Matrescence is a word/ concept used to describe the monumental physical, emotional, hormonal and social shift experienced when you become a mother.

Patrescence is also a concept beginning to be discussed as the non-birthing parents/ partners also experience a shift as well.

For both, it’s a time of upheaval and just like in adolescence, it can leave you feeling lost, uncertain in your identity and uncomfortable in a body you once knew well.

Hear our podcast guests describe their experience of Matrescence

The great news is, while these growing pains may be uncomfortable, they are a part of a process of becoming and the unsettled times pass and clarity and confidence returns.

Sometimes, this process can be interrupted or made more challenging because society has planted this idea that we need to ‘bounce back’ after giving birth, or sends us on a quest to a mystical time when we ‘get our life back’.

But the truth is, matrescence is not about getting your old life back, it’s about stripping away layers to make room for you to grow and move into the next stage of your life journey. There is no way back. And it’s really important that you know that so you also have space to grieve your old pre-child life, the old pre-child you, the old pre-child ‘us’ you may have had if you’re doing this time with a partner.

It is a normal part of this time to feel sad and miss all what was and at times, wish you could go back there. It’s okay to feel some resentment for what you might feel like you have lost when it’s so raw and real at first.

There’d be very few out there who have been through this transition and not had moments of ‘who on earth am I?!?’ and wondering if you will ever be ‘you’ again.

It can be a really hard time to navigate and it’s not just you feeling like it is.

But you will make it through. You will find your feet again, you will find ways to weave your core self through your new, even more complexly layered version of you.

I’ve heard people liken this experience to metamorphosis, the stages of becoming a caterpillar- butterfly experience where it is the same being throughout the whole process but new and evolving with each stage of its life cycle and each one shifting and changing its view of the world. I also love the idea that in order for it to make its transition, the butterfly needed to hide away and wrap up safe and tight a while until it is ready to bring its beautiful self out into the world.

Wherever you are in your experience of matrescence, please hold tight. Hide away if you feel you need to a little and retreat to where ever you feel warm, secure and loved by safe and supportive people in your life until you are feeling ready to face the world again.

Give yourself time, grace and space to grow.

You’re doing brilliantly x

For more on Matrescence, be sure to check out the incredible Dr Sophie Brock’s work. She’s a unique gem who helps you break down all of the layers of motherhood as we know and experience it.

Listen to or read Dr Sophie Brock's story


Precious image: Vida Images