Welcome to Unveiling Motherhood

Written by Lisa

Welcome to my first article in Unveiling Motherhood and thank you for being here with me. If any of these topics I’m going to discuss here resonate with you, my hope then is to that they will bring about hope, inspiration and possibly a new lense and perspective to see through, both as a woman and a mother.

So why am I now writing about this enormous topic?

Pregnancy has blown me wide open, it has started a both a personal evolution and internal revolution.

I was wondering, and still do a bit, if it might be better to wait till I’m through to the other side of this pregnancy to put some of this content out, however, sometimes live from the ground as things are happening is exactly where the information should be shared from.

I was not someone who always dreamed of having children. That’s the truth of it. I was a business owner for the last ten years. And even though we fully and consciously made the decision to embark on this journey I have to say, when I saw those two blue lines, I got a huge fright.

It felt like a door slammed shut behind me. The door to everything I once knew of my life, the one where I had full autonomy over my life and my decisions. And now, well what now? What is to become of me, being a mother in our current society.

What would that mean for me as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, friend, business owner?

Soon after our ‘big news’ dust settled I decided I needed to find out just exactly what that would mean for me, or as much of it as I could understand from where I was standing anyway.

And so, since December I’ve been on the ride of my life. Through my first and only pregnancy and our third lockdown in a global pandemic, I’ve searched high and low for these answers. I’ve encountered and spoken with amazing women and health professionals along my quest. I’ve embarked and am currently in the middle of doing a Sociology certification in the liberation of motherhood and I at 27 weeks pregnant I attended my first protest, for better maternity care for the women in our country. It’s been wild.

I’ve since come to know well the term Matrescence – the journey a woman goes through from pregnancy into motherhood…it’s an actual physical, emotional and physiological transformation…did you know that? I bloody didn’t, though to be honest I could feel it, unaware it was an actual thing though.

I’ve learnt what ‘The Pregnancy Bliss Myth’ is and how badly we need to change the existing narrative that all women simply bloom in pregnancy. Research shows it couldn’t be further from the truth for many women. It’s support and validation of each individual experience (good or bad) that’s needed.

I now have a deeper understanding of the, often huge, identity shift that occurs as women through Matrescence and into motherhood,  and how complex that is for women in our cultural society and the some of the varying reasons for this.

And I’ve learnt the terms ‘Intensive Mothering’ the ‘The Perfect Mother Myth’ – the patriarchal structure of motherhood, generationally handed down, that is embedded in our culture. The perfect mother myth talks about what it means to be a ‘good mother’ or ‘bad mother’ in our society today and how having an understanding around motherhood as the institution in which we all live in, can help individuals consider the most empowering way for them to mother, as an woman first.

And so I invite you along my journey with me and thank you for being here, as I unpack and unveil what it means to be a woman and a mother in our culture today. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences and hopefully we can walk together from exactly where we are. As a women’s coach I hope that what I’m learning now will further equip me to hold space for women from a broadened place of understanding and deeper compassion.

Lisa x

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Comparison is the thief of Motherhood

I’m 6 months in and I have NEVER compared myself to others as much as I have done in the last 6 months.

This person is flying it…. That person’s baby sleeps like a dream…. That girl over there has this nailed…..

Why is that?

I’ve learnt about motherhood from a sociological perspective but now I’m living it and holy shit balls. Learning about something and living it – two very different things. I obviously know that. But now I knoooow that.

Half the time I feel like what I suspect Alice must have felt like when she fell down that rabbit hole. However, if you follow that story through, she had a pretty wild adventure. And I relate to that too.

But so where the does all this comparison come from?

Dr. Sophie Brock, a sociologist in Motherhood Studies says “We have been conditioned to internalise the patriarchal, social and cultural beliefs around what it means to be a good mother.” The Perfect Mother Myth.

These beliefs are deeply, deeply ingrained in our society and are basically unhelpful rules we as mothers must adhere to in order to be considered, and consider ourselves, to be good mothers. This is big stuff.

Further to that she states “comparison can be a way to berate ourselves into being a better mother.” Ah. Clever.

‘It’s not necessarily the comparing thought that’s the issue, but rather the feeling of guilt and shame that follows’. – right. And no better way to ensure compliance. Guilt and shame are long used forms of social control.

Motherhood – it’s an extremely loud arena. And as new mum, who like us all is learning daily on the bounce, it has been harder to drown out the noise than I ever expected.

Okay, so what can we do about this comparison then?

First, we must recognise that we cannot resist what we cannot see.

So, grab a pen and paper and write down:

1. What do you currently believe you should be doing in order to consider yourself a good enough mum.
2. Challenge any thoughts that are creating shame or any feelings of not good enoughness. Where do those thoughts or images come from?
3. Could you then create your own image of what a happy, content and good enough mother is?

My intention for 2022 is rebuild what my own beliefs are around all this.

I don’t think it’ll happen overnight but what I wish for me as a new mum, and all the mums out there, is to mother my little love like no-ones watching.

Lisa xx

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