Discovery of 'Mom Gene' Explains Why Some of Us Don't Crave Having Kids

Say What!? 154

mother and childAs a child, I was always mystified by those girls who always wanted to play "Mommy" or "House." It just never held the same allure to me. Sure, I liked Barbies, but I was pretending they were flying around the world or solving mysteries, not having babies or getting married to Ken.

In my 20s, I was equally bewildered by all the women I met who dreamed of being moms more than career women and those that actually felt that it was what they were meant to do. Totally, freaking baffling to me. I just never got it. I know I'm not alone.

In the world of mothers, I have learned there are two kinds -- women who love being a mom but honestly believe they would feel no less complete if they weren't; and those who could not imagine being anything else. And now I know why. 

There may be such a thing as a "mom gene," according to a research study out of Rockefeller University in New York. The conclusion: some of us are born with the unrelenting need to mother and some of us just aren't. Of course that doesn't mean those without it are not capable of being loving, nurturing moms. We can be and we are. It's just not so ... innate. 

More from The Stir: Having a Baby Makes You Realize How Much Your Parents Love You (VIDEO)

This, of course, flies in the face of popular thinking. There is so much pressure to have kids in our society. The first question out of everyone's mouth as soon as you say 'I do': "When are you going to have kids?" Your first child will still be in diapers when the inevitable, "Thinking about another one? Don't wait too long!" comes rolling off some busy body's tongue.

Everyone assumes every woman needs to be a mother and that's just not true. I didn't need a scientific experiment to tell me that. Now in my mid-30s, I just had to look around me. I have married, successful, financially stable friends whose biological clocks never started ticking. There is no maternal longing in their eyes. They don't want kids and seem very content with that choice.

Though that is something my very old-fashioned mother-in-law refuses to believe. She insists that every woman wants to have a baby. Whenever a child-less friend comes over, she throws my toddler in their arms waiting expectantly for the gushing, cooing, and "I can't wait to be a mom" pronouncements. And even when it doesn't happen, she still insists that so-and-so wants to be a mom.

She represents how most of society feels. They just can't accept that some of us weren't born to be moms. I, however, totally buy into this whole idea of a "mom gene." Motherhood is wonderful and I wouldn't change my membership in that club for anything in the world. But bottom line is, some women know it's what they want from the start, others realize the wonders of it once it happens, and for many others, it's just not part of their makeup at all -- and there's nothing wrong with that

Do you think there is a mom gene?


Image via AJ Batac/Flickr

emotions, motherhood


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Pinkmani Pinkmani

As far a "mom gene", I don't know about all that. But, I do feel like some women were made to be mothers and some aren't.

we2an... we2angels

I definitely buy it.

nonmember avatar CrystalMP

I've felt like a terrible person for the past 3 years because I'm the only mom I know who couldn't say there's nothing else I'd rather be than a mom. Granted its great but I feel like I could do more and now I know why.

cmjaz cmjaz

Though I am a mom to two great kids, I never wanted to be a mom. It was never my dream, growing up. I don't know if I'm convinced its some sort of gene though.

cmjaz cmjaz

And I really love my babies (17 and 6 years). Just wanted to say that too.

Lovex23 Lovex23

My older sister can't stand kids. Even my daughter who she saw come into the world lol. I had her hold her once and she looked so uncomfortable and awkward. As long as I can remember she's never wanted children. She's even went as far as begging her doctor to give her a hysterectomy!

nonmember avatar Laura

I believe it. I am childfree and just have never had that urge or desire to have children myself. I don't hate children, and am often the one at family functions entertaining the little ones while the parents get some adult time or the one playing peek-a-boo with the children on the plane or the one teaching coworkers children tricks. But I just lack the desire to have any of my own. My husband also lacks the desire to have children and he works with children as a public defender for juvie. He got a vasectomy this year so we don't have to worry about any surprises.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I believe it. Growing up i didnt want kids. I have 2 now and i love them dearly but i feel the ones that r so happy and content being just moms r lying lol. But maybe this gene u speak of is real. If nothing else some r just more natural than others.

p31lady p31lady

That's so interesting!!  Ever since I was a little girl, I knew how much I wanted to be a mom.  I would always have all the baby dolls, and they all had their names and I would give them bottles and change their diapers.  I would even try and burp them too :).  No one ever taught me to do that, I would just see moms do that to their babies and I couldn't wait to grow up and have a baby of my own.  Even when people asked me what to be when I grew up, I told them I wanted to be a mom.  If there is a mom gene, I think I may have it :)


Desig... Designmama

It's a good thing that some people don't want kids, the world is vastly over populated. But I see a bunch of people saying they aren't that crazy about being a mom... Then why'd you even bother having children?

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