an older Catholic complain about their kids not going to Church, I have to hold back from asking “did you ever really teach them to go to Church? Were they involved? Or as teenagers, did you let them sleep in on Sunday mornings?


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