NPR published an article on how to navigate Matrescence, and this coined term from the 70s made me reflect on my motherhood journey. Matrescence is the feeling of losing your identity. This loss is felt in various positions in your life, workplace, friend groups, and marriage—the moment you bring a baby home, your life changes. I was a happy pregnant woman, and my life changed instantly once the baby was out.
It’s important to understand that each pregnancy journey will be different. Also, we’re all uniquely designed and will experience postpartum in various ways.
As a mom who went through postpartum depression and anxiety, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Yes, the images are curated but also, if they were not, you wouldn’t even stop to glance at the content. If you read an article or a book with horrible grammar, you will toss the book. People will tell you to stay off Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest after having a baby because they are curated images. But I have found the opposite. It’s all in who you follow. Yes, there are curated images, but there are also genuine stories and real people sharing postpartum life, so you don’t feel so alone. I have found social media to feel better once I started following real stories and taking breaks away from my phone.
As someone who once had a private IG and Facebook, trust me, nothing is really “private” these days. Boundaries will be your friend after having a baby. They will protect your mental health. Create a village of support and rely on them. Your team will help you. Also, find a therapist or mom coach before the baby is born to help you navigate your new life.
Finding yourself again:
You will find yourself again; you will look in the mirror one day and realize that you are a better version of yourself. You are stronger and wiser. Motherhood is hard, but you’re not alone. Finding the new you and discovering your new body will take adjustment. I’ve learned to take my time and heal. I’ve learned to take my medication because it stabilizes my mood, I’ve learned to continue doing yoga because it’s what I love, and I’ve learned to rest and take naps without feeling guilty. You will get back to yourself, and I’m proud of you for taking the time to care for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Love the new version of yourself and give yourself grace.
Also, check out our family planning guide on our website.