Since I was a little girl, through adolescence and adulthood, I learned that life can flip over in the blink of an eye and that planning doesn’t always work. Sometimes one has to become something new and different in order to survive, to continue living in circumstances that are not always our choice.
Many people plan to become parents and many times it works out just fine but what if….?
What if the pregnancy was not planned? What if it is unwanted? What if it is a result of an extremely unpleasant event?
What if becoming a mother is just not what a woman envisioned it to be? What if it is a struggle?
In one of my baby massage classes I asked the moms to write on a piece of paper the first thing that came to their mind to describe them as a mom. They did not have to share if they didn’t want to, but it was a fun way to start a conversation. Only after the class, on one of the papers left behind did I see the word - SAD. I don’t know who wrote it but it made me sad and it made me think… Motherhood is not always this joyful, fun, sparkly, smiley event. Motherhood can be a challenge and it is OK because being a mom is hard, new, tiresome, demanding and yes - it can be sad.
This also made me think of a short quote from the book Loving Hands by Frederick Leboyer:
“… no one, after serious reflection, can really say that “life begins at birth.”
What is it, then, that does begin at the moment we are born?
What is it if not life?
Fear and the child are born together.”
The Birth of a Mother is the title of an article by Alexandra Sacks, M.D. published in the New York Times in May 2017.
(please click on its title to read).
This beautiful writing inspired me to think about motherhood and it’s challenges.
I also learned a new word - Matrescence, which means: The process of becoming a mother, coined by anthropologist Dana Rafael. If you ask me, once started, this process never ends.
Dear moms, I am humbled and privileged to be part of your journey, even if it is just for a few weeks. Witnessing your joys and struggles allows me to grow and learn so much about life - and for that I am eternally grateful.