Let us talk about the nitty, gritty underbelly of becoming a mother.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time for a mother. She is showered with gifts and compliments, she is filled with hope and growth. Then the miracle of birth happens when a woman feels her true sacred power and the sheer strength of her body. This is followed by a lovely in-between time known as the fourth trimester when the veil between both the person you were and the person you’re growing into are merging together as you find a new way of existing. After this is when it all gets real. Yet oddly enough, this is around the same time that the external world just kind of forgets to check-in, even forgets to talk about in the light of day.
Becoming a mother is a spiritual transformation on its own. You grow a being with a spirit in your body. You can never go back to who or what you were before becoming a mother. Fathers can. They don’t have the same bond, you literally made them, you birthed them, fed them.
Your biggest creation now lives and breathes outside of your body.
Women are expected to either drop their child into daycare after six weeks or drop the life they knew beforehand. Neither of those choices is easy. Often money makes the decision whichever way it pans out. We aren’t even given the chance to make this decision from a heart-centered place because we lack the support.
The support to go back to work without judgment or the lack of support to stay home with our baby. Arguably one needs more support when they decide to stay home. It is too easy to completely lose your self in this new life. We stay at home with them each and every day. We provide for them in every way they need and we are too often completely overlooked.
Postpartum, the pediatrician asks about your baby, the gynecologist asks about your baby, everyone is overly concerned with the baby—rightfully so—but, does anyone ask about you the mom? Does anyone genuinely ask if you’re ok? If you need food? When your last long hot shower was? When was the last activity you did without your baby velcroed to your body? Everyone is concerned about the baby because it is not able to care for itself, but is someone concerned for this mother who has completely lost herself in this new world, this new life?
In most cases, the answer no. Beyond the surface level niceties, there isn’t a deep probing of the mother’s mental health. This is why many mothers suffer silently with postpartum depression. Several of us feel guilty for our sense of feeling, we feel our truest feelings would be a burden to those around us. All of these reasons, and many others unique to each of us as mothers are why motherhood is one of the quickest roads in a spiritual awakening. Your entire way of thinking changes. Our body has changed, so much so, that some of us may not recognize the person looking back at us in the mirror.
All of this happens in silence, in the dark of night, in the laundry room alone. We suffer and why? People have children everyday, from day one we have been birthing children, so why is this road of motherhood so lonely? Still taboo even?
We worry & focus on being ‘good’, on being ‘perfect’, but it’s all crap that just further alienates is from those around us. These feelings are so hard to traverse through because of the insurmountable guilt we feel for even having these feelings. It’s a double-edged sword.
How can we change this?
This changes when we all use our voice to speak our truth, to truthfully convey to others how we are feeling, how overwhelmed we are by all that is happening around us—not only externally, but internally as well.
In my experience, these feelings spiral one of two ways, or a combination. We spiral into a deep depression that becomes hard to shake off. Or we use motherhood as a catalyst for the most expansive growth we have ever felt.
For myself, I felt the grip of depression for the first year and a half of my babe’s life, then I did everything I could to find a way to pull myself up and out of that dark place. No longer did I want each day to be filled with resentment, anger, lack of patience, and frustration.
In the beginning, my journey was with meditation because as a new mom you are limited in the places you can go watch your babe. Then, if you wait for when your partner is home, most of the yoga studios are closed. Your best bet is to wander mindlessly around Target, in hopes of feeling like a human being, connected to those other moms traversing the aisles next to you.
Because of these obstacles, we need to be mindful to carve time out for ourselves when our babe is napping. By being able to drop in for 15 minutes, you save yourself some sanity for later in the day. We never know what is going to happen moment by moment, but we CAN give ourselves 15 minutes to check in with our self and ask how you’re feeling, what you need at this moment, what would help us feel nourished right now? Everyone’s 15 minutes will look different—journaling, breathwork, yoga, meditation, dancing—depending on the tools in your toolbox. We aren’t guaranteed that someone will check in with us the way that we need, so it is up to us to hold ourselves for a time and to truly care for our SOUL.
You are not lost. You are growing and transforming into the mother. Welcome her. Care for her the way no one ever cared for you in your youth. Be that for your self, and for your inner child within you, at this moment now.
You are safe. You are held. You are supported. And above all, you are loved!