Friday, July 24

The Birth of a Mother

Women who become mothers find that it is often in the crucible of that experience, in what in so many ways seems a sacrifice of self, that she touches her deepest experience of the female self and wrestles with an angel that at once wounds and blesses her.
-Naomi Ruth Lowinsky


It has been 2 months since giving birth to a beautiful little girl. I have never known a love like this before. At the same time, I have never felt myself go through so many emotions and felt such doubt and confusion and exhaustion. This part of becoming a mother is never openly shared among women. We are taught that motherhood is something natural, and that the moment your baby passes through the birth canal is the moment you are suddenly a mother. Matrescence is a term coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael to describe the process of becoming a mother, compared to adolescence, the process of becoming an adult. According to Raphael, matrescence begins in earnest when a woman becomes pregnant, and continues until the day she realizes she feels like a mom -- steady on her feet after the roller coaster that is the months following childbirth. I have been journaling my experience and feelings up until now, but I decided to create this blog to open up a dialogue with other women going through the same thing.

1 comment:

d859f4b4-82ae-11e2-a086-000bcdcb5194 said...

Hi Caitlin,
I have to tell you that I came across your blog when I was googling the phrase matrescence. it's one my organization (the National Association of Mothers' Centers) has been using for many years- we learned it from Dana Raphael, who spoke at one of our early conferences. It's amazing that in all the years since then, the term hasn't really come to be used- in face the whole study of becoming a mother is still only just begun.
I just wanted you to know that I loved your blog posts - and absolutely the process of becoming a mother is wonderful, scary,overwhelming and even at times completely awesome - and I'm beginning to think the process is never-ending. I guess that's a good thing - it means we're always changing -it's just not always easy!