The Motherhood Upgrade
No one ever tells you how much you lose yourself when you become a mother and what is even worse, no one tells you what it feels like after you finally figure out who you might be after the first born, to only throw a second baby in the midst and you have to go through a whole new process of self discovery again.
As I write this paragraph, I am 9 weeks into the second journey and it scares me. It has been two and a half years since that first massive change in my entire life came into this world, whilst for the most part it has been enjoyable and a huge learning curve, some of it has just been pure shit. I have to say though, I am not writing this about my gorgeous little boy – this is about me and my journey through the beginning of motherhood. He was a trigger for some really enlightening self discovery, he gave me confidence to explore opportunities I had no idea were even on my radar and now with the second, waiting to open to the door for me to learn something else – I am scared at how much more I can change.
The story that I told myself all throughout my life was that I wasn’t a mother, I was too selfish for kids and I simply never included them as part of my life plan. A friend had her first at a mere 20 years old. I saw first hand how her life changed, opportunities she once had disappeared, and she had to put herself last for the next 18 years and then some, every single time.
She had so much potential to do something great with her life and whilst I am sure she doesn’t regret having these babies – I often wonder, what if her path took a very different turn, what would she be doing with her life. How bright would that inner light that I can sometimes see now – be shining?
The pathway that she took had a huge influence on me, it pushed me to focus on my career, having a partner was never a priority, in fact my ability to dismiss any emotional attachment to them was second to none. I wasn’t afraid of commitment, but I was afraid of falling down the rabbit hole of getting involved with the wrong guy and veering off the path I created, into one I desperately did not want.
I was so focused on not being like her, that I found myself judging her for not being like me. Why couldn’t she be more like me? I now realise – the motherhood upgrade, is exactly why she was never going to be like me.
During pregnancy your brain undergoes a huge transformation, it’s almost like your operating system gets a new “motherboard” quite literally. You are changing, mentally, physically and emotionally, to become more compassionate, feel more empathy and most importantly to communicate better with your baby and more often than not – that communication is through your instincts and gut feelings.
Your whole way of just being – changes. This is what happened between my friend and I – she changed and I couldn’t understand because, I was still operating on a very basic operating system. I just couldn’t understand the motherhood upgrade.
She made decisions, I didn’t agree with and put herself last to protect her kids and to give them everything they needed, even if she knew that it wasn’t going to be enough – but she was doing the best she could, for those kids.
I’ve been tough on her and I think I still am, because even though I have since had the motherhood upgrade to my system, I still find myself wondering – why can’t she be like me?
It dawned on me, that she never had the chance to and I don’t know if without my upgrade I would have ever developed the empathy and compassion that I feel for her now.
Motherhood is a tough gig, we all need to give each other a break, we are all walking different paths and going through different changes – but one thing remains the same, we are all operating from the same system that is allowing us to forgive, nurture and protect each other. It’s time to come together and create change to build up our mothers in the community – because we are all equal and we all need a helping hand from time to time.