This Viral Tweet Drops a Reality Bomb About Pandemic Parenting
Most of us would admit that during pregnancy we had hectic thoughts in the middle of the night questioning our decision to become parents or wondering if we would still be the same person after motherhood. Those of us planning careers after giving birth may also have agonized over whether we would be as committed to our jobs too.
When singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer was pregnant, a fan voiced that concern for her, wondering if Palmer’s career would suffer after she became a mother. She feared that the artist would not be able to produce songs to the same standard. “If you have this baby,” she argued, “either he / she / it will suffer or your career will suffer.”
In her response in an open letter to Medium, Palmer expressed her own nervousness about her possible “loss of identity as an artist” when she becomes a mother. She wrote of concerns that had plagued her about having a child: “If I had children,” she mused, “would I become a boring, irrelevant, ignorant artist? Would I suddenly start writing songs about balance …? Would I become that annoying person who is so excited about their kid that it’s impossible to have a smart conversation about art with them because they’d rather show you iPhone photos of their kid drooling on a spoonful of carrot puree?
There’s no denying it: after giving birth, your priorities change. They change. Different issues have priority in different phases of your life. Living with a newborn is worlds away from childless living, and living with a teen is worlds away from living with a newborn. While your primary concern prior to having children was climbing the corporate ladder, your most pressing thought after giving birth may be how to do both – climb the ladder and be a dedicated parent – or even get off the ladder entirely. The person you were then is not who you are now.
Research tells us that many changes happen when we choose to have babies and that a mother is not the same person she was before children were born. Scientific American reported several years ago that almost all female mammals undergo “profound changes” during pregnancy and after birth, and that pregnancy and lactation hormones can alter the brain, “increasing the size of neurons in some regions and creating structural changes in others . ”
Other research has found that a combination of pregnancy hormones and the experience of pregnancy and childbirth improve our memory and learning skills.
Mothers who were asked if they felt changed all agreed. However, photographer and mother Carmen Visser believes Palmer’s fears are misguided and her priorities will change after becoming a mother: “During pregnancy, you have time to think and worry about losing your identity, but as soon as that Child is there, there is no time to worry about life because life is happening. Life with a child is rich – richer than the fear of losing one’s identity. ”
Ema, mother of three boys, agrees: “When I became a mother, I kind of lost the ‘I’. Of course we all need a little time to myself now and then, but I wouldn’t change anything. Now I am more than “me”. I am a mother.”
The teacher and mother of two, Shereen, says the biggest change she has seen since motherhood is “the emotional vulnerability you feel. I look at people who have lost children, “she says,” and there is such fear and knowledge that the pain of such loss is beyond anything I would ever want to experience. I also have a lot more empathy for others while having children, I think I was emotionally quite aloof. ”
Ema has also experienced this vulnerability since she became a mother: “I’ve watched the news or a documentary and seen children suffer. Although I was sad, there was also a breakup and an inability to understand exactly what these images represented as a whole. Now every kid on the news is my kid. Also, I used to be afraid of not being popular or of having enough money to buy all the nice things friends had or being able to have cool, exciting vacations. Now I’m afraid that I won’t be able to offer my children everything they need. I’m afraid I won’t be able to give them the best chances in life. “
Melany, mother of Eden, said she didn’t want to have children, but then her little one came along. “When I turned 38, my mom, sister, and I had a Christmas glass of wine talking about how great it would be if (my husband) and I were walking around. I threw away my pills, closed my eyes and didn’t look! A year and a half later, Eden arrived. “
“I don’t think the core of who I am has changed. I am still me I haven’t changed, but I’ve grown. My heart is bigger and it overflows with an unclouded, uncomplicated and pure love for Eden. It is regenerating to see the world through your eyes. We escape daily into fantasy worlds full of imaginary creatures. Life is better, more beautiful and more peaceful with my daughter in it. ”
Change for the better?
Palmer’s fans’ fears that she would change were certainly not unfounded. But will the change be for better or for worse? Will your artistic skills suffer as a result?
Poet and novelist Finuala Dowling believes Palmer has nothing to fear. She argues that motherhood led her to become a writer. “I found my writing ambitions only became clear when I became pregnant. I suddenly realized that I’d wasted a decade wishing I could be a writer but producing very little other than two failed novels and a few stories. In 1993 I sat down with a growing stomach and wrote an award-winning story with an almost overwhelming sense of time. Later, knowing that my daughter would wake up early, I woke up even earlier to write the chapters of my first novel. I think becoming a mother teaches you to use all the time you have. “
Researchers from the Netherlands recently demonstrated that fetal cells invade the mother’s body during pregnancy and spread there. Called “microchimerism”, it is the presence of cells “with a different genetic background” in your body. The researchers collected samples from 26 women who were pregnant with sons and found the presence of Y chromosomes in all of them.
This is solid evidence that after becoming a mother, you are not the same person. It is Palmer’s decision to become a “boring, irrelevant, ignorant artist” and someone incapable of having an intelligent conversation. The fact is, however, that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting will have changed them profoundly.
Change is difficult. Here are our favorite products that are supposed to relieve all those growing pains.
Belly Bandit Capri leggings with shock support
Designed for the multitasking mom, these maternity leggings will lift and support the tummy as your baby grows. Comfortable enough to endure the adventures of pregnancy and puerperium, but cute enough to be worn outside, these leggings make life almost as easy as you make it look. Change is inevitable, but your comfort (and style) is uncompromising.
Hatch Collection Mama Must-Haves Set
Take optimal care of your changing body. Equipped with a belly oil for hydration, down, girls to soothe and relieve swelling on the legs and feet, and a nipple and lip balm, this set is a must-have when going through all the movements of pregnancy and motherhood.
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