What is Matrescence?

What is Matrescence and How to Navigate It?

Do you feel like you're a completely different person since you became pregnant? You're not alone! Pregnancy changes your body, mind, and soul in ways that are both wonderful and terrifying.

In fact, we talked before about matrescence, which is defined as "the transformation into motherhood." This can be an amazing experience, but it can also be really overwhelming.

It sounds a lot like adolescence because...it is!  Hormone changes? Check! (As in check out that nasty pimple right on your forehead...) 

Feeling like you're in uncharted territory? You betcha!

Unknowns about the future? OMG, 100%

Feeling like you're leaving something behind? Absolutely. 

Pregnancy changes pretty much everything. I'm talking about your routine, relationships, social life, body, work, finances, sex life. That much change all at once can have you feeling pretty shaky and insecure. So, how can you keep things under control when everything is changing so rapidly?

Here's the good news. The fact that you feel this way does not mean that you do not love the little person growing inside you. It does not mean anything about the kind of mother you will be, or that you're doing anything wrong.

It simply means that transitions are hard. Change is hard. Adjusting to a new way of living is uncomfortable and disorienting.

Here's more good news: you don't have to do it alone! At Rumbly, we are here to acknowledge the good, bad and ugly of this process. With no-BS and no judgment, we are here for this whole journey, and every bump that comes up (pun intended, we couldn't resist) along the way.

So how do we navigate this new experience? Let's go through a process that is recommended by Alexandra Sacks, who is THE name and leading clinical expert on matrescence. (Seriously, check out her TED Talk - it blew our minds!)

First, name what is bothering you

Our society sometimes creates this illusion that being pregnant means being grateful for the privilege to bear life. That is A LOT of pressure and frankly, unrealistic.

So first, acknowledge and name the feeling that you are feeling. For example, "I'm frustrated that I can't do the things I used to".  This can take some time, especially if we have been conditioned to push our feelings aside. We may know we're upset but it may not be clear on the "why". 

Simply put, your life may be changing for good, and you cannot grieve that person and that life without acknowledging that there is a loss. So give yourself space and time to hear yourself think and really listen to how you're feeling.

Second, think about what it means for your life.

Why do we feel this way? How does it compare to the identity that you have come to know for a while now and are comfortable with?

For example, "I feel like I'm not as good a friend now because I am too tired for girl's night". Or "I'm not as productive at work because my mind is constantly elsewhere."

Think about how these feelings and changes are impacting all areas of your life right now.

Finally, consider what you CAN do.

Sometimes much of our anxiety comes from trying to change or control the things that we cannot. Sometimes, it's our minds fighting to hold on to something that simply no longer exists. For us, that was true during our matrescence. We couldn't be our pre-pregnancy self, because that woman didn't exist anymore, and our minds fought that reality.

We don't recommend that approach. Instead, think about what you CAN do.

For example, if late nights with the girls isn't practical anymore, think of how you CAN stay connected. Make a point that when you are together, you are fully present.

Find a constructive plan so that you're not fighting the change...you're changing so that the transition can work for you.

Trust me, the things that made you awesome are an indelible part of you - pregnancy or no pregnancy. At rumbly, we honour that transition. We acknowledge the woman you were, the pregnancy that is, and the mother you are becoming.

Join our community of women who are smashing the myths of being pregnant and trusting our instincts, the rumble inside, to guide your journey into motherhood.