Redefining Motherhood

Ep. 37 - Five Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Became a Mama

October 21, 2022 Lynn Turcotte-Schuh Season 2 Episode 3
Redefining Motherhood
Ep. 37 - Five Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Became a Mama
Show Notes Transcript

The truth of matrescence, or the transition to motherhood, is that it's messy. It's overwhelming. It's a period of intense transition where you your mind, body and spirit feel out of control and you don't recognize the person in the mirror. You lose your confidence. You're caught between two worlds. You're stumbling to figure out who this new person is. What she likes. What she fears. What she needs. When you listen to your inner voice and go against the grain, you get Mom-Shamed and bullied...by other people going through the same thing you are. So when we say motherhood is hard. This is what we mean.

And it's also beautiful. Mixed in with the exhaustion, the ambivalence, the guilt are moments of pure elation. Gratitude. Inspiration. Awe as you watch your child grow. You are on separate journeys of discovery...but you get to do it together and that is an incredible gift.

So far all the Mamas out there who feel like they're failing. Who feel numb. Who feel burnt out and overwhelmed. Who feel alone. Who feel drained. Who feel deceived by society's narrative of motherhood, this episode is for you. These are the five things I wish I'd been told about motherhood before I began matrescence.

Mamaste, Lynn 

Connect with Lynn on instagram @HappyMamaWellness. Looking for more support with parenting and motherhood? Get your first month in the Happy Mama Wellness Community here!

Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:

adolescence is a period of intense transition physically, mentally, emotionally, your hormones are out of control your body's changing rapidly. When you look in the mirror, you don't even recognize the person looking back at you. Your confidence disintegrates, you try desperately to fit in, but aren't really even sure how you're kind of caught between two worlds childhood and adulthood. So you stumble through life for a bit trying to figure out who the heck you are. Your relationships change with your parents, your friends, yourself, you have no control over your emotions, you blow up at the stupidest, little things. Some nights you can't fall asleep. Other nights you sleep for 16 hours straight. When you try to be yourself, kind of forge your own path, you get bullied and shamed. When you try to go with the crowd and fit in your fire burned down and you just end up going through the motions. There is no amount of money in the world that would make me want to go through that experience again. Except I did and so did you. It's called mattress since the transition into motherhood. Before we become mothers, our society has us believing that motherhood is instinctual, right, that we'll know exactly what to do in each moment that will fall in love with our baby, the minute we lay eyes on them, that will find this rhythm we'll get back to our old self will integrate our new baby into our old lives with ease. And it's all false expectations. In reality, many new mamas don't fall instantly in love with their baby. Don't get me wrong, they love them, and they will do anything for them. But that intense connection can take time. By its very definition. Matra essence is the process of entering a new stage of life of growing into a new person. So somebody please tell me how it's possible to get back to our old self, when our old self no longer exists. Likewise, our old life no longer exists, right? Because we're, it's just changed, it's changed. And as far as having an instinct kick in, and knowing exactly what to do. That would be like expecting a child to instinctively know how to be an adult. It's just plain ridiculous. So the truth of matter essence is that it's messy. It's overwhelming. It's a period of intense transition, where your mind body and spirit feel out of control. And you don't recognize the person in the mirror. Sound familiar? You lose your confidence. You're caught between two worlds, you're stumbling to figure out who this new person is, what she likes, what she fears, what she means. And when you listen to your inner voice and go against the grain, you get Mom shamed and bullied by other people going through the same thing you are no less. So when we say motherhood is hard, this is what we mean. And it's also beautiful, mixed in with the exhaustion. The ambivalence, the guilt are moments of pure elation, gratitude, inspiration, ah, as you watch your child grow, you're on separate journeys of discovery, but you get to do it together. And that's a pretty incredible gift. So for all the mamas out there who feel like they're failing, who feel numb, who feel burnt out and overwhelmed, who feel alone, who feel drained, who feel deceived by society's narrative of motherhood, this episode is for you. These are the five things I wish someone had told me about motherhood before I began mattress and Hello, and welcome to redefining motherhood, the podcast for Mamapreneur xers who really love their kiddos but are overwhelmed and burnt out from the day to day of motherhood. I am Lynn Turcotte-Schuh. Mama mentor, founder of The Happy Mama Wellness community and your host. Redefining motherhood is all about letting go of society's expectations and digging deep to figure out what you want your motherhood experience to feel like and you're not doing it alone. My guests and I are here to inspire you, motivate you and help you be a truly happy mama All right. So here we go. The five things I wish I'd been told about motherhood. And before I began my transition into motherhood, number one, you don't matter anymore. Well, at least that's what you're made to think. When you're awaiting your baby, everyone dotes on you. They make sure you're eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, staying hydrated. From doctors to family and friends, they make sure you are supported and cared for then baby arrives and you become invisible. Your doctor doesn't speak to you until six weeks after birth. And if you're not a birth mother, you don't even have a doctor to check on you at all. When family and friends visit, they don't ask what you need, they go right to the baby. You go days without showering, you go days without sleep, you may even go days without eating properly, all your energy is focused on your baby. And the message is you don't matter anymore. But nothing could be further from the truth. You are a unique human being with just as much value and worth if not more, as you had before you became a mama, the world is a better place because you are in it. And when it comes to your baby, you are their world. You're there everything in their eyes, you're the most beautiful, amazing person in the entire universe. And that's how you should see yourself. I know I might get some flack for this. But I think you might matter even more now that you're a mama. Because now you are responsible for raising the next generation. And I can't think of any job that's more important or impactful. So even though the message is that you don't matter anymore, the truth that I wish someone had told me is that you really truly do. Number two, your heart is now walking around on the outside. I know this kind of sounds like lyrics from a country song. Ironically, they are lyrics from one of my original songs. But that's for another podcast. Before I became a mama, I had felt love and all of its forms or so I thought, right I had felt the love of my family and friends. Romantic love with my wife unconditional love from our pets. But Never had I experienced anything like the love I feel for my daughter. It's an indescribable, my heart is walking around outside my body and can break at any moment. Fully enveloping kind of love. It's an I would literally not just metaphorically trade my life for yours kind of love. It's an I want to keep you safe and protect you from all the bad things in the world kind of love. You spend so much brainpower trying to stay one step ahead to keep them from getting hurt. Until you realize that you can't keep them from getting hurt, then you spend a great amount of brainpower being prepared to make it all better when they do. It's not anxiety or fear. I have experienced both of those things. It's a sensation I had never experienced before. It literally feels like my heart. My lifeblood now exists outside my body. And I don't really have control over any of it. It's saying a few prayers while you watch them climb a tree hoping they don't fall out. It's a deep ache when they're inconsolably crying and you just want to take the pain away. It's a real spiritual and physical connection that I had no idea existed before I became a mama. And I wish someone had told me. Number three, the days are long. But the years are short, though this one you probably heard before. But you probably didn't hear it until you were already a mom. I wish I had known before I was a mom. I wish I had known that some days feel like they will never end because we are focusing on the doing. I wish someone had told me earlier that on those days where we're focused on the doing, if we just took a little timeout to focus on the being they wouldn't feel so hard. I wish someone had told me that as we approached each new stage of development, I would forget all the little details of the ones before. I wish someone would have forced me to get in the 5000 photos I was taking so that when I looked back on them 10 years later, I could remember the complete experience. I wish someone had tried to prepare me for the bitter sweetness of watching your child grow because the more Are they find themselves, the less they need you? I wish someone had said, I know it sounds cliche that the days are long and the years are short. So let me clarify. What we really should say is focus more on the being, and less on the doing because making memories is way more important than folding laundry. Number four, you will feel amazing and crappy within the same moment. Our brains are built on connections like connections at the microscopic level, it's really hard to grasp until you live it. But when you look at your life as a mom, there are numerous moments where happy neurons and sad neurons are firing at the same time, where contentment and boredom are firing at the same time, where frustration and gratitude are firing at the same time. It's super confusing and a little bit destabilizing from being honest. It makes you question your decisions and kind of doubt your intuition. It's like a happy tears situation on steroids. And I wish someone had told me that it was normal. So I didn't feel like something was wrong with me. I wish someone had told me that it was okay to love my kid more than I love myself and yet still not feel joyful about my day to day motherhood experience. I wish someone had told me it was okay to say out loud, that being a stay at home mom can feel isolating, to say out loud that I am tired. Know that I'm exhausted, to say out loud that I'm overwhelmed and burnt out to say out loud that some days I just need a break. And that I wouldn't change a thing. I wish someone had given me permission to feel all the fields. And I wish someone had told me that not loving my role as a mother did not mean that I don't love my kid. Number five, there is never enough time. There is never enough doing time and there's never enough being time. I wish someone had told me I would never get to the end of my to do list. According to a study conducted by Welch's in 2008. Teen motherhood is the equivalent of two and a half full time jobs are about 98 hours of doing every week. There's only 168 hours in a week. So that means out of every 24 hour period, there are 14 hours of doing and 10 hours for other things like I don't know, sleep. So no wonder we're so tired. I wish someone had given me permission to do a little then be a little on and off throughout the day. And not be such a slave to my to do list because there is also never enough time for being. Remember number four. The days are long, but the years are short. It feels like I blinked like literally blinked and 10 years have passed since I became a mama. I don't even know how that's possible. I could live three lifetimes being with my daughter and it still wouldn't feel like enough. I'm getting emotional thinking about it. I wish someone had said earlier, spend a little time living each day. Stop just going through the motions. Stop being a robot just trying to check things off the list. start engaging in your life and making memories every day. That's what I wish I'd been told from the beginning. And just to clarify, that doesn't mean like create a Pinterest list of activities for you to share with your kid. It means pick your head up out of the weeds and do something that lights you up that brings you joy that fills your cup and do it a little bit every day. Otherwise, what's the point of it all? I wish someone had told me in a no pressure, guilt and shame freeway that my daughter is only little for a short time and to really take advantage of that as much as possible. So there you have it. My top five things that I wish someone had told me before I came became a mom. Motherhood is hard. The transition into motherhood can be harder. If we look to society as our guide, we are setting ourselves up to fail. So instead look inside. Find other mamas that make you feel stronger, more confident, supported. Surround yourself with the truth tellers. Give yourself grace. Motherhood is hard. And we can do hard things but we can't Do them alone. So today I am telling you, those top five things I wish someone had told me before I became a mother. Today I am giving you the permission to have an authentic experience. Rather than twisting yourself into knots trying to be the mama you think you should me. Today I am giving you permission to speak your truth and start imagining what life would be like, if you loved your life and your motherhood experience as much as you love your kids. What would that look like? What would that feel like? Just start imagining. Until next time, mamas. I want to send lots of love and say Mama's Day, which means the mama in me sees and honors the mama in me. Hey, Mama, I know how valuable your time is. And I'm really honored that you spent some of it with me today. If you love this episode, and want even more tools, resources, inspiration and support, we have a community of mama printers that are working together to redefine motherhood by tackling mom guilt, overwhelmed burnout and more. Head on over to happy mama wellness.com forward slash community to join the movement. If you're feeling super inspired by today's episodes, I'd be so grateful if you took a moment to leave a review. Until next time, Namaste