Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baby Addiction


I believe that every person has deep inside a void space. For some, a little corner inside the heart; for others, a huge hole. In one way or another we try to fill it using different mechanisms.

Some may stuff as much money as they can inside the hole, others try finding perfect romantic love (with crushing burden expectations), others may run after career, power, pleasure, intellectual knowledge. And then there is baby addiction.

I will focus on this last one as it is part of issues related to motherhood, subject of this blog, and also because I once was a researcher investigating a similar subject.

When I was in college I took part in a paid research to interview teenagers that were having their second baby while still teenagers. I remember looking inside their eyes and running through the questions in my form. I felt their pain as some told me they had been abused as children. While others had just had an early start in the baby path. They were all poor girls, receiving free health care, and the question I was trying to answer was Why?

After my interviews, I grouped all the information and found a common profile for the girls. But, more important, reading the information against the Theory of Human Motivation from Maslow it looked like these girls were on an endless climb in the motivation pyramid. Because they had never reached for themselves higher levels of the pyramid as self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others, they did not know how to say no, or to establish limits in their relationship. Besides that, a new baby was always the hope of a new beginning, maybe more love from the boyfriend, maybe more attention, maybe reaching that level they never had. But the baby would grow and the need would still be there, so another baby was needed, or conceived for lack of that level.

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Cases like the octo-mom, who wanted babies so much and yet could not care for them, added with a background of deep depression, just comes to show that what was happening with the teenagers can happen with adult women too.

I think that somehow most women have some level of baby addiction as it is inserted in our maternal instinct to love babies and to want to care for them. But when babies are used to fill personal voids, then a danger sets in. The danger of weighting that child with the burden of bringing the fulfillment never achieved otherwise. And nobody, not even the most perfect baby, can meet such unrealistic expectations. So as the baby grows up, a new hope is born, well, maybe next baby...

My personal beliefs tell me that the void is there to be filled by God. A spiritual empty part that requires the right piece of the puzzle. I have to remind myself of that everyday, that the answer is a deeply fulfilling love relationship with the only One that justifies my existence.

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