If you have had a baby, you will know exactly what I am talking about. The moment that baby enters this world, everything changes. I say this, not to scare you, but to empower you. Let me explain.
The Inner Split
All of a sudden you are no longer who you thought you were; the only person you have ever known yourself to be. All of a sudden, you feel as though you are two different people; the old you and a new you.
The problem is that many of us are unaware that this is what will occur and we find ourselves in a great deal of pain as we experience that inner split. We feel obligated to return to our old selves, our old routine, our old jobs. Yet, we feel this incredible pull to our new selves (even if we aren’t aware of who that is yet).
“There is a generation of women who feel as if they are coming last in every aspect of their lives.” – Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.
We work our butts off trying to be both our old and new selves but feel broken, stressed out, unhappy, and unfulfilled. We begin to feel as though we are failing in all our roles – mother, partner, sister, daughter, friend, career person, etc. If you are feeling like this, please know, you are not alone!
What many of us, and society, fail to acknowledge, is this transition from woman to mother.
A transition called matrescence.
A lot of us mothers in business are here because of matrescence. We have experienced that change in priorities. We have felt the pull to spend less time working in our pre-motherhood careers and/or we have acknowledged that we have other passions we want to pursue.
What is Matrescence?
“Just as adolescence describes the natural but all-encompassing transition from child to adult, and affects every part of your life, matrescence describes the natural but all-encompassing transition from woman to mother. And it affects every part of your life.” – Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.
Congratulations! You now have a name for this incredible experience. But now what?
This is your call. It is one of the greatest opportunities of your life. A call for you to take the time, nurture yourself, be patient, and grow.
Top Tips for Embracing Matrescence
- Start by being kind to yourself. Explore your inner voice and if she is negative, tell her to go jump. Start reprogramming that inner voice to be kind, to nurture, to encourage.
- Do not devalue your role as a mother. Motherhood is the toughest job in the world. It’s 24/7. You experience the highest of highs but also the lowest of lows. You soldier on until you physically cannot (then let’s be honest, we keep soldiering on for a while). While we don’t get paid a dollar value for our time, the value of the impact we have with our child/children is immeasurable.
“Feminism has brought amazing benefits to many millions of women, but an unintentional side effect has been the supreme undervaluing of ‘just’ being a mother and a wife.” – Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.
- Allow yourself to let it go (cue Frozen soundtrack). Let go of who you thought you were and who you thought you should be. It is ok for you to change, to move on. It’s also ok for you to focus on one role (i.e. mother OR career woman). You do not have to be running yourself in to the ground trying to outperform everyone in every role.
- Take the time to explore the new you. Journal, meditate, try new things (just for you), give yourself the opportunity to learn who you truly are.
- Explore your triggers and learn from them. Acknowledge and challenge your core beliefs if they are no longer serving you.
- Ask for help if (WHEN) you need it. Motherhood is a tough gig. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is no lie. Asking for help does not mean you are failing.
- Be patient. Matrescence is a continuous journey of self-discovery. There will be more intense periods then you will find that you rise again, feeling a renewed sense of connection to the true you.
You are amazing and so worthy of the gift of matrescence, let it flow.
From one mother to another, I see you, I feel you, I’m cheering for you!
Let’s grow together.
Enlightened Birth & Beyond
Edriana King is a down-to-Earth, non-judgemental, Mumma, wife, Psychology (honours) Graduate and Hypnobirthing AustraliaTM Practitioner. She is passionate about supporting families through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Through her business, Enlightened Birth and Beyond, Edriana helps expecting women and their birth partners to become educated, confident and prepared for birth. She achieves this by releasing a lifetime worth of fears, sharing evidence-based information and guiding you through an array of tools and techniques for a more relaxed pregnancy and birth.