Maternal Instinct

I was pregnant with my 5th child who was fathered
 by my ex-husband (who took the picture when
I did not feel like taking pictures, lol).
I love being a mother. I love everything about it. I enjoy being pregnant (after the morning sickness stage). I'm excited about giving birth. I adore breast feeding and I am passionate about raising children.  I was given a lot of responsibility at a young age and I am the eldest of a whole lot of siblings, but even before my parents burdened me with the care of my brother's and sisters, I wanted to nurture them before I was old enough to know what the word meant. I brushed my brother's hair when he was a baby (I was two). I begged my mom for opportunities to change my little sister (I was four). And by the time I was nine, for hours my parents would leave me home alone with three children and an infant to take care of.  I believe my maternal instinct is God given and not necessarily a conditioned behavior.

Chocolate Overload. Needs a glass of milk
 Arri's Three times chocolate chip cookies. 
This is my eldest daughter's recipe.

On a daily basis I am surrounded by adults in progress; which include my own offspring, and aaaaalllll of their friends. I'm known to them as Mommy or 'Z', and my home is the place to go for advice, fresh cookies, or to take a load off. Z's house is also the only place that some parents on my block will allow their children to stay past their curfew. Now like any other human being, I have my Calgon moments, but I think my affinity towards and high tolerance of young people, is because I didn't really have a childhood of my own. 

I remember when I was twelve, I asked my mother if because she and my father got married after I was born, did they only do so because she was pregnant. In my attempt to figure out why my parents treated me the way they did, I found it logical that my conception was the blame. I thought that maybe if I wasn't born, my parents would not have gotten married and none of what me and my siblings went through would have happened. My mother never answered, instead she told me to stop asking stupid questions.

I've long given up that idea, and now my mother answers every question I ask her. Which brings me to the inquiry I posed to her tonight: After all that's happened, what does she feel could have encouraged her to protect her children from her husband? To which she couldn't respond. I told her to think about it and get back to me.
I forgave my mother less than a year ago. And though she's given excuses like fear and shame for her behavior, I have yet to learn why her maternal instincts didn't kick in. 
When she gets back to me, I'll let you know. 

Food for thought:

According to the Department of Health and Human Services- Child Protective Services"Mothers who are consciously aware of the [sexual] victimization [of their child] and condone or accept it are extremely rare. However, some mothers ignore signs of sexual abuse, for a variety of reasons, or are preoccupied with matters other than their children's well-being."

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