30/04

Family, Motherhood

Words from One Mother to Another : Ciara Ni Bhroin, Founder of Be You Coaching

Mama, you’re doing a fantastic job. Whether motherhood is everything you imagined

Mama, you’re doing a fantastic job. Whether motherhood is everything you imagined or nothing like you imagined it’s never plain sailing and some days are bloody hard. There’ll be laughs, there’ll be times when your heart feels like it’s going to burst with love. But there’ll be sad times, overwhelming times, times when you feel you can’t cope, and times when you’ll be so tired you can’t function. It’s all part of the package when little humans come into our lives.

I don’t like to say “if I can offer one piece of advice etc” because motherhood journeys are so unique to each mama that one piece of advice will definitely not suit all. But can I say be gentle with yourself. Go easy on yourself, because you are going through one of the biggest transitions of your life. A psychological, hormonal, emotional and physical transition. Your body will change, your outlook on life may change, your priorities may change and emotions you’ve never felt before might gush and disappear just as quick. 

When we become a mama we go through a massive transition. It’s called matrescence. We can all remember going through puberty and all the weird and wonderful things that came with it. That transition was called adolescence and also involved big hormonal changes and developmental shifts in our bodies and brains. Matrescence as a transition is still not in widespread use and you probably won’t hear your GP, midwife, or other care provider mention it. I didn’t and I gave birth only two years ago. I came across the term myself during a research project. The term was first coined in the early 70s by anthropologist Dana Raphael, who was also responsible for popularising the term ‘doula’. 

Menopause is the next big transition we’ll go through and that’s only recently just being given the recognition it deserves. Society is only just starting to listen to women’s experiences and only now are we beginning to feel that it’s ok to talk about menopause, it’s ok to seek help and to acknowledge woman’s experience in this transition.

So mama you are going through one of the biggest developmental shifts or transitions of your life. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Nothing you are feeling is wrong.

You may have planned your pregnancy, you may not have. You may have wanted to feel euphoric at becoming a mum and you might not feel that way right now. You might feel over the moon or you might feel anxious. And you could be feeling a range of other things too. These feelings and emotions are valid. Feel them, and go easy on yourself. If you think you are feeling down and that you can’t shift heavy or overwhelming thoughts/emotions/feelings please look for support. Talk to someone you trust, and seek professional help – even if you think you don’t need it. Please get help. You are under the care of the hospital you birthed with for 6 weeks. Ring them, speak to a midwife, speak to your public health nurse. They can put you in touch with mental health services. Talking to someone with expertise in this area will help you, I promise. And they want to help you. 

One of the things that helped me find my rhythm in motherhood was to trust myself. Everyone you meet is so willing to offer advice – do this, do that etc. You don’t have to listen to anyone, only ever do what feels right to you even if no one else is doing it. I found the piece of advice – ‘you should sleep when baby sleeps’ – very annoying. VERY ANNOYING. Yes it might be practical on the face of it and it is well meaning advice but really and truly for me I felt that putting a wash on doing some other quick chores that wouldn’t wake the baby served me better mentally. You’ll hear loads of people say ‘a messy home is a happy home’ or housework can wait etc. This is true for some people and for the people who can do that, that’s great. But if you’re like me and you can’t, that’s ok too. The only thing I would say is don’t do too much, don’t exhaust yourself. Little bits here and there is progress too. 

Your routine will change so often with babies and children and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with it when you have an expectation that a day might go a certain way but I learned to try and just go with it. It’s never linear and it’s never perfect and some days it’s really, really hard and our crankiness or anger might come to the fore and that is OK! In the hard moments I try to practise a bit of mindfulness. Mindfulness doesn’t mean a full on meditation, eyes closed by yourself. I mean taking deep, slow breaths, right down to your lower tummy. You could do this while feeding your little person, it can be done while driving (just don’t have your eyes closed). When we bring ourselves back to our breath, and really notice the breaths we are taking we come back to ourselves. We bring our focus to our breath and it takes our focus away from our thoughts. We come back into the moment a little more refreshed because we gave our brain a little break from thinking, planning, analysing and running on autopilot. Mindfulness just means noticing with intention where you are and what you are doing at any given moment. It allows you to be present. If you’d like to know more about this please feel free to get in touch. I will be running short mindfulness workshops soon on this topic that will give you practical and easy techniques that you can do on the move that will help you cope from minute to minute and day to day.

Another big feeling around becoming a mother is finding yourself again after baby is born. Your body doesn’t look the same as it did before baby, your style has changed to adapt to your very fast moving schedule (two years later I’m still wearing leggings and sweatshirts) and maybe some of your shoes no longer fit. Some women feel like they’ve completely lost who they were beforehand and this can really affect them. For others they aren’t bothered and some women feel like they haven’t lost themselves. Again all of this is valid. Whilst I know I went through a big transition after having my little boy (I gave up a job that meant the world to me and that I had allowed to define my identity for years) I really don’t feel like I have lost any part of myself. Becoming a mother allowed parts of me that I feel were always there to bloom. My inner essence and the inner essence of Ciara before baby is still my inner essence but there are more facets to it now. But it’s ok if my story is different to yours. And while you might feel completely lost and wonder when you will ever feel the same again, inside of you, you are still you. Some parts are just taking a backseat for a very short time while other parts do their job. You are still you and you will always be you, just adding to you, growing and learning as you go. So be gentle with yourself mama because you are doing a great job.

 

Ciara Ni Bhroin is Found of Be You Coaching, a personal and professional service for women. She helps women get what they want in life and help them thrive. Whether it’s a change in career, a change of routine, increased performance or productivity that you’re looking for or if you’re returning to work after a period of leave then coaching can support you through these changes and transitions.

The Family Edit & Co. 

We’re privileged to have so many wonderful Families, Businesses and Experts share their passion and knowledge on so many topics of Family Life.

From Day Trips to Supports, Activities to Books and lots more! 

Join our Mailing List

Related Articles

Family, Munster

10 Free Activities for Children to Enjoy in Cork City

Cork City, known as “The Rebel City,” offers a plethora of activities goto-post

Family, Home, Lifestyle

10 Fun Ideas for Outdoor Play That Kids Will Love

Outdoor play is not just a great way to keep kids entertained; goto-post

Family, Lifestyle, Munster

JFK Primary School wins International Rugby Experience Competition to Create a Podcast with Craig Casey

The International Rugby Experience is delighted to announce that the 5th class goto-post

Arts and Crafts, Family, Lifestyle

10 Fun and Easy Activities to Boost Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

As parents, we understand the importance of nurturing our children’s development in goto-post

Family, Motherhood, Pregnancy and Baby

The Power of Connection: Exploring the Benefits of Baby Classes for Infants and Parents

In the journey of parenthood, the early years of a child’s life goto-post

Family, Pregnancy and Baby

Mastering The Timing: Why Nap Schedules are Crucial For Your Baby’s Sleep Health

As a professional child sleep consultant drawing inspiration from the esteemed Dr. goto-post

Motherhood

Nurturing Your Body: A Guide to Positive Body Image During the Postpartum Period

Welcome to “Nurturing Your Body,” a short guide designed to support postpartum goto-post

Family, Motherhood, Pregnancy and Baby

The Role of Self-Care and Reflexology in Maternal Mental Health

As we embark on Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s crucial to goto-post

Thanks so much for signing up!

Sign up for our Family Newsletter

Receive exclusive content, seasonal activities and read about family favourite places to go & things to do.

Thanks so much for signing up!