I was halfway to my parents’ this morning to celebrate my mother’s Mother’s Day when I suddenly remembered I had a baby in the back seat.
Double checking to see if it was mine (turns out it was), it dawned on me that this was my first Mother’s Day: this day was also for me!
With that realisation came an awareness that I’ve been through a lot over the last 7 (plus 9) months, and my first Mother’s Day provides a nice mental checkpoint to reflect on those experiences and insights with the hope that they might be of some comfort and humour for others.
Motherhood is a death and a rebirth
Motherhood, like the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, blows such strong desert winds at you that you can almost see bits of both your past self and idealised future self crumble and fall away. I guess it is the death of a loved one (your identity) and the end of a relationship (with the world as you knew it). If I sound a little dramatic it’s because it’s the aspect of motherhood I hadn’t anticipated. I thought it would be a swifter, softer and more glowing, honey-hued transition to madonna status.
Those first few months, the ‘fourth trimester’, is in many ways a fight against being burnt down to (allegedly) begin anew. The real burning of course is your nipples, being yanked so far back they look like stretched chewing gum, by a baby pissed off at your slow flow (my little one also then strummed the stretched skin like strings on a carcass double bass).