If you are a mother, then you know it is a central part of your identity. From the minute your first child is born, there is an invisible rubber band that links you to them  forever. You remain consciously and unconsciously tied to your children, always aware of the distance and space between you, like a psychic map always operating in your internal Google navigation app.

But the band remains flexible, stretching, shrinking, bending around corners, and as your children  grow, the operating system linking you to them n must sleep, but it never entirely shuts down. They are literally experienced as part of you, as brain imaging studies have proven. Photos of your children light up the same area of your brain as photos of yourself.

When my first daughter was born, for example, I noticed a change in my shopping habits. I was so gratified by…

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