Matrescence — What is it?
What happens to a woman’s psychological development when she becomes a mother?
Sociologists have used the term “matresence” to describe the transition into motherhood. Like adolescence, it is a transitionary period. Being pregnant is like going through puberty all over again: your hormones go nuts, your hair and skin don’t behave the way you’d like, and you develop a new relationship with a body that seems to have a mind of its own.
The difference? Everyone understands that adolescence is an awkward phase. But during matrescence, people expect you to be happy while you’re losing control over the way you look and feel.
While the transition to motherhood for some is easy and smooth, many other women experience emotional challenges as they adjust to life with baby. These include feelings of ambivalence; reconciling reality with fantasy; feeling like a “good enough mother”; and intergenerational pressures and expectations.
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