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Transitions of Motherhood

There are many aspects of motherhood that I never really considered before I had my children, and there was probably very good reason for that. In my pre-children world, motherhood was a static way of being and I was destined to be “Mum” –washer of dirty clothes, changer of nappies and provider of food that nobody would eat. The thought that, as time passed, my role and indeed my entire life would be constantly evolving, never crossed my mind.

Yet here we are, beginning another September – a time of glorious seasonal transitions from the long hot days of the summer to the reds, golds and oranges of autumn. A time of back to school and back to focusing on my ever changing work, whilst trying to transition myself back into slightly more organised mum mode.

This year, however, the changes afoot are exceptionally significant, as my eldest baby starts secondary school and my youngest baby begins primary school – and before you ask, no, I didn’t think this through at all! Although both boys are completely fine with this process of change, it has hit me like a tonne of Duplo, that once again I am transitioning into a whole new world of motherhood.

For the past eleven years, my primary role has been ‘mother of young children’, it’s been toddler groups, sleepless nights, trips to the zoo, ear infections and snotty noses. I’ve been working on an ad-hoc basis, because my days were full of nap times, snack times and the needs of my children.

On Monday my little world of motherhood will suddenly evolve into a life I don’t recognise. I will be the mum who says “all of my children are at school”. I‘ll be able to focus on

my work without anyone needing me, I may even clean the house more often, but let’s not get carried away. Yet in the back of my mind there is also fear and anxiety.

I am scared. In fact, I am beyond scared, I am terrified.

One of the other things about motherhood that nobody tells you, is that you will forever more be worried about everything!

Today’s anxieties include:

My eldest (autistic) son having to get the bus on his own to a new school, which is a million times bigger than his primary school. What if he gets lost? What if he gets bullied? What if? What if? What If?

What if my youngest son misses me? (He won’t!) What if he gets in trouble? What if he tells his classmates “My mummy’s got a beard?” (He will!)

Then there’s my daughter – she’s going into Year 2 with a new teacher…

My mind is blown and in all honesty I have been fighting panic attacks and severe anxiety all week. The fear of the unknown has got to me and it’s tearing me limb from limb.

However, the sensible me, the one who has survived all of the transitions of motherhood so far, she knows that the only way to get over this is to take each day as it comes and to deal with each challenge as it arrives… or doesn’t arrive. One of the other wonders of motherhood is that your imagination can create catastrophic scenarios from the smallest of situations, it’s a talent we all have. So I have concluded that transitions in motherhood are a necessary, but difficult, part of life, and each phase sees us reborn into a new and alien world.

It’s much like child birth, that first transition into motherhood – you know it’s going

to hurt and it will require every ounce of your emotional and physical energy to make that change, but you also know that the rewards are great and that one day you will forget the pain, the tears, the belief that you can’t go on, the stitches and the difficulties and you will look at your child in awe.

For all you mums who are experiencing another transition in your role as ‘mother’ I send you love and support – and maybe a clean hanky to wipe away your tears. It will be alright. We are strong and we have got this.

This post was first published on on 1st September 2019

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