Matrescence - The process of becoming a Newborn Mother
Everyone knows that motherhood changes a woman. Yet we have lived for hundreds of years as if it doesn’t, as if we are waiting to return to ‘normal’ as if becoming a mother somehow makes us less than - and more recently as if we are an interchangeable ‘generic’ parent.
It’s time to bring both the conscious knowledge and the unconscious wisdom together. Time to connect the mind and the body and to understand how to build bridges or weave a web between mothers and others.
It is time to treasure the mothers and the children and to build villages around them - After all it might take two people to make a mother but it takes a village to raise a mother.
I have a vision that we have to find new ways to develop ourselves and our societies by bringing motherhood out of the closet after more than 2000 years and raise ‘the matriarch’ in order to birth a better world.
You might not have heard of Matrescence, but I bet you have heard of Adolescence
Every part of a child’s brain and body changes through the period of adolescence.
Before any sign of puberty is visible the child’s brain starts to pour out different levels of hormones, high levels of growth hormone initiate a growth spurt (bone growth and muscle growth), and then the sex hormones kick in and there are changes in fat storage, hair follicles, skin texture, body shape - every organ of the body is affected. It is only in recent years that we have learned how much the brain changes. A pruning process occurs where neural pathways are pruned, and pathways not used are removed (most of us recognise that if we are not learning languages in our young teenage years - the capacity to learn a new language easily is seriously diminished by the time we reach adulthood).
Adolescence continues from the onset of puberty until the early 20s. These changes to both body and thinking can cause many disturbances to emotional wellbeing. Communication can be difficult as language and interpreting the wishes and thoughts of people around us can be far more difficult than it is for younger children. Let this sink in for a moment before you start to see how a mother’s brain is different again.
As in Adolescence, every part of a woman’s brain and body changes throughout Matrescence. This change starts with the recognition that she is to become a ‘mum’ and continues into the first few years of motherhood.
We do not expect Adults to behave and think in the same way as children. We should not expect mothers to behave and think in the same way as they did as women.
Most Mums (and people around) them know that they now focus and care about different things.
They seem to ‘see’ things differently, find multitasking easier, have a greater ability to manage some challenges, feel driven to make some changes, and have heightened emotional intelligence.
It is worth noting that both Adolescence and Matrescence can bring up feelings of anxiety and low mood. Understanding and being supported through this process, improves the experience for teenagers and mothers. I have observed these changes both in birth mothers and in adoptive, step and foster mothers.
If you are interested in finding out more about Matrescence and how you might help or be helped through this process - please do contact me.