This picture is the day that the trajectory of my life changed forever. The day my son was born.
We know it will be life changing.
But honestly? Nothing can really prepare us for how life changing.
We are prepared for how to physically care for a baby in antenatal classes.
We may even have ‘prepared’ for how we will keep our own hobbies going or nurture our relationship with our partner.
One thing we are not prepared for. Is how our relationship with OURSELVES will change.
From Woman to Mother.
From the moment it was a known fact that I was pregnant. That my journey into Motherhood was common knowledge. I felt completely invisible.
Laura, the person, the professional, did not seem to be seen or matter anymore. Or that’s how it felt.
It was all about the baby. The due date. The assigned sex at birth. The feeding. The sleeping.
Baby. Baby. Baby.
“Hello?! I am still here you know!” I remember thinking. Although of course I didn’t say anything. Good girl conditioning kept me in my place as I assumed that this was just how it was. When you become a Mother, you are just that, Mother. Apparently, nothing else.
I remember feeling lost inside a role that I was led to believe was going to feel and look a particular way. But my actual experience was so vastly different.
I did not know who I was anymore. I certainly didn’t feel like a Mother. But I didn’t feel like myself either. “So, who was I then?”, I considered, anxiously.
One day, after searching for meaning and explanation for why I felt the way I did. I discovered a word that would change my life and Motherhood experience forever.
This. This describes that when a woman enters and moves through Motherhood, her whole identity and sense of self, transforms. It is profound and affects a woman on so many levels, in both common, and individual ways.
Emotionally. Physically. Psychologically. Socially. Culturally. Spiritually. Economically.
What I, what you, are feeling, is real!
It isn’t in your head, and it is certainly not evidence that you are failing or were never meant to be a Mother.
It is a completely normal developmental transition.
Once I was able to turn that anxiety provoking question of “who even am I, now that I am a Mum?” into curiosity of the exact same question. I could begin answering it.
Matrescence, allowed me to do that.
I thought Motherhood was the breaking of me. Now I can confidently tell you, it has been the making of me.
It can be for you too.
But firstly, breathe that sigh of relief as you realise that you are not alone in your experience. Absorb that hope it does not need to be this way. That those really uncomfortable feelings are there for a really good reason, if we can move to see them that way. They are as much part of your journey as the lovely bits of Motherhood. Which can at times feel very few and far between!
Link to Podcast Episode