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Embracing the Transition into Motherhood

Motherhood, often portrayed as a blissful journey filled with cuddles and giggles, is indeed a transformative experience. Gone are the days of spontaneous adventures and self-indulgent pursuits, replaced instead by the ceaseless demands of motherhood. No amount of preparation or planning can fully prepare any woman for the profound transformation that awaits, as they embark on this journey of selflessness and unconditional love.


Embracing the Transition into Motherhood
Embracing the Transition into Motherhood

And beneath the surface lies a profound and complex transition known as matrescence—Derived from the Latin word "mater," meaning mother, and "essence," matrescence refers to the process of becoming a mother and the psychological, emotional, and identity shifts that accompany it. While pregnancy and childbirth mark the physical transition to motherhood, matrescence encompasses the profound internal shifts in identity, priorities, and sense of self that occur during this transformative period. It is by no means a new phenomenon, but its recognition and understanding have gained momentum in recent years, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs of this monumental life stage.


Matrescence: A Universal Experience:


Matrescence is a universal experience that transcends cultural, socioeconomic, and geographic boundaries. Regardless of background or circumstances, women around the world undergo similar psychological and emotional transformations as they transition into motherhood. While the specific challenges and experiences may vary, the underlying journey of self-discovery and growth remains a common thread among mothers everywhere.


Signs of matrescence:


Understanding the signs of matrescence can offer expectant and new mothers valuable insight and support as they navigate this significant life transition. These signs might include heightened emotions, fluctuations in mood, changes in physical well-being like fatigue or shifts in appetite, and a reevaluation of personal identity and priorities. While these changes can be challenging, they also present opportunities for self-discovery, growth, and a profound bond with one's child.


Navigating Matrescence:


While matrescence can be a challenging and tumultuous journey, there are three key strategies that women can employ to navigate this transformative period with grace and resilience.


1.      Release yourself of myths:


First, releasing oneself from the pressure of societal myths surrounding motherhood. Here are just a few:

 

"I should be able to do it all": This myth suggests that mothers should effortlessly juggle all aspects of their lives while maintaining perfection in every role. However, the reality is that no one can do it all, and attempting to do so can lead to feelings of overwhelm and burnout.

 

"Motherhood should come naturally": While motherly instincts exist, the idea that all aspects of motherhood should come naturally can set unrealistic expectations. It's essential to recognize that becoming a mother is a learning process, and seeking support and guidance is perfectly normal.

 

"I must sacrifice my needs for my child": While motherhood often involves selflessness and prioritizing the needs of children, sacrificing one's own well-being entirely is unsustainable. Neglecting self-care can lead to increased stress and resentment, ultimately impacting the ability to care for others effectively.

 

"I should feel only joy and fulfillment": Motherhood is often portrayed as a blissful experience filled with constant joy and fulfillment. However, it's essential to acknowledge that motherhood encompasses a wide range of emotions, including moments of doubt, frustration, and exhaustion. Accepting and normalizing these feelings can help individuals navigate the complexities of motherhood more effectively.

 

"Asking for help is a sign of weakness": Some may believe that seeking assistance or admitting they're struggling reflects inadequacy or failure as a mother. However, asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Whether it's from a partner, family member, friend, or professional, reaching out for support can lighten the load and promote overall well-being during the transition to motherhood.


2.      Build your grounding techniques during pregnancy:


Second, building grounding techniques during pregnancy can lay a strong foundation for the journey ahead.

 

Create Your Personal Sanctuary: Just as you create a beautiful nursery for your expectant baby, you should also think about creating a designated area in your home that serves as your personal sanctuary—a cosy corner, a tranquil retreat, or simply a spot where you can unwind and recharge. Personalise this space with items that bring you comfort and joy, such as soft blankets, soothing candles, inspiring artwork, or cherished mementos. Start using this during your pregnancy to create a habit of feeling calm in this space. This little act of retreating to your space if the going gets tough will be such a powerful one to help you reset in mind, body and spirit.

 

Build Your Mindful Muscle: Incorporate regular moments of pause into your daily routine to check in with yourself, observe your thoughts and emotions, and nurture self-awareness. Practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, body scans, or mindfulness meditation to ground yourself in the present moment and cultivate inner peace. Practise moments of gratitude and calmness so that you are building this muscle. Once the baby is hear, be gentle with yourself and acknowledge the inherent challenges of motherhood. Give yourself permission to embrace imperfection, prioritize self-care, and ask for help when needed. As wonderful as motherhood can be, it will offer up challenging times and push you to the extreme when you least expect it. So, remember to tap back into these mindful skills you have created during pregnancy. Make self-care a priority by carving out time for activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul. Whether it's taking a leisurely walk, indulging in a relaxing bath, or practicing mindfulness meditation, prioritize activities that replenish your energy and promote overall well-being.

 

Embrace Your Passions: Prioritise activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, whether it's pursuing a hobby, indulging in creative pursuits, or exploring new interests. Use your pregnancy to reconnect with your passions or discover new ones, allowing yourself the space to nurture your individuality and sense of purpose alongside your journey into motherhood. This allows you to continue to focus on your passions once the baby arrives – which will be a wonderful time for you to reconnect with yourself and ensure you don’t lose your sense of self.

 

Embrace Joyful Movement: I understand that as our bellies expand, our pace may slow down. However, finding ways to incorporate joyful movement into your daily routine during pregnancy can become a source of genuine enjoyment. It's not about pushing yourself to the limit; rather, it's about savoring the pleasure of movement. Whether it's a leisurely stroll, a prenatal yoga session, or an activity shared with a friend to deepen your bond, choose what resonates with you. Falling in love with staying active during pregnancy can pave the way for a delightful postpartum experience and provide a natural dopamine boost.


3.      Curate Your Village:


Third, cultivating a supportive village is crucial.

 

Mother-baby classes may not be everyone's cup of tea, and that's perfectly okay. However, reflecting on my own experience as a new mother, I realised that not finding alternative spaces to connect with like-minded mums during those early months had a profound impact on my journey. Feeling lonely and lost at times, I now understand the importance of forging meaningful connections with a supportive network during pregnancy. Your network is like a safety net, ready to catch you when you need it the most.

 

Recognizing the value of genuine connection, especially during the transformative journey of motherhood, is essential. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, so why not start building that village before the whirlwind of parenthood sets in? Prioritizing open communication, vulnerability, and mutual support within your community can make all the difference. By sharing experiences, seeking advice, and offering a helping hand to others on a similar journey, you create a sense of belonging and support that is invaluable.

 

Remember, you don't have to navigate motherhood alone, nor should you feel pressured to do so. Embracing the idea of releasing control and inviting others to share in your journey can lighten the load and foster resilience. By letting go of the need for perfection and embracing the support of your village, you can navigate the complexities of motherhood with greater ease and confidence. Having a reliable network primed to offer support can truly make all the difference in navigating the highs and lows of motherhood.


Embracing the Transition into Motherhood

Matrescence is a profound and transformative journey that holds the power to reshape women's lives in profound ways. By recognising the signs of matrescence, acknowledging its universal nature, and embracing strategies for navigating this transition, women can cultivate resilience, find joy in the journey, and emerge from motherhood with a newfound sense of strength, purpose, and fulfilment. So, to all the mothers embarking on this extraordinary journey: embrace the process, trust in your yourself, and remember that you are not alone on this path of matrescence.

 

If you’re feeling apprehensive about becoming a mother or you’re in the throws of early motherhood and feeling lost and stuck. Why not try out Gorgeous Mama Reboot Online Course: Through online video content we take you on a journey through inner awareness and understanding, shifting your mindset for change and defining a wellbeing plan that will help you truly make behaviour changes that will bring more joy, happiness and wellbeing into your life.

 


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