I was recently invited for an interview with Kallista Andersen on The New Mom Boss Podcast. There, we unpacked the difference between seeing motherhood as yet another added role, versus perceiving it as the ultimate transformation of our identity.
The implication behind the perception of motherhood as just a new role is that we should be able to find a way to balance it with our other roles (as we have done thus far). We expect that we should be able to juggle it all, especially if we were the ones who consciously chose to add this extra responsibility onto our lives (a sort of "You asked for it" mentality).
But, that's not quite the case.
Motherhood is pervasive. It is all-encompassing. When we become mothers, all other areas of our lives are affected. You cannot be at work and not think about your baby, even if you are still very much in love with what you do. Your relationship with your partner changes. The way you relate with the world around you now has 'baby' at its center. This is all very normal.
At the same time, though, we are talking about a full transformation of who you used to be.
There is no judgement in regards to whether these changes are positive or negative. The important thing to keep in mind is that this new way of perceiving life, this new lens from which everything will now be evaluated, is inevitable.
And so long as you are expecting it, so long as you do not spend endless time fighting it (fighting yourself, really!), you can be more at peace with yourself and the peculiarities that are part of any major change.
Remember: any change,
even one that we covet,
even change that we view as positive,
even change that has a multitude of advantages,
is bound to bring a certain level of chaos into our lives until we fully adjust to it.
Motherhood is one such change.
It does not matter if
you welcomed it with open arms,
or if you may have struggled to have the privilege of being a mom,
or if you feel abundantly grateful for it.
Motherhood will fulfill you; gift you a feeling of pure love and joy you have never felt before, all the while overwhelming you and bringing you to your knees with exhaustion.
This is where words and definitions matter.
In the interview, I talk about the word matrescence, a term coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael.
Matrescence refers to this all-encompassing transformation that changes us physically, mentally, emotionally, culturally, socially, and spiritually. It is a rite of passage just like adolescence is.
And just like we excuse adolescents for their sudden mood changes, their instability, their need to be alone to self-reflect, and the fact that they don't have stuff figured out just yet because we realize that in this delicate time in which they have so many things to sort out, we need to be just as compassionate with ourselves, as that is exactly what we are going though as we enter motherhood.
If you are interested in diving deeper, here is the link to the podcast interview.
I'd love to have your feedback and thoughts on the topic.
With love and kindness,
a fellow mama figuring this all out with you,