Once you become a Mother, there’s no turning back.
You’ll never be YOU in quite the same way again. How do you feel about that? Is it sad? Or beautiful? Or just the way it is?
I love the quote by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh “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.”.
Giving birth is a right of passage. You go through the biggest ordeal of your life (unless you are one of the lucky few ;) and come out the other side… and then there you are. A MOTHER.
Your life will never be the same, you have changed physiologically and psychologically and your attachment to your child runs deep.
Perhaps if we (personally and as a society) spent more time honouring that transition it would make it easier on moms and on our families.
In the past, and still in many societies, new moms go through a period of transition during the weeks after their baby is born where they are honoured and fully supported by their families and other women in their communities.
It’s called a Lying-In Period and it has many benefits for the mother including physical and emotional healing and bonding with her baby.
You get to lie in bed for weeks. No dishes, no cooking, no taking the older kids to daycare or school. Everyone takes care of you so you can heal from birth and be with your baby.
In our society it sounds absolutely luxurious, doesn’t it?
Or maybe if you’re used to being constantly on the go in the working world, slowing down to that extent may sound really hard…
Whatever your perspective, having a transition like that to truly honour that you have BECOME a mother is missing in our society.
I’ve written before about how truly thriving as a mom often involves slowing down, embracing BEING rather than DOING.
Having time to rest and allowing yourself to be taken care of is celebrating the fact that things are different, you are different. It’s honouring that transition and honouring YOU for all that you’ve been through and how you’ve changed.
Having a Lying-In Period allow for time to Let Go of who you were. You simply can’t continue on as the woman you were before because you’re not that woman anymore.
This may bring up some sadness, and it’s important to allow yourself to mourn the loss of the old “you”.
It’s impossible to forget the fact that you have a child now. You may never again (or not for a long time) sleep as long or as soundly as you did pre-baby. You're not just footloose and fancy-free in the way you were before. You can no longer go out with your girlfriends on a whim or on a spontaneous weekend getaway with hubby.
It’s not that you can’t do those things at all anymore, there just involves a lot more planning and likely a lot more worry.
You are, and will forever be, connected at the heart with your child. It's not all about you anymore. And you are no longer just YOU.
You are different, and there may be some sadness and frustration around that.
Honour those feelings, allow yourself to feel them fully and express them if you need to. Share them with someone you trust. Then notice as they gradually dissipate as feelings do when they’re allowed out.
And then, when the emotional dust has settled, you may get to a place of realizing the beauty of the new you.
You are a MOTHER, with your heart walking outside of your body. A MOTHER, so much more than just a job, A NEW IDENTITY with all its sweetness, worry, complications, messiness and love ❤
If you are still struggling to let go of your old life and transition to motherhood, I offer counselling and support to new moms individually and in groups. I also offer online workshops to help support you on your motherhood journey.
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Katherine Aucoin, Motherhood Counsellor
Hi Mamas! My name is Katherine and I'm a motherhood counsellor and a mom to two little boys. I'm here to offer tools, insights and support to help you be the best mom you can be for your children AND yourself.