As I have been feeling all the feels around not being a mother, I realised that I had only focussed on the beautiful aspects of motherhood that I wrote about in my blog “The Pain Felt Around Being Childless. I had romanticised it all and not thought about the side of motherhood we don’t share.
 
 

But there is a whole side of motherhood we don’t see or talk about

In this blog, I want to acknowledge the side I didn’t and don’t see. Only heard about it but couldn’t connect with it. That I can’t share with you and talk about. I went into denial and hid my head in the sand, so to speak. I didn’t want to know. So my view of motherhood was totally skewiff.
 
  • the change in your body as you go through pregnancy
  • potential weight gain
  • health issues that could be experienced
  • the discomfort as you get bigger
  • unable to sleep and turn over in bed
  • clothes to fit, swollen ankles, skin breakouts
  • pain in childbirth
  • a whole new level of responsibility of a being
  • anxiety and fear about getting it right, will you know what to do
  • taking them home for the first time
  • not understanding what they want
  • getting to know what the cries are all about
  • is it serious or normal
  • being pooped all over, changing smelly nappies
  • being wee’d on and vomited all over
  • constantly being attentive to where they are
  • your life is no longer yours
  • takes ages to get out the door thinking of all the things you need to take with you
  • cracked and painful nipples
  • body coming back to ‘normal’
  • falling ill – can be scary
  • sitting up with them all night when they are unwell

A comment by a mother in response

Here are some comments mothers on the other side of motherhood made in response when I posted this on Facebook:

There is such sleep deprivation. What about never experiencing a natural childbirth that you had so desired and will never know due to complications?

A direct quotes in a mother’s own words: ‘There is often a marginal connection between being ready to be pregnant AND actually being prepared for being a mother/parent. I found it quite a shock with my eldest in particular. So much unknown, often conflicted advice and reactions of family, while meaning well saying the most unhelpful moronic things; partners not always rising to the ideal occasion; comparing to how other women are managing across the board. Sleep deprivation, nutritional deprivation, often lack of adequate guidance and support from family and professionals alike.

Healing from vaginal surgery, tears, haemorrhoids (I cried on the loo every time I had to poo for the first 6 months I think, simply because no one told me I could be helped and I didn’t know better to ask for it), difficulties with breastfeeding, the baby having attachment issue, tongue problems, sucking patterns etc. Being severely ill with breast thrush that felt like sharp hot knives stabbed every time through your breast when the baby fed but you had to push through because only the baby could ultimately make you feel better and drain the breast’.

Another woman’s share

‘And I know parents who burst into guilty tears because there are lots of days they wish their kids with ‘difficult behaviours’ would just disappear. Their own self worth a mess because parenting is so overwhelming.

There are parents, esp single parents who are tortured on how to keep roofs over heads and food on the table consumed by fear of failing their kids. When you can’t afford singlets or socks in winter, or to replace worn-out shoes or lost school jumpers – that feeling – yikes. I interviewed so many singe mums years ago and the number that we’re struggling and had contemplated suicide? 😞 And yet it was always their kids that stopped them.
 
 
One mum, I spoke to yesterday in full fear of losing her daughter due to some mysterious eye infections that are unknown and won’t go away. Who tries not to break down crying over the weekend until her daughters back at school but then can’t function at work because she finally cracks. The emotional toll of raising kids is soul-crushing at times. You love them so much it’s painful.
Neither is better or worse but having no choice in the matter can be the most painful part.
 
 
I had 2 x c sections which my specialist team decided on without me. And no matter the horror birth stories I hear I still grieve not having the freedom to choose or not choose that experience. Never knowing what my body could have been capable of. If I expand that to actually not having children vs just a delivery option – I can’t imagine that pain either.’
 
There is so much more to this, I know. I will stop here as the blog will get too long.
 

I sit here with so much love and reverence, humbleness, and honour for all you beautiful mothers
as I own this side of motherhood that I had chosen to overlook and never had to experience.

To support you with feelings of loneliness and disconnection, I have created a workbook “Being Yourself – 5 steps going from loneliness to connection where I take you through a gentle and loving process that helped me.

 
 

Love to hear any of yours. Here or in private as a FB live, as a recorded conversation or in a therapy session. It is so powerful and freeing. I would love you to be part of my vision to weave a tapestry of stories globally – a broader vision of what is in my bio: I love connecting the threads of women’s life supporting them to create their own beautiful and unique tapestry from what has brought them to where they are now to where they want to be.

 
It initially started off for women without children. But it is now becoming all women. Because we all have a story. Each one of us. Each word. Sentence. Story adds to the colour, texture, energy and vibration of the tapestry. It is being carried by the wings and energy of each woman who shares her story. Whether that be in person, in public, in a session or with each other.
It is giving us a sense of belonging. Value. Worthiness. We are touching each other’s lives with each thread that is being woven into this divine piece of art. I can feel our ancestors as well as our future generations in this adding their unspoken stories as they all leave a thread.
 
If you feel called to share some of your stories, click here to book a 15-minute clarity call. It will be held in confidence unless you give me permission to share.
 
Love you to share this with anyone you think would benefit from reading this. This is written for all women as I believe so many of us are needing to connect with their experiences in this busy and time-poor world. And leave a comment with your thoughts as there is always more we can learn from each other.
 

meet chantal

Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive psychotherapist and Reiki master who appreciates walking alongside women willing to take the courageous steps to dare to love themselves after a life-changing experience, specialising in women with unplanned childlessness coming to a place of freedom knowing they are creating their lives in their own way. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au

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