I've always thought of a person as having three parts. I feel like I learned this sometime back in World History in 10th grade, having something to do with Greek philosophers. But Aristotle would probably be embarrassed by my ignorance if I were to attribute this theory to him.
So, the three selves I've always pictured were my intellectual self, my emotional self, and my spiritual self. Since I'm something of a spiritual nitwit, my spiritual self mostly sits in the corner eating his boogers because no one will play with him. So that leaves me with my intellectual self and my emotional self. I mostly let those two selves run hog-wild. Especially the emotional self, she likes to streak naked through the snow. And have bonfires 10 feet from her house. I.e., she doesn't think much about consequences.
But I've recently discovered a fourth self. (I also learned in 10th grade that any number less than 5 should be spelled out. But maybe that included five, I'm not sure. I like to mix it up so I'm only wrong half the time.) That would be my mothering self. More generally, it's probably my nurturing self, though I think only my baby sees the benefit of it, so we'll stick to calling it the mothering self until that self learns how to play well with others. Ironically, I find myself capable of near-infinite patience with my child (this coming from an inpatient person, so infinite is definitely an overstatement. There are still times.) But I think that patience drains from the rest of my life to fill my baby-patience tank. Meaning the presence of this fourth self drains the other selves. I'm not upset about that, at least not for the time being: it's interesting to have this whole new self I was never aware of before.
I think those that have baby-fever are aware of this 4th self and need something to fill it. I guess the question I'm getting to is where does this fourth self come from? Was it always there and some women are just more aware of it than others? Or for some people, does childbirth bring about this new self?
*I'm pretty sure this entire post makes no sense.