Was first time motherhood surreal for you?
A number of the women I interviewed spoke of how surreal it was to be a mother in those early days of their first baby. I certainly remember feeling really strange being out with my new son and it was weird to be referred to as ‘Mummy’ by people.
In a way, we move from a place of just caring for ourselves and essentially still being the child in our own mother-child relationship (even if we are in our thirties), to becoming a mother to our own baby. This is a huge shift, not just in the things we do but also how we think about ourselves. This is how one mother put it.
I don’t feel any different you see. I still feel like he’s on loan and I’m not really his mum. It feels all a bit fake. It hasn’t really sunk in. I feel like I am too young to have a baby which is ridiculous because I am almost classed as an older mother
Our identity can take time to catch up with the new situation. Our sense of self is often something that does not adjust immediately. With time we grow into the new roles that we take on in life. I guess it is like starting a different career. We can feel a bit like an imposter to start with until we grow in confidence and really embody the role we have taken on. This is how another one of my mothers put it.
(It was) a bit surreal really. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever gone through. (Motherhood is) really pleasant. I’d say it’s a pleasant experience and one of the best things we have ever done, one of the hardest things as well.
Looking back at my research, I do not know if this happened for the majority of my mums because it was not a question I asked to each woman. Rather it was just something that was mentioned by some in course of the discussion.It can take time for our identity to adjust to the fact that we are a Mother Click To Tweet
I am left wondering how many women out there felt that way when they had their first baby or if, for some, being a mother felt completely natural from the start. There were certainly women that I interviewed who always knew that they were going to be mothers. For them it was about ‘when’ they would have children rather than ‘if’ they would. I am curious about wether those of us who feel destined to be mothers find that there is less of a shift in identity to be made or wether it is the same for most of us.
I would love to hear about your feelings. Did motherhood feel surreal to begin with? Or did it just feel natural? How was it being refereed to as a ‘Mummy’?
So what is next?
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