We have a huge problem in our society.
And it is not that women need time and support to ‘recover’ from birth.
The problem is we have developed a culture of segregation:
- where babies and mothers are not immersed in the ‘every day’
- where children are sent off to school and adults to work
- where elderly are hidden away in ‘old peoples homes’
We have disconnected from the rhythm of nature, forgetting that we are subject to the turns of the seasons. We live and eat as if all stays the same, and as if all are the same. We have commodified ourselves and glorified competition.
The segregations within our society have led to a knowledge void. Separated from a mixed society, children learn in a mono-culture of carefully selected information. NONE of which explains a woman’s cycles, phases and abilities. NONE of which celebrates the feminine. The focus on HIStory and de-feminised anatomy, and pregnancy avoidance. There is NOTHING about pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding, newborn care or early development…because Mothering is the lowest rung on the ladder and school is about getting to the top. In this same vein there is nothing about fathering or responsibility. Care is not valued.
Our society is not structured around the family, but around the workplace. And never the twain shall meet.
A newly pregnant woman experiences this within a landscape of an overly medicalised and dehumanised approach to birth that leaves women injured, dissatisfied and even shell shocked. With no other women showing generations of wisdom and personal experience to guide her. No acknowledgement of the transition occurring, no celebration if its significance.
She must figure it out for herself.
Then we provide little or no partner leave, let alone maternity leave.
She must stumble along, figuring it out, coming to terms with it or embracing it.
Instead of being offered support, Mothers are bombarded with all manner of (expensive and unnecessary) devices, and sold the lie that Mothering will not change them. Should not change them. MUST NOT change them. They must return to pre-baby. This is as possible as expecting an eternal spring. And yet this impossible expectation is the goal.
No one warned her that she would change. So. Much.
It does not have to be this way
Instead of recovering from birth, Mothers can be honoured and supported as they transition into Becoming Mother.
This is called matrescence. It takes YEARS.
When we understand this transition, we can prepare for it and embrace it. On Our Terms.