When do we become mothers?
The term "matrescence" was coined in the 1970s by American anthropologist Dana Raphael.
Maturation is characterized by the "birth of a mother", i.e. the moment when a woman feels like becoming a mother. It is a delicate moment, which can provoke several emotions: sadness, doubt, depression due to hormonal changes, but also because of the psychological change that becomes a mother. It is a transitional period where many emotions are mixed, sometimes leading to doubts about the birth of the child and the desire for it. This can be a very difficult time. However, we would like to remind you that it is perfectly normal to have doubts and that this does not mean that you do not love your child.
It is also important to add that contrary to what you may read or hear, the love of your child is not immediate and may take time to manifest itself. There is no need to feel guilty. Motherhood is a stage in the life of young mothers, each one living it differently.
However, too often the emotions (sometimes more negative) that mothers feel during matrescence are put aside or not taken into account. The clichés and injunctions existing in our society around the ideal mother are numerous, so this can sometimes give way to postpartum depression. But motherhood is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Feeling at peace with yourself in your role as a mother can take time. Sometimes, too, some people will never feel a desire for motherhood or fatherhood, and that's okay. Having children is not a mandatory step in life.
This is what Anne Raynaud, psychiatrist, tells us. Founder and director of the Institutes of Parenthood in France (Bordeaux & Paris). She offers parenting programs, consultations for parents of young children and training for professionals, in order to respond to the specific problems of parenting and the construction of the attachment bond.
When Anne felt like a mother
"The desire for a child: so many inner questions
Being a parent seems to be quite an adventure...
Being a parent is "quite simply" the story of an encounter. An intimate encounter with oneself, through the eyes of my child, this being to whom I give life and who gives me the gift of discovering myself.
This idea, so far away from having a child, is starting to intensify in me, for some time. It's quite curious to describe, so obvious and at the same time, a bit strange. The questions keep coming and then they fade away. But what questions could possibly slow down this impulse, which I feel deep inside me: to desire a child?
Sometimes, the conditions seem to be right. My partner is there, very present in my life, I finally have the feeling of having a professional stability and it's just the right time. It is also the moment when we build our cozy nest, for this new family. Everything is happening at the same time, it's sometimes a bit much in my head, but what a joy to see our couple turn into a family and to see our love grow, through this desire for a child.
And then, for others, it's a bit of a surprise, or else, all the rational criteria don't seem to be present in my existence and yet, it's now, that I feel called to this great adventure.
To change my life, to give birth to a little being that we are going to make, that is going to prolong the intensity of our love and to transform our lives, is it really reasonable? It's true, I often feel inside me, like a fight between the irrepressible desire to give life and at the same time, all that it will transform. Changing my habits, not having the freedom to go out or to do sports when I want to, all the constraints inherent to the arrival of a little baby on my sleep for example, the material reorganization of our lives... But whatever, I feel ready.
It's normal to feel this desire tinged with hesitation. It's just that I feel deep inside that this commitment will change my life. It is therefore essential that I feel all these questions within me. It's not that I don't want this baby I'm dreaming of. It is just that, through these deep questions, I take the dimension of this great adventure. Sometimes, it is already inside me, when I feel indecisive and uncertain about continuing the pregnancy. I am angry at myself for thinking that I might not want this child. But these thoughts and doubts are not built against this baby, already inside me, but are a testimony to the feeling of responsibility that is beginning to settle in, now that this path to parenthood is taking place. It is, contrary to guilt, the emergence of an essential feeling of implication, with regard to this child to come. These questions are essential and it is fundamental to ask them consciously from the beginning. This is the signal that I am already beginning my preparation to become a parent. My baby can't blame me for asking myself if I feel ready to welcome him/her. On the contrary, it is a nice gift.
So I understand that wanting a child is a bit complex and ambivalent: between an irrepressible desire and a fear of not being able to do it. But still, what an experience and we will learn together..."
If you feel lost and need psychological support don't forget that health professionals are there to help you.
For all stages of your life, from pregnancy to postpartum, Elia accompanies you with a collection of menstrual panties that are delicate to your skin in the most sensitive moments.