Do you have the mom gene?

Hazzah! For every mother out there who just doesn’t quite feel like they are cutting it on the parenting front, you can now blame your genes.

OK, well it’s not quite that black and white, but researchers at Rockefeller University say they’ve isolated a “mom gene” in mice. When researchers silenced this gene in the brain, the mice moms did not lick their babies or even move to protect the babies from an intruder in the cage.

This discovery has some moms (and journalists) debating whether some women with the mom gene are “born to be moms” while others may not be up to snuff as mothers because of their DNA.

I do buy into the idea that some women are genetically predisposed to be more naturally nurturing. I, for example, did not play with babies growing up. I did not babysit. I did not ooh and aah over the latest newborn in church. I worried that the maternal instinct would never kick in. But then, I held my first daughter and realized being a mother was who I was always meant to be.

I have no idea what kind of maternal genes I have, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t believe a “mom gene” is the determiner in how loving, protective or good a mom is. I work at being a good mom just like I would work at anything else important in my life. I make mistakes. I apologize. I do better. I try harder. I become a better mom.

Who knows if I have this “mom gene,” but I do know that I am a darn good mom.

Genes may play a large part in mothering (especially among rodents), but I have to believe that humans can choose to be good parents — with or without a “mom gene.”

Do you think there is a “mom gene?” If so, do you think you have it?


  1. Momof7

    I’ve never heard of the ‘mom gene’ but I have heard of ‘mom jeans’. I’m pretty sure I have both.

  2. MotherBear

    Erin, I was just like you. Didn’t like to babysit, hold babies, or anything with kids really. But when that baby was put into my arms, my life had changed forever. I would step in front of a bus for any of my kids and I wouldn’t be afraid to do it. It is something that you can’t really explain but the love (or instincts?) of a Mother is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. It has refined me and continues to do so!!

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