I think about this a lot and would love to research about it more. We’re such a transactional society with little consideration for these ‘mother’ things.
For me there was definitely a difference before and after kids. Yet, we don’t plan for that - emotionally or practically, society assumes we need to continue as always, yet everything is different.
“Dr. Stern showed that becoming a mother is an identity shift, and one of the most significant physical and psychological changes a woman will ever experience.
The process of becoming a mother, which anthropologists call “matrescence,” has been largely unexplored in the medical community. Instead of focusing on the woman’s identity transition, more research is focused on how the baby turns out. But a woman’s story, in addition to how her psychology impacts her parenting, is important to examine, too. Of course, this transition is also significant for fathers and partners, but women who go through the hormonal changes of pregnancy may have a specific neurobiological experience.”
From The Birth of a Mother on NY Times.