It's All New
I never understood the appeal of “Mom’s Groups.” Maybe it’s just so far outside of my comfort zone to want to mingle with a bunch of strangers. That’s what I thought anyways. Until I actually became a mom and know first hand now that motherhood can be LONELY.
I’ve never heard anyone talk about it before so I guess I was maybe a bit naive. Of course, people only ever talk about the good that comes with being a new mom. And don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely incredible. I love being a mom more than I ever thought I would. There truly is no greater feeling than watching a part of you discover the world for the first time. It’s surreal. But aside from the joy that the little one brings, comes a flood of challenges.
The transition into becoming a mom is a new experience for every first timer. And along with that transformation, your confidence starts pretty low and slowly builds as you and your baby learn how to coincide - meeting each other's needs. But what I’ve learned so far is that it’s not just about being a “new mom” but rather about discovering the “new you” in every aspect of your life. It’s almost like as soon as your baby comes into this world, your brain takes all of it’s years of storage, everything it’s ever known, and dumps it into a giant pile right smack dab in the middle of your common neural pathway. So even the things you feel like you know, you don’t anymore. The neurons literally fire, hit the pile, and die off - until you can successfully re-clear a path for them to travel. Kind of a colossal shit storm you might say.
For me, the whole “mom” thing has been the easy part. I have an incredibly supportive husband that helps guide me when I need direction. And trust me, having a partner who sees parenting as a team dynamic really makes things flow smoothly. The hard part is all the other “new’s”. All the things he can't help me with. Like understanding this “new” body and how it works physically, internally, emotionally, and hormonally. It’s hard to be confident when you are still learning all the in’s and out’s. Or the “new” routine. You’re used to getting up, going to work, bringing home a paycheque, and being an active financial contributor to the family. Until you go on maternity leave and receive half as much as you normally do, forcing you to revamp your spending habits and in turn making you less of a contributor. Not to mention, you don’t get up and go to work. You don’t socialize with adults all day. That “work identity” that you worked so hard to build up is just gone. And I know it’s temporary, but it’s still an area that normally you could turn to to gain some reassurance. I mean if you don’t have anything else under control, at least you’re good at your job - or at least that’s how it used to be. How about the “new” relationships you have with your friends. Or the lack there of. It’s almost as if having a baby turns you into some sort of sci-fi creature. Everyone is over the moon supportive at the beginning and then it’s as if they vanish off the face of the earth. I’m sure they think, “Oh she’s busy. She’s got her hands full with that new baby.” It’s as if they don’t know how to be your friend anymore. They don’t want to “intrude” or add stress. And I get it. I’ve been on that side of the fence before. But all you really need are your friends. You need them to put MORE effort in, so you can be comfortable with at least that one area of your life. You need them to treat you the same, so that you can restructure who you are. Because it hasn’t changed. It’s just buried in the pile sitting in the middle of your brain.
And so I get it now. The whole “Mom’s Group” thing. They aren't just for talking about babies and gaining confidence as a mom. They are about putting a group of people together whose brains are all misconfigured, and supporting each other in the “rebuilding” process. And even though it’s still outside of my introverted comfort zone, maybe I'll get there one day. At least now I understand it and am envious of those that are brave enough to go.
To end it off, I leave you with this genius quote I found online the other day, “Maybe the journey isn’t about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything you thought you were, so you can become the person you were meant to be in the first place.” I think this is what motherhood is truly about. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
- Mama Bird
Thumbnail Photo taken by Ashley Toon of First Glance Studios