Parenting

5 Benefits of a Mother’s Love

When Abraham Lincoln stated, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother," he was on to something.

When Abraham Lincoln stated, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother,” he was on to something.

In fact, we all owe our lives to our mothers, not just because they gave birth to us, but because of who they were. “The child’s first relationship, the one with the mother, functions as a template, since it permanently molds the individual’s capacity to engage into all following emotional relationships,” said UCLA professor and psychiatrist Allan Schore, Ph.D. in his book Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self.

This notion is backed up by research. Recent research has found that our mother relationship (or lack thereof) has an impact on our minds, hearts, bodies, and even our sexual lives. Here are five significant advantages of your mother’s affection.

Having a Bigger Brain Having a Bigger Brain
Your mother’s love not only heals your heart and soul, but it also feeds your mind. In an ongoing study of childhood depression, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., conducted imaging scans on nearly a hundred 7- to 10-year-olds and discovered that those whose mothers were the most supportive and nurturing had larger hippocampi than those whose mothers were less empathetic or compassionate.

The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is involved in memory and learning, both of which are important for childhood growth and school success. Joan Luby, Ph.D., a professor of child psychiatry, said, “For years, studies have underscored the importance of an early, nurturing environment for good, healthy outcomes for children.” “To my knowledge, this is the first study to reveal an anatomical change in the brain, which lends credence to the enormous corpus of early childhood development literature that has emphasized the importance of early parenting and nurturing.”

Bonus: It’s a win-win situation for both moms and dads. According to a study published in Behavioral Neuroscience, women’s brains may grow in size during pregnancy, especially in areas related to pleasure, reasoning, judgment, and planning.

Mom’s Poverty Protection in the Middle Ages
According to a study from the University of British Columbia, there isn’t a mountain high enough, a river wide enough, or a childhood poor enough that a mother’s love can’t overcome. Researchers looked at 1,215 middle-aged Americans and discovered that those who grew up in poverty had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke than their wealthier, more educated peers — unless they had a particularly loving mother.

In fact, children from low-income, low-educated families who had nurturing mothers fared just as well in terms of metabolic syndrome risk as children from higher-income families. This could be linked to stress levels, which can contribute to inflammation and insulin sensitivity, according to the researchers.

The bottom line is that love is free, yet it is extremely valuable.

Obesity Risk is Reduced Obesity risk is reduced
According to a recent study from Ohio State University, your relationship with your mother may be more important than you realize. Researchers showed that a weak emotional attachment between mother and child was connected with a high risk of the child becoming overweight later in life, based on data from roughly a thousand children from throughout the United States. In fact, more than 25% of toddlers with strained relationships with their mothers became obese as teenagers, compared to only 13% of toddlers with positive relationships with their mothers.

So, what exactly is the situation? Do “made with love” cookies have fewer calories? Is a mother’s affection enough to sustain her child? No, and no. The parts of the brain that manage emotions and stress are more likely to feed into the areas of the brain that control food and energy balance, according to researchers — hence the phrase “eating your feelings.”

A Healthier Attitude Toward Sex
a sexual attitude that is healthy
When you’re in bed with your significant other, the last thing you want to think about is your mother, but if recent research is to be believed, she could be the reason your sex life is so amazing (or not). Despite any negative messages they may have picked up from television, girls who felt emotionally linked to their moms were less likely to adopt stereotyped or recreational (casual) attitudes toward sex, according to a study of Belgian teenagers. (This was not the case for guys.)

According to other study, mothers aid in the socialization of their children toward sexual responsibility, so add it to your list of things to be grateful for. (Alternatively, don’t.) That may be a strange discussion.)

More Stable Romantic Relationships Relationships that are more stable
Why can’t you (or your significant other) commit to a year-long magazine subscription, much less “till death do you part”? If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, as the adage goes. According to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, children who received “lower-quality support” from their parents are more likely to be weak links in their romantic relationships later in life. Researchers looked at 78 people from infancy to 21 years old and discovered that those who were less nursed as babies were also less nurturing as adults.

This isn’t to imply that if you didn’t have a healthy relationship with your mother, you can’t have a healthy relationship with your spouse, or that you’ll spend the rest of your life alone and unloved. All you have to do is interrupt the cycle: “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” as Paul McCartney and John Lennon once wrote. As a result, the more you put out there, the more you will receive. (Keep it in mind when you have your own children!)

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