Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis.
Transitions are a big part of all of our lives, and the transition into mother is one of the biggest transitions a woman will go through in her lifetime. I’m going to start with some common types of life transitions and then we’ll move our focus to motherhood specifically.
Here’s a list of common life transitions (which is by no means an exhaustive list as there are many more not listed here):
- Having a baby
- Relationship changes
- Birth trauma/not having the birth you wanted/expected
- Baby needing NICU stay
- Issues with breastfeeding
- Becoming a stay-at-home mom/going back to working outside of the home after your maternity leave
- Miscarriage/pregnancy loss
- Infertility/secondary infertility
- Pregnancy complications
- PMADs (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders)
- Loss of a loved one
- Job and career changes
- Medical issues
- Add your own…
Also, keep in mind that the more transitions you have hitting you at the same time, the higher your stress level and heightened emotions will most likely be in your life.
It can also be helpful to figure out if you’re currently going through something situational/short-term that will clear up once the situation is resolved, or if it’s something ongoing/long-term that means your healing process will probably take longer and there may be grief and loss that surfaces along the way here as well.
Moving our focus into the motherhood realm, one of my favorite words to describe the transition into motherhood is called matrescence (coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael). So, what is matrescence? It’s all the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes a woman goes through during her personal transition into motherhood. Don’t you just love that?
Take a few minutes to reflect on your own transition into motherhood:
- How has your body changed physically?
- How have you changed mentally?
- What’s different emotionally now?
- What spiritual changes have you experienced?
How can you honor these transitions into motherhood by noticing the ones that are harder to accept and the ones that are easier to accept (and therefore possibly easier to overlook)?