The blog I wish EVERY Mum would read...
(...They say if you want to capture more attention, to post alongside a baby or pup picture! So here we are! 😂)
The Blog I Wish EVERY Mum Would Read!
Sometimes I find myself explaining (excusing) the work that I do. Always being one to shy away from confrontation or need to avoid upset... it can be difficult, because occasionally, some, find my messaging quite triggering.
My messaging that, I am more than JUST a Mum.
Eeeeek, I just said it. "I am more than just a mum".
It's almost like they don't want to entertain that a mother could ever wish for anything additional to her healthy, happy child.
Or that she shouldn't have any other dreams or aspirations following her ~30 years leading up to motherhood. What? You're telling me that somehow, these completely natural human desires, simply turn off the instant our bundle of joy enters the world?
Of course not. What about the career aspiration you hold? Or the money and time you put into your studies to get there? The exercise regime you lived by that has always kept you sane? Or the hours of learning karate / studying french... hell, it doesn't matter what your 'thing' is... but it's your 'thing'. Your thing/things that have always been such a big part of your identity.
Can you see what I mean?
So many women experience a loss in their sense of self, when mothering young children. Not just in the crazy baby haze either. Often we only start to recognise this shift, years into our bonkers-busy mum-life.
I will just caveat here, (see there goes my need to avoid upset again)...
Writing this, "I am Gemma... a loving, INCREDIBLY grateful mum of two AMAZING little humans."
Two little humans, who have enriched my life like nothing else.
They are amazing yes; but there is a valid second point to this statement too. I am not just their Mum... I am also Gemma.
Loving my babies with a love like no other, does not mean that I don't have moments of imagining how simple life would be, if I could just pop out unplanned. Pop! I mean when was the last time you 'just popped' anywhere with kids!... Met that friend for a quick drink, finished that last email in peace or exercised freely at will.
You see. Even though we are 'Mum' and our whole world revolves around our tiny humans, it is also very natural for us to miss our old autonomy every now and then. We are still the woman we've always been... an incredibly emotionally complex human being. Human being who will inevitably experience a range of different emotions, feelings and drivers at any given moment.
This is where the work that I do comes in. Take a moment to consider why many might feel so 'lost' in mum-life.
Have you ever wondered what happens to a woman when she becomes a mother?
Not many have.
You'll be surprised to hear that there's an actual term for it! "Matrescence!"
Matrescence - the transition and identity shift a woman encounters when moving from woman to mother. Can you relate? Sometimes, it easier to think of it like the way adolescence affects a teen. We can all recognise and relate to this, right.
Why is this important? It's important because, when a child is transitioning to adulthood, we give them space. We give them understanding. Time to process the huge shifts in every aspect of their persona that they're experiencing.
Culturally, we see them differently. Socially, we expect different. Economically... Emotionally.... Hormonally.... Physically.... the list goes on...
Just like adolescence, matrescence affects every aspect of who we are.
We support teenagers, we show kindness and give them grace. Yet what do we do for mothers? How much time did you give yourself to adjust into and through (the shift continues to evolve through) motherhood? We expect ourselves to just know what to do. Add this new hat to the many others we wear. Bounce on back and get on with it.
Yet inside, we are experiencing a massive split in everything we have every known about our self. We start to experience the 'inner split' of motherhood.
Moments where we are split between the 'woman' we have always been and also the 'mother'.
Many of us spend decades trying to convince ourselves that nothing has changed. That we will just add 'mum' to the many other hats that we switch between during our days. Though, the truth is, we can't... we can try, but we can't... because, becoming a mother changes EVERYTHING.
The 'inner split', explains that we can love (with every ounce of our being) our children, and yet struggle with being a mother at the same time. It explains how we can love them to the moon and back, not wanting to leave their side, and yet long for just a moment's peace.
Imagine the movie! You've been the leading lady in your life, always the main character... and over night, everything changes, and you're now the backing dancer, barely on stage... making everything look pretty and streamlined for everybody else!!!
I am here to tell mothers everywhere. This is the reason you feel the way you do. You are not the only one to feel pulled in different directions. Is it any wonder you feel frazzled at times!
Matrescence is massive and you shouldn't be expected to just go it alone.
No longer do you have to push these feelings down. Articulate the way you are feeling to your friends. Share this blog post with them.
More mothers out there need to hear this message, because without knowing that matrescence is an actual thing... (an actual transition that we need to process to understand where and who we are now)... women everywhere internalise the judgement and think it's just them feeling this split.
If this resonates one iota, please share. Please tag your mum friends, comment below and/or join my mailing list.
You can sign up here to hear more about this significant period of your life. You are more than just a mum. You are you, and you deserve kindness to see all that you are experiencing.
Thank you so much for reading, with very best wishes