How do a mother’s feelings durring pregnancy affect her relationship with that child? Well, when I was pregnant with Esther, who is now two years old, I’ll be the first to admit that I was not exactly “accepting” of the fact. There was no question that I wanted to have children but I was’t feeling particularly ready or excited about the dramatic life-changes that a new baby brings. (I was still recovering from getting married!) But the minute the midwife laid that tiny, purple creature in my arms, it was love at first sight, and I have to say this little girl is the most precious, miraculous, sweetest thing in the world, and I wouldn’t want to go back to life without her!
So what do the researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have to say on this subject? The way a mother feels about her pregnancy does seem to affect her views on child-raising and the relationship with her children. They found that found that “mothers who were not accepting of their pregnancies had a greater tendency to later feel that parenting is burdensome.” Yet the researcher also found that “most mothers, even those whose pregnancies were unintended, enjoy their children” and want what is best for them. Like my own experience shows, mothers can be ambivalent about pregnancy, but still be warm, caring and attached mothers once the baby arrives.
“Apparently, mothers were able to separate their feelings about being trapped by the responsibilities imposed by childrearing from their feelings about their toddlers.” Well, thank Heaven for that!!