When we choose our girlfriend we think we are doing so of our own free will because we get on with them and share hobbies and interests.
While this is the case to some degree of course there is also a lot more going on unconsciously and we are actually following a set of evolutionary imperatives to try and pick someone we think will be a good mother and provide the best genetics and resources for our child. This is why we’re attracted to breasts (because they suggest the mother will be good at breast feeding and is fertile), a good hip to waist ratio (ever heard of child bearing hips?) and of a caring and maternal instinct.
This goes on consciously though too and once we reach a certain stage in the relationship it is normal to begin wondering whether or not the person we’re considering spending the rest of our lives with would make a good partner and be able to raise our children in the way that we would like.
So how do you know if your girlfriend is Mum material? What is it that makes a good mother? And what signs are there that you can look out for?
‘Ooh Isn’t He Cute?’
Of course there are all the usual clichés you can be on watch for – for instance whether she seems to like children and how she acts when she sees your friends’ and family’s children. Does she instantly pick them up and molly-coddle them? Do they instantly stop crying and fall into an angelic sleep? You might also be able to tell a little bit by how she acts around animals, and especially if you have a pet (looking after an animal of course has some parallels to looking after a baby). Another good tell tale sign is how she acts when you need looking after which can allow you to experience her mothering side first hand. When you’ve had the man flu does she provide you with chicken soup, a warm flannel and cough syrup? Or does it just not occur to her that you might need a little extra attention? How does she act when you’re feeling down?
Much of this will come from a basic sensitivity and emotional intelligence. This is what allows her to pick up on your moods and tend to you when you need it, and that will be even more important when it comes to understanding intuitively what a baby wants (who cannot talk of course) or making sure that a teenager with low esteem grows up to be confident and secure in themselves.
This is just one side of being a good mother however. At the same time there’s also the other more practical aspect of organizing the children, making sure they have a lift to and from school, making sure they get their homework in on time, making sure they take their tablets and keeping the house clean (if this is a stay-at-home Mum anyway). That all means that there’s a lot of time management and organization involved in parenting, and that means that a certain amount of organization is necessary. The ‘scatty’ girl next door then might not be quite as efficient when it comes to providing a child with all of their needs then as the super-organized neat freak business woman you know (though often the latter aren’t as great on the emotional care front).
There’s another aspect of parenting too – and that’s discipline and morality. As a parent it’s your job to make sure that your child grows up to be a moral and responsible citizen, and it’s also highly important that you get them to eat their greens and stop smearing what they find in their nose onto your couch. In other words, to be a good mother your girlfriend will need to be able to bring the discipline from time to time in a firm and fair manner.
The best way to know whether or not she will be able to do this is to look at her confidence levels. A very confident girl will almost always be better at being able to discipline your child as children tend to pick up on weakness intuitively. Think of your old teachers – it was the confident, assertive and strong teachers who got your respect and quietened down the class and it was the nerdy and meek who couldn’t get you to stop throwing things.
Another point to bear in mind when it comes to discipline is what their views are like. These are the views that they are going to pass onto your children, and they are the views that will determine what they deem is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. If your views are in accord then that will normally mean that you can agree on most decisions and that your children will be raised in a way that you are happy with. However if your points of view are drastically different then you will probably find that you are less happy with the way they raise your children. Things like differences in religion, politics and morality all can be a problem – although a little difference and variation can be a good thing as it will help to give your child a more rounded worldview.
If you think of your partner as fun to be around and a good sport then this will often help them to be good parents as they’ll be able to play with your children and keep them giggling. This will help to build a strong relationship between mother and child early on and will mean that your child is more likely to listen to them. At the same time a fun parent is often a down to Earth parent and a little good humor is required in order to understand children and to see the bright side when things start going wrong.
Things like humor are a sign of intelligence and this is a very good trait for a mother to have. This will of course help her to understand the important aspects of raising a child such as the biology and why certain things are important. Further intelligence will help them to reason with your child, to help them understand certain viewpoints and to help them with their Maths homework. An intelligent parent then will result in a child who is smarter and better educated, as well as one who is well looked after.
We All Turn Into Our Parents
All of this can be a little complicated and it’s difficult to think about your partner in light of all this information and wonder just how emotionally sensitive and confident they’ll be when they have a child. Fortunately it is possible to understand a little bit more about the mothering blueprints of your partner by looking at their DNA – their mother. Their mother can be seen like a ‘ghost of Christmas future’, and the way they are now is likely how your partner is going to turn out. This is in regards to looks often and in regards to how they raise their children, so try and snoop into what life was like growing up for your partner and whether she has happy memories of her time with her mother. Do you approve of the stories you hear? And what has your partner learned from her experiences with her Mum?
All of these things can help give you some insight into how your partner might be as a mother and this is a good way to start to build a picture of what she might be like. However make sure that you don’t judge her too harshly before giving her a chance – and certainly not purely on the merits (or lack thereof) of her mother. Remember that some people actually become the opposite of their parents when they grow older if they felt they had a bad experience. At the same time while your partner may seem scatty and unconfident now – remember that having a child is something that changes people very greatly and she will be likely to grow and change as a way to adapt to the new situation. She may just surprise you and pull it out of the bag.
More to the point though, if you really love your partner then that means that her mother can’t have done that bad a job, and that there must be some traits you’d like to see passed on to your offspring. And this is one of the most important things – because if you love your partner then your child will pick up on this and it will do wonders for their upbringing. One of the best ways to ask if she’s going to make a good mother is just to think – does she make a good partner?