“THE MOMENT A CHILD IS BORN, THE MOTHER IS ALSO BORN. SHE NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. THE WOMAN EXISTED, BUT THE MOTHER, NEVER. A MOTHER IS SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY NEW”.
This is a famous quote from the spiritual guru, Osho. I can certainly relate to this. I’m a mother of two and I saw myself as a mother for the nine months leading up to my first born’s birth, but postpartum, I soon realised that carrying her for that time was just preparation for my role as a mother. Both pregnancies have helped me to build a connection and bond between my daughters and I. and both fourth trimesters have helped me and my daughters to deepen our connection and build the foundations of secure attachment.
For mums who are fortunate to have given birth, you’ll know the emotions that you feel when you first meet your baby. Happiness, elation, contentment, overwhelm, exhaustion, fear, love. And Change. A huge change occurs when we become mothers. I have always dreamed of having children and a family of my own since I was young. But I now believe that wanting children and actually becoming a mother are completely separate.
Becoming a mother changes a woman. Motherhood changes a woman physically and emotionally. For me, all of the following changed:
• My priorities
• My responsibilities
• My values
• My purpose in life
• My status
• My relationship with my husband
• My body
• My skin
Without realising, the old Me had changed, for the better, for the worse, all within a moment, and that moment was the birth of my first daughter. I will always be forever grateful to my daughter as she helped me discover “my why”.
During the pregnancy of my second daughter, I read Dr Oscar Serralech’s “the postnatal depletion cure” for any of you bookworm mums out there, eager to learn about the mental health of mothers postnatally, then this book is for you! It gave me a greater understanding of what I had experienced during those early stages of motherhood with my first daughter, and it’s helped me during these early stages again (my daughter is 11 weeks old) by giving me the tools, knowledge and power to be a more confident, well and supported mother.
I strongly believe that motherhood changes a woman and none of us are the women we once were. I’ve seen women in high powered jobs find motherhood the toughest job in the world, due to its unpredictability. I’ve seen the most laid back of women searching for some kind of routine or structure when becoming a mother. And I myself have found a strength of assertiveness, will and a backbone I didn’t know existed before motherhood.
There are so many different types of mothers and so many different ways to mother. Just like our children, no two mothers are the same. But one thing we do all have in common is change. And as Alexandra Sacks explains in her Ted talk, she gives us a new way to think about the change in motherhood. She gently explains the transition between womanhood and motherhood and she calls this change, this transition ‘Matrescence’. So mums, we all go through, Matrescence, together, that’s our common ground, our deep connection between mother to mother. And remember, when your baby is born, the Mother in you is also born.