I felt a shift in myself both times after I had my first two babies. It was like I was going through some sort of transition and transformation – both of which I was desperately trying to resist.
I liked myself, I liked my life, I didn’t want to change. I just wanted to be the old me, but with a baby (or two).
I carried on mothering, but I was not content. I was a little lost, and a little confused about what had happened to me. But I carried on – because I am a mother and that’s what we do.
You can’t outrun the motherhood transition.
My third baby, however, pulled the rug out from under me. Well, not literally of course, because obviously she was a baby! But when she came along, the changes in me where profound. Again, I tried to resist them, but this time I couldn’t stick my head in the sand.
The developmental transition was too great!
So, I ended up in a long battle with probably postnatal anxiety / postpartum anxiety (I say “probably” because I was never officially diagnosed). Until I realised, try as you might, you can’t outrun the transition and transformation of motherhood.
And that transition has a name: Matrescence
Every woman goes through the transition of matrescence when she becomes a mother.
Including Laura, who sent me this question for Q&A Wednesday:
I had my baby 6 months ago. She’s gorgeous and I love her. Motherhood is tough but she makes it worthwhile. I knew that things change when you have a baby, but I didn’t realise how much I would change. I’m not depressed, I just find myself missing my old life, not so much one without my baby, but I miss the old me. I feel embarrassed to talk about it because I really do love my daughter very much, and I don’t want people to think I am ungrateful. I just want the internal feeling of pre-baby me back.
Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.
In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:
- What is matrescence? Podcast [2.42], TV [2.12]
Matrescence is a word that not many people have heard of, but every parent must know. Because every mother goes through matrescence.
Matrescence is the transition a woman goes through when she becomes a mother – physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually…
- What happens during matrescence – why do we not know about matrescence? Podcast [3.30], TV [3.00]
We don’t know about matrescence until it happens to us, because we don’t talk about it.
But we must. We must talk about it, especially to all pregnant women.
We are changed after having a baby – women are literally transformed after childbirth.
- Is it normal to wonder what is going on with you after you’ve had a baby? Podcast [3.42], TV [3.12]
Laura is not alone in feeling lost in motherhood. It is common to feel you have lost your identity.
We ask ourselves who am I?
Where did I go?
Is this it?
- Why we must focus on the mother after childbirth Podcast [5.18], TV [4.48]
The transition of matrescence is so phenomenal. Yet, after childbirth the focus shifts from the woman to the baby. Right when the mother needs the most support…
When a baby is born, so is a mother!
Find yourself in matrescence – How to use matrescence as a catalyst to create an amazing motherhood life for yourself
We must be prepared for this personal transformation. We must create a plan, specific to us, for matrescence. Just like we do a birth plan. Because like birth, the postnatal period is a time of tremendous change.
I would love to hear from you
What insights did you have when you watched this episode?
How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?
Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.
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What is Q&A Wednesday
I love that I get a lot of questions from mums and dads through email or on social media. Not only because I love answering them, but also because I love to support you and know what it is you would like to know.
In my experience a question that is asked by one mum is usually also a query by another mum. Which is why I created Q&A Wednesday – to share the answers (and you remain anonymous).
If you have any questions please comment below, or EMAIL ME.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.
Links mentioned in the episode
Our wonderful Tough Mothers Facebook group
Dana Raphael – The Tender Gift : Breastfeeding
Tough Mothers courses
Mental Health Support Services
If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.
If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.