The end of a motherhood chapter
I’ve been struggling for the last week or two about my current bottle of body wash coming to an end. It’s a weird thing to be struggling with I know. But what I’ve learned about grief and anxiety, is that the thing you’re fixated on is probably representative. In this case it certainly is.
Why a bottle of body wash?
When my almost 6 year old was a small baby I discovered a brand of body wash targeted at Moms & Kids. Advertised as created for the pregnant and new mom body, it felt like a way to nurture my body which I had been incredibly hard on up to that time. Also it smelled and felt amazing. I used it every day until January of this year.
My husband had his vasectomy in January and it was a clear full stop to our fertility journey. I felt it was time for me to stop being a pregnant and/or new mom, and so I bought regular body wash. At the time it wasn’t a big deal. It was clear that things were changing and I’d be ok with it.
Then my therapist let me know that she was emigrating. And my anxiety rose slightly. One benefit is that we have worked through some things faster than we might of had we not had a deadline.
Then the pandemic spread to the rest of the world and my anxiety rose more.
We acknowledged the anniversary of losing Baby Bryce in March. It was the week before South Africa went into lockdown and was a very badly timed week to need a personal day. It was also the same time I met my new therapist and my last session with the therapist who has been my rock through the last 7 years.
Lockdown has been both hard and fairly normal for our family. My kids are used to being at home. My business has carried on as normally pretty much. My husband has been working from home which is different, and sharing the space has been new and taken some getting used to and location shuffling. Overall the stress has mostly come from the outside world. So we are lucky! I appreciate that.
But the further I’ve moved into lockdown the more I’ve obsessed about this bottle of body wash coming to an end. I even spoke about it with my therapist this week (on our Zoom call – thanks lockdown). It was good to rationally discuss it. We came to the conclusion that it’s not only about moving out of this phase of new motherhood, but also about me changing my view of who I am as a mother. That my circles have changed dramatically and the close friendships I had in early motherhood are changing, and some are being left behind. It’s acknowledging that the things that have been important in my life for 6 years are starting to lose their focus. That my inner world is changing with my outer world.
My world is changing
So it’s sort of fitting that the bottle finished today. Mother’s Day 2020. A year of change and evolving. A year that will probably be marked in history as significant for most of the world. On a day that’s so important to me in general.
Motherhood has been such an all encompassing part of my life. All I ever wanted to be growing up was a mother. Yet making the decision to terminate my first pregnancy due to knowing I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be. Through turbulence and anxiety of multiple, unexplained miscarriages. Creating a support group for mothers experiencing what I’d been through. Through the pregnancy and birth of my first born rainbow baby boy. Experiencing another miscarriage, and then the birth of my much wanted precious rainbow baby girl. To the termination of a pregnancy that was very much wanted but wasn’t meant to be.
Supporting and connecting with mother’s has been so much a part of my life, and especially so since experiencing the losses I’ve had. From being an au pair, to supporting miscarriage moms, to running the KZN Cloth & Carry group and connecting with women over our love for cloth nappies, through starting my own VA business working with Work at Home Moms in particular, to starting the Baby Bryce Foundation to support women in all aspects of pregnancy issues.
The end of a motherhood phase
As much as this phase of motherhood is ending for me, and the significance of the bottle of body wash finishing today isn’t lost on me, I know that I will go on to provide support and encouragement to many more women and mothers. Whether through the foundation, support groups or my work.
Motherhood is such a significant part of my life, and acknowledging that it changes with the changes in myself, my kids and my world is so important for me. Today and every day.
Happy Mother’s Day 2020. To everyone who is a mother, who longs to be one, who has one, and who has loved and lost. Your motherhood is precious, no matter what form it takes.
Your motherhood is precious, no matter what form it takes.