Matrescence isn’t talked about; not by the midwife or health visitor. Matrescence isn’t mentioned in any of the traditional prenatal classes. Did anyone tell you that you would be birthing two brand new people on the labour ward or in your homebirth? Me neither and no one told me that the moment I did the me before would splitter into a million pieces before coming back together in a mismatch with some bits missing. I now know through working on my matrescence journey that it was ok for some bits to be missing; some will come back, others will not because they belonged to the maiden/woman not mother and not one bit present or missing will be ever in the same place and that is ok too. Welcome to Matrescence! Come along for the ride and be ready for moments of a-ha and a few tears maybe too because with motherhood came a switch that means tears are acceptable as a response for so much more than before.
What is Matrescence?
Matrescence is a massive transition period for women from conception to up to around when your child reaches 7–9 years of age. That’s a long time right! Matrescence is a transitionary period in your life journey. It is as important if not more so than the big transitionary period that everyone talks about; adolescence. So let us visit that for a while. What was the biggest thing that happened to your body and brain that causes changes in your body during adolescence? Hormones! What changes drastically during pregnancy? Hormones! That is not where the similarities end; during matrescence you change and shift on a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual level possibly even more so than when who spend years working out who you were and what you enjoyed, hated, your place and identity.
Motherhood comes in many guises. There is no one size fits all. Your authentic version of motherhood is as unique to you as your fingerprints. It is also different to who you were as woman. Nobody warns you of this. Nobody gives you this as a suggestion to your struggle with feeling successful. Society conditions you to believe you can have it all as both woman and mother. Yet makes you feel motherhood makes you less than what you were as woman. Have the phrases ‘mummy brain’, ‘it gets easier’, ‘it’s your hormones’ or worse a sideways whisper ‘it’s her hormones’ been muttered in your presence? Have you used them yourself? Make a pledge to yourself today to stop accepting these phrases. You are so much more than before. Let your internal dialogue be full of love, kindness and positivity. Embrace your unique authenticity of motherhood. This is so much easier said than put into action. To get you started on your journey we are going to take a look at three key areas.
Dispelling the myth of mum identity.
It is time to shake off any and all preconceptions of what you perceive your motherhood identity should be. There is no perfect version of motherhood. Everybody’s version of perfection is different. Society’s version of perfection depends upon culture, location and class. You don’t have to be any of these because they don’t exist. What exists is your unique and authentic version of motherhood. You are the perfect mummy for your baby.
Mummy brain is neuroplasticity in action. Remembering the name of an everyday object can seem impossible and frustrating but reading the nonverbal cues of your baby is happening without you even realizing. Which is important to your role and identity as a mum?
The next time you blame baby brain ensure it is positive. That you can’t remember a character’s name in your favourite film or for one brief moment you went to put the dog food under the grill and the bacon in the dog bowl aren’t negative events. They aren’t signs of failure in your cognitive skill. They are signs that your mummy brain is functioning perfectly by pruning areas that aren’t vital or required whilst heightening social cognition and empathy skills. The exact skills you need to ensure you and baby survive and thrive.
It gets easier implies that finding being a mum difficult is normal and acceptable. Being a mum is not easy and that is ok. Accepting that it is ok for you to be struggling is not. Accepting that it should be difficult is not ok either. Dispel this myth today. Shake of any aspects of mum identity that do not sit well or fit into your authentic self. Don’t keep pushing through trying to make something work that simply isn’t a part of your unique mum identity. Motherhood is one of the hardest things you will ever do but it is also the most joyous. Finding your unique authentic mum identity means joyous moments will outweigh the hard moments. How do you find your mum identity? By participation through being present in the moment. Now I know that motherhood is hard; I currently have a toddler tornado running around asserting his boundaries and at the same time waking me in the night and no longer napping. Where do they get their energy from? But by tuning into your true self and listening to your own kind inner voice, intuition and instincts is the key. Stop looking outside for validation or solution and find a tribe that holds space for you to be you. When you stop fighting your own self and the elemental energies supporting you then you are on the bumpy but fun path to loving motherhood.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.
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.Rajneesh
Mourning the loss of woman.
When you found out you were pregnant and throughout your pregnancy you did you tell friends that it would not change anything, you would still meet up and do the exact same things as before. The only difference being that you will have a cute little person with you or a sitter at home with baby. You truly believed this because you could not imagine anything different. Now baby is here and you are adjusting to motherhood you actually don’t want to do the exact same things as before. A whole new world of opportunities and exploration has been opened up to you. This is great if you and your friends are at the same stage in your life because you can share them together. If you aren’t then you may find your friendships alter. Look for the positivity in this. Life is about growing and experiences.
I have highlighted just this one aspect. Know that it is ok to mourn the loss of the carefree maiden and the altering friendships. It is also ok to make a date to spend time doing activities that you enjoyed as a woman or even regularly take part in an activity. Finding your authentic mum identity isn’t about you letting go of your identity as a woman but becoming an improved new version. It is about stepping into the next stage of your feminine journey and the process of becoming a mother. You learn, unlearn and relearn throughout your life. You implicate into your life changes based on your experiences. Motherhood is one of the greatest experiences and biggest changes.
Celebrating the rite of passage of woman to mother.
Be proud of your new life stage. Celebrate your transition from woman to mother. Mothers are the cornerstone of society. You are raising the future generations. It depends on the success and wins of motherhood how successful global society will be in the future. Do not diminish or undervalue motherhood instead celebrate your rite of passage. Embracing your authentic motherhood is the key to you being able to mourn the perceived loss of woman. Celebrate your rite of passage into mother. Balance your identity of woman and mother. Become an improved version of woman.
Mum identity is not about focusing on mourning your loss of woman. It is about you celebrating your transition to motherhood. Bring with you the elements of woman that serve your authentic self. Using your experiences as woman to align what really serves you as a mother. Embracing these elements and discovering your unique and authentic version of motherhood. Be the best of yourself to give the best of you to baby.
Discovering your authenticity as a mum is a process and a journey. Just like getting to know your baby and learning their unique identity. Journey together knowing that as you nurture and guide baby you are also doing the same for your birth of mother. Enjoy the journey and know that through participation and being in the moment you will be exactly what you and baby need to thrive.
The Triple Goddess and Motherhood
To explain this further I am going to introduce you to the Triple Goddess and how this is ingrained within each of our lives as women.
What is the triple goddess?
The Triple Goddess is the Divine feminine on a linear path of the three stages you journey through as women; Maiden-Mother-Wise Woman (Crone). The Triple Goddess is closely linked to the moon and her accompanying feminine energies. The symbol of the Triple Goddess is that of the three phases of the moon; the waxing crescent, the full moon and the waning crescent. She is a three-fold form encompassing the cycles of the moon, woman and the life/death cycle. You can take a historical ride back to ancient civilizations when goddesses still had a great standing of worship and regard where you will discover many major goddesses held three roles closely related or identical to that of woman-mother-crone. I’m not going to take you on a historical journey today but a personal one which will get you unstuck and on your way to authentic motherhood.
Maiden — The Waxing Crescent
Associated with dawn, sunrise and spring
This is your time of potential. When you have left infancy and childhood but are still free. It is the time you believe you can have everything as a women. You are blossoming and beautiful. You use your self-confidence and independence to explore and discover. This is your time of self-expression, creativity and non-conformities. You are hunting for friendships, experiences, your talents and a mate.
Mother — The Full Moon
Associated with midday, the high-sun and summer
When you birthed your baby you birthed a mother. Celebrate this rite of passage because hell woman you deserve it! Women uniquely have the ability to birth and continue the cycle of life. You are nurturing, conscious and illuminating. It is at this stage women are hearing and responding to their feminine superpowers. It is at this stage of your linear life the journey of womanhood often gets stuck; hold that thought we will get back to it.
The Wise-woman (Crone) — The Waning Crescent
Associated with sunset, night, autumn and winter
This is the time of reflection and wisdom. You use the gifts of transformation and prophecy to guide those still journeying on their linear pathway of womanhood. You are the village elder, tribal historian who can support the mother as she heals and discovers her authentic self. If you do it right you are the radical grey-haired woman ruling the world. You are the reminder that the cycle of life continues and new birth comes after the darkness.
Stuck Between the Maiden and the Mother
What does the modern world tell you? What do you tell yourself? It tells us that as a women you can have it all, that motherhood does not change you. Then to top it all the tale of perfect motherhood exists and you can obtain it if only you follow this advice or that advice, buy this new gadget or this version of essentials. All the while forgetting to tell you that you were never meant to mother alone and that it takes a village to raise a child and nurture a mother. I am writing this in 2021 during a globally pandemic and a world that is just beginning to open up to a new normal. To those of you who birthed or were mothering infants during this time I salute you because damn it’s hard enough with modern societal lack of community and family but to have the physical isolation too well done; you are an awesome mother!It is no wonder that women get stuck wanting to keep all that they had as maiden but not grabbing all that is offered as mother. The qualities and experiences formed in maiden do not need to be left behind but need and should be brought to your motherhood to build upon. Now be aware motherhood is the time that your inner self, your feminine energy starts to stir and call you. This is especially true if you have been tipping towards your masculine energy being dominant or suppressing the goddess within you. It is now that you need to look in and work on your inner self, your authentic self because if you want to be the mum that halves her mummy struggles and discovers her authentic version of motherhood there is no other way.
Are you ready to align with your motherhood? Don’t wait to become the mother you were born to be but discover her within you. She has always been there waiting for you to trust your feminine intuition, maternal instincts and listen to her calling. She is the Divine feminine and she wants you in your mother phase to be empowered. She wants you to grab your feminine superpower and nurture your child to be a part of the next generation; one that will be enlightened, gentler and conscious because of the authentic mother which raised them. The power is within you just follow your matrescence journey!