The Benefits of Writing about Becoming a Mother | Pen and Parent
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writing about becoming a mother

The Benefits of Writing about Becoming a Mother

By Kara Wilson

Becoming a Mother is a big transition. Have you ever thought about writing about how you became a mother? This guest post by Kara Wilson may inspire you to do just that.

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As a mother to one child, I would struggle to find the time to write. Often it would happen after I’d put him to bed, and I would sit alone with my laptop in the quiet kitchen. A cheeky wine beside me, I would feel tired and relieved – it was finally my time. My time for respite, escape, and release.

Then I had another baby.

And only then I did I find out the true meaning of fatigue and stolen time. Only then did I discover the depth to which mommy guilt can reach. Only then did I develop an overwhelming sense of entrapment. There was no time for me, and no release.

Only then did I feel my fight-or-flight response regularly kick in - I felt an urge to pack my bags and fly to Paris alone. Of course those feelings were only on the bad days. On a great day, I was the luckiest person alive! I wanted to devote every ounce of my being to my children, and shower them with an endless abundance of love and affection.

But that’s what being a mom is like. Well, it is for me anyway. There are ups and downs. Moms aren’t robots; we’re not supposed to love every single moment of parenting.

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the day-to-day mundane tasks of being a mom, and get intensely overwhelmed by it all at times. But, be kind to yourself, mamas. You work really hard as a mom, which is why I propose that you do something different this Mother’s Day.

I’d like it to be a day to reflect and reminisce. You’re a writer, so let’s make this a writing exercise. If you’re like me and not highly emotional and sentimental, that’s okay — this just might put you in touch with that hidden side.

With your never-ending to do list, it’s easy to forget about your journey to becoming a mom, and no one knows your story like you do.

So, how about you write your story down to help you remember.

Yes sure, Mother’s Day is about being with your children, but it’s also about celebrating YOU. The mom. You have permission to make Mother’s Day a completely guilt-free day.

We’re going to go into the recesses of your possibly foggy and frenzied mind, and dig out some memories. You’ll need to be alone for this, so once the kids go to bed is an ideal time. Or, even better, ask someone to take the kids while you sit alone in bed with a cup of tea. Or champagne. Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

Sit back, get comfortable with your computer, or pen and paper, and unload your motherhood story. Either write it for yourself or in letters to your children. Perhaps even as a poem if you’re the creative type.

Here are a few prompts that should help with the process. This is my motherhood story.

Where it All Began

My story starts in the doctor’s office. Two months before that appointment, a large cyst was found on my left ovary, and an endocrinologist explained that it would need to be removed. I couldn’t say whether it was the idea of my first time in surgery that terrified me more or the prospect of cancer. Anyway, a follow-up scan a few weeks later revealed that the cyst had luckily dissolved on its own. It’s a cliché but it made me appreciate life in a new way after that.

I thought I was in the clear, but several weeks passed and the symptoms returned. The pain, the bloating, and the tiredness. I was distraught and terrified as I returned to the doctor’s office, expecting her to write me a referral for more scans. But, she didn’t. Instead she asked me to take a pregnancy test. There was no way I could be pregnant, I thought, but humoured her and took the test. It turns out there was a way!

To dart swiftly from feelings of terror, to shock, to relief, to denial, and finally to joy in a matter of moments was quite the experience I won’t forget in a hurry! The doctor, a mother herself, could surely see this all on my face. She then gave me the biggest hug, which was exactly what I needed. I was officially a part of the mommy tribe.

Growing a Mother

While each of my babies were growing inside me, I was already their mother. My instinct to protect and to take care of my own health while nurturing my baby’s development took over. My life and my body wasn’t my own anymore, and I couldn’t be happier about that.  

As I look down at my belly now and see that it’s forever changed, I can still visualise it being round and firm while it carried life. The first time I felt my baby kick and move around was both exciting and alien-like. I proudly displayed my bump, and secretly enjoyed the special treatment that people gave me. I have to admit that I loved being pregnant, although I found it harder the second time because I had another child to chase around.

Of course, it wasn’t all glowing skin and a beautiful blossoming bump. There were those delightful pregnancy hormones that would leave me either falling in a blubbering mess or racing off in an adolescent door-slamming rage. Then there was the tiredness, nausea, reflux, and insomnia. All sensations I’d sooner forget, but they’re undeniably important parts of my story.

Welcoming Motherhood

Although I was already his mother before I even met my first child, it didn’t become real until that moment I saw him and held him. His skin pressed against mine. Motherhood only became a truth for me then.

I was a mom: my most important responsibility and role in life I would ever have the honour of receiving. That overwhelming feeling of unconditional love I felt for my baby is what I want to hold onto when I’m having a crap day now. The utter euphoria and adoration mixed in with a touch of fear should be what keeps me going during those stages when it gets all-consuming. Like right now, while I’m deep in the four month sleep regression, and I wonder if I’ll ever sleep again!

Of course I realise that not everyone’s journey into motherhood is a positive or easy one, but this exercise can help you to reflect on what you overcame to become that special person in your child’s life. Writing down your story might be cathartic, or possibly even bring unhappy memories to the surface. Just know that you’re incredible - you’re not only a mom, but you have the special talent for writing. Keep up your writing and sharing your personal stories, because one day they will be your legacy. If you don’t write for anyone else, write from your kids.

One Line a Day

I’d like to get you to go one step further after this Mother’s Day. How about adding a small daily writing task as a little self-reminder of how special it is to be a mom. It’s called ‘One Line a Day’.

Get yourself a notebook (if you’re a notebook hoarder like me), or store the content in your mobile’s notes. Simply write a line a day about your children’s achievements, family events, your feelings as a mother, what you’re thankful for, what you want to do differently, what you love about your children. Anything you like and just one line. You can gift it to your children when they’re older, or keep it as a memento to read each Mother’s Day. It’s easy and doable for any busy mom.

Happy Mother’s Day, amazing mamas! I hope you enjoy your day of reflection and reminiscing. It’s your unique path that led you to be the mother you are right now. Don’t forget it.

Have you ever written about how you became a mom? Tell us about it in the comments.

Kara Wilson is a parenting writer, editor, and mama to two small children. Her educational background is in Psychology, and she has almost two decades of professional experience in early childhood. Aside from her family and writing, her other biggest loves are cooking, nutrition, travelling, and of course, reading! Check out more of her writing on her blog: Kara Wilson Writes.

If you were inspired by Kara’s idea,why not join our FREE WRITING CHALLENGE: Write 3K in 3 Days? We’ll send you inspirational emails with writing prompts every other day to help you get a bunch of words on the page.

You shouldn’t worry about grammar when you are getting down your first thoughts. But when the time comes, if you need a little help in that area, check out our Grammar Refresher Course for Bloggers.

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