Mothering Instinct

Mother with daughter on the meadow with chamomile flowers

I live on property that overlooks a very large pond. When I say large I mean it is an acre of water. The previous owner of the property lives in a house adjacent to the property. She has 3 ducks that she feeds that actually still live at the pond. They travel from our pond to her house for food and then back to the pond.  I’m not sure if that makes them hers or ours but it doesn’t really matter.

2 of the ducks are females and 1 is male. It has been interesting to watch as the lady ducks will find a secret place to lay eggs and we go hunting for the egg stashes. Our neighbor has been very adamant that she doesn’t want them brooding and trying to hatch the eggs so whenever she finds the stash of eggs she empties the nest and the little ladies move on to find another spot and start laying again.

It has been interesting to watch, but I kind of felt sorry for the poor girls. Imagine all that hard work to lay a collection of eggs and to come back and find them gone.

When I asked her why, she explained that every time she lets her ducks brood and sit on eggs a predator comes and the duck disappears. That is a good motivator, even if it does deprive the hard working ducks of the satisfaction of seeing their young hatch and grow.

Recently one of the ducks found a spot to hide while creating her collection and started brooding despite our neighbor’s best effort. She is now about halfway through the process and our neighbor has decided to leave her alone and see what happens.

I have learned a lot while watching this poor duck go from one spot to another and finally be left alone. She has been persistent. The other ducks come for food, but she sits on her eggs faithfully. We walk out to where she is hiding and call for her and she will diligently cover her eggs and then emerge just long enough to eat the morsels that we throw to her. She then promptly swims back to her hideaway and gets back to work sitting and nurturing those eggs.

Her mothering instinct has kicked into gear. Despite all attempts to stop her, she persisted.

Watching all of this made me think about human mothers. It is amazing how God created all things to work in a certain way in animals and humans.

Mothers have an important job. They are responsible for life! I believe that is why God made the mothering instinct in females to be so strong.

Whether it is a birth child or an adopted child, the instinct to mother and protect that life is solid. We are responsible for life and we know it. The helplessness of a newborn baby makes our hearts melt and we are never the same.

Being a mother is a huge responsibility that is birthed deep within. Just like that sweet duck that just kept trying to find a place to become a mother, we too have a natural desire to be a mother. We will go to great lengths to secure our place in that hall of fame. And once we have achieved it, whether by birth or adoption, we will sacrifice greatly for that life that we have been entrusted with.

We will go without eating. We will go without sleeping. We will go without showers. We will lay down our dreams and ambitions. We will sacrifice and travail for that child. And the list goes on and on.

Let’s be the best we can be for that life that we have been given. Let’s mother with excellence and dream big in the life of a child!

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