This is some free writing I did this morning as I was preparing for an upcoming MotherMovement class.
Maternal Ambivilance is having conflicting or contradictory feelings about motherhood, mothering, and our children that exist at the same time.
And it is a major theme of matrescence.
It’s often a very taboo topic as mothers should just be grateful they have children and love everything about them and motherhood. Isn’t it such an amazing gift and privilege to be a mother?
“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” - Brene Brown
Ambivalence is a very normal and healthy part of motherhood.
Feeling resentment, frustration, at the same time as immense love and joy.
Even having hating moments is a normal part of motherhood.
There will be some parts of motherhood we love and some we hate. There will be some parts of our child we love and some we hate or are frustrated with.
Getting really real with this rather than suppressing and denying it can free up so much energy and vitality, and even open your heart wider to love more. It can make you a better mother.
Our feelings offer us important information, they are an internal compass. By denying the more challenging feelings about motherhood and our children , we can miss out on important information about our mothering and about ourselves.
They are also the way we adapt to stress. When we deny our feelings we can trap stress in our system which can often lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, and rage.
However, society’s views on the more challenging feelings of motherhood often leaves mothers feeling a lot of shame and guilt for the feelings they are having, often making them believe they are a bad mother.
Normalizing maternal ambivilance can help a mother see that what she is experiencing is normal and support her to talk about it and receive support.
It can support her to sit with and listen to her feelings, which can support her personal evolution, and even expand her capacity to love.
It can also help a mother to become a social changemaker in her own unique way as she starts to understand and have compassion for the roots of her feelings.
The work of motherhood is extremely hard, and especially in a culture of isolation and then nuclear family, where mothers and families don’t have the village support they need.
One of my most healing and freeing moments was admitting to myself how boring I found the baby stage. (I loved the newborn stage. ) Getting real with myself about my feelings helped me to have more love and compassion for myself and it also instigated important changes in how I was mothering.
It also helped me to see that I was hanging on to an ideal that didn’t work for me and ultimately led to me finding more joy in motherhood.
It might be counterintuitive but embracing maternal ambivalence rather than shunning it can actually lead to experiencing more joy and love in motherhood.
MotherMovement is a sharing circle, conscious dance class, and movement.
It's mothers supporting mothers to release stress, express repressed emotions, integrate the journey of becoming a mother, receive support, find deep nourishment though movement, and nurture community.
Join Conscious Dance facilitator Hope Corbin for these classes to explore themes related to Motherhood and Matrescence.
Classes are offered both in-person in Edmonton, AB and online.