So much of pregnancy and mothering is about feeling many conflicting emotions, often all at once.
"I'm desperately needing a break from my toddler but know I'll miss him when I have a few minutes to myself."
"I really want to go into labor but am also feeling apprehensive about how having a baby will change my relationship with my partner."
"I'm feeling great about staying home with my daughter and also sad about missing out on connecting with colleagues."
And for many of us, the pandemic has intensified these diverse feelings. You've told us you are both more anxious and deeply grateful. Quick to anger and also great at finding the silver linings amidst the challenges.
As a list maker, I came up with this one:
More that just zoom yoga showed up on both lists in the longer version. Because we can have so many feelings about the same.exact.thing.
We'd love to hear from you this week - what are you REALLY sick of? What are you so GRATEFUL for?
We're in this together.
Mamas, this is a crazy week.
We're living moment to moment and taking deep breaths (when we remember). It's hard to be in the DC area, hard to know what to tell our kids, hard to not feel on the edge of our seats.
No one wants to be going through this. The stakes are so high. Our physical and mental health is on the line. Although we are by no means in the same boat, we are all in the same pandemic storm. We are all afraid. We all want safety for ourselves and our families. And yet completely opposite approaches to the situation are also being forged. Ones where empathy and care for ourselves and each other are not mutually exclusive.
Matrescense, or the process of becoming a mother, comes with a very particular set of growing pains. The physical pain of labor and recovery involves obvious discomfort, but truly there are so many growing pains that come with the larger scope of matrescense.
There are the pains of shifting friendships and relationships that pull at our heartstrings. There is the pain of not being able to go back to our old selves yet the uncertainty of which path to carve out for our new selves. There is the painful shock upon realizing that we are inherently and viscerally changed. There is the pain of distance from our children or the inevitable loss due to mortality.
The matrescence growing pains are real and vivid and yet, one thing is clear to me about them. Somewhere in the midst of the most intense pain, each one of us finds our voice and makes our way. Perhaps it’s even because of the intensity of the pain that we are able to find the clarity, the brightness or lucidity and it allows us to make the biggest and best decisions for ourselves and our babies.
When the stakes are high and the pain is intense, we tend to make those decisions with little reservation. I see this time and again at births: we know what is right for us and our babies in those heightened moments and we fight for it.
This has been a very hard week in what has been a very hard year. The pain is overwhelming. I see all of you, making decisions and fighting for what is best for you and your families in the midst of all the pain.
We will shoulder this pain together.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.