Finding a New Rhythm
I’ve never really liked the word “pregnant”. But it’s pretty much all we have (trust me, I searched for alternatives… the Spanish term “embarazada” is even worse.) Looking at the etymology the word means “with child” or “pre-birth”.
What if the term we used meant “becoming a mother”?
Of course ending up with a baby is the whole point. But I find so much of the support for pregnant women is about our physical bodies. And even the odd article about pre or post partum depression is I feel, missing the mark. This isn’t about mental health.
This is about becoming.
Our culture doesn’t support transition very well. And becoming a parent is one of the biggest transitions of all.
Who we are changes on such a deep and fundamental level. And I don’t think feminism likes that. The predominate cultural narrative is that we are to carry on, take a short maternity leave, and get on with things. There’s no time to slow down, to reflect, or approach this becoming with intention.
Women around me seem to be working and hustling and pushing to do-do-do their whole pregnancy. Because of my hypothyroidism I’m not physically capable of doing that, so I’ve been forced into a slower pace.
It may sound romantic, but it’s more like a train grinding to a sudden halt. Jarring, uncomfortable, and annoying for everyone on board.
I had envisioned releasing a full second season of the podcast, throwing a series of pottery, and reading every book by Maria Montessori before the baby’s arrival. But instead I am finding a new pace. Creating space to first care for myself and my baby and then seeing how to fit my work and my passions into the nooks and crannies that remain. It’s rebuilding my life from scratch. Like I said on IG,
This baby’s not even here yet, and is already teaching me so much.
I know there are more changes to come.
A lifetime of changes.
And as someone who isn’t very comfortable with change I’m learning to weave gentleness and and patience into my days.
My body is trying to prepare me by sending up warning flares… a migraine when I’ve sat at the computer too long, a stiff immobile back when I’m too active, and constant begging to sleep, eat, and rest.
This forced slowing means I’ve spent more and more time in reflection. Journaling and crafting as my thoughts stitch themselves together. Each little x of thread or loop of yarn is reshaping my sense of self.
I’m becoming someone new.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out. I have days of frustration and self judgement and I expect I always will.
But these past weeks I’ve had fewer migraines and more gratitude so I think I’m on the right track.
I’ve been feeling a sense of guilt and pressure surrounding the podcast and “failing” to keep it going at the pace I did last year. Instead of listening to that voice I sat down to write and this is what came from it.
This may be the first in a series on “Becoming a Mother”. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I know I have more to write about this.
I’ll just let it unfold and unravel as it wants instead of forcing it. (If you’d like to know when the next post is up you can sign up here.)
What transitions are you navigating?
I’d especially love to hear if you are a mother or mum-to-be. Parenthood seems to be one long journey of growing and changing. I’d love to cultivate a little corner of support for mums to feel a bit less alone in that. Do make a friend in comments below or over on IG.
Off for second breakfast.