Mourning the Old Me: Embracing the Transformative Journey of Motherhood
Becoming a mother is a profound and transformative journey that ushers in a sea of changes, challenges, and emotions. It's a journey that unfolds with unexpected twists and turns, impacting every facet of a woman's life. I'm a mum of two boys under 2 and weeks away from welcoming our third tiny human. Three babies in three years, safe to say I'm in the thick of motherhood. I’m constantly uncovering the layers of emotions, trying to understand the reasons behind this feeling, and navigating the stages of grief within motherhood. So let's embark on this empowering journey together.
Is it normal to mourn your old life when you have a baby?
Absolutely. The moment you become a mum, your world changes in ways you could never anticipate. The life you once knew undergoes a radical transformation. It's perfectly normal to yearn for the days of spontaneity, freedom, and independence that were synonymous with your old life. This feeling of mourning is a reflection of the profound changes you're navigating. Remember, it's okay to feel a sense of loss while simultaneously embracing the beauty of motherhood.
As you mourn the old you, it's important to recognise that this sentiment doesn't diminish your love for your baby or your newfound role. It's a part of the journey, a testament to the complexity of emotions that come with becoming a mother.
Why do I feel like I've lost myself after having a baby?
The transformation into motherhood is all-encompassing. The demands of caring for a newborn, the roller coaster of hormones, and the shift in priorities can leave you feeling like you've lost touch with your former self. It's a sentiment many mums grapple with. The reality is that you haven't lost yourself; you're evolving into a new version of yourself. The identity of "mum" is layered with responsibilities, emotions, and challenges that demand adjustments and sacrifices.
What are the stages of grief in motherhood?
The stages of grief within motherhood mirror the stages theory by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
- Denial: Initially, you might deny the extent of change that motherhood brings. You may attempt to seamlessly merge your old life with your new role.
- Anger: Feelings of frustration and anger can emerge as you juggle sleepless nights, changing dynamics, and the inability to control every aspect of your life.
- Bargaining: The urge to negotiate between your old self and new role arises. You might hope to find a balance that allows you to retain your former identity.
- Depression: The weight of change can lead to feelings of sadness and depression. Reach out for support and engage in open conversations about your emotions.
- Acceptance: Over time, acceptance settles in. You begin to appreciate the evolving version of yourself, understanding the qualities you've gained and the unique journey you're on.
Embracing the Empowering Evolution
Amidst the mourning and transformation, there's a profound empowerment that emerges. Embrace your qualities of empathy, patience, and intuition. Celebrate the endurance and positivity that thrive within you. These qualities, now heightened, are precisely what your baby needs. As you nurture your child, you're also nurturing these facets of yourself.
This journey of evolution is not about erasing your past; it's about enriching your present and shaping your future. Embrace the qualities that unite mothers—softness, endurance, love, and resilience. Release the pressure to be the same old you, and instead, celebrate the vibrant, multifaceted woman you're becoming.
For those seeking a tangible reminder of their strength and evolution, our Rochelle Bodysuit awaits. Designed for mums by mums, it's a symbol of the beauty that emerges from embracing change. Explore more empowering reads at our Journal to guide you through the unique journey of motherhood. Together, let's celebrate the old and welcome the new, for within this transformation lies the magic of motherhood.
Guest writer Aylah O'Neill