“I should know how to do this” – it's the catch cry of so many mamas as they navigate motherhood.
We have grown up with The Maternal Mandate – an assumption that because you are aa woman you should a) want to have a baby, b) find it easy and natural to become pregnant, birth naturally and breastfeed easily, and c) love every minute of it.
And it's something every single woman out there has had to contend with at some stage.
But if you also happen to have been trained in some form to support babies, mothers or children, this extra pressure of ‘should know how to do this' is amplified.
Midwives tell themselves birth will be easy;
Child educators and carers believe teaching and playing with their children will be natural;
Doctors and nurses go into it knowing the physical demands of motherhood, but never expect the personal transformation and questioning.
Welcome to matrescence! It's the same for all of us.
In this week's podcast episode, I speak with Edwina Sharrock – a mum of two, registered nurse and midwife, who was shocked and ashamed when she unexpectedly developed perinatal anxiety after the birth of her second child.
In this episode, we talk candidly about the level of ‘shoulds' professional women put on themselves when entering motherhood –
no matter what skills and training you have in your pre-baby life – and how our preparation for motherhood needs to be more honest, raw and real if we are to really prepare a woman for the transformation of birth and babies.