Let’s go back in time a little bit, back to when you had your first child. Everyone called you and your baby ‘new’: a new mother with her new baby. And it’s true, you were new! You were experiencing being a mother for the very first time. And each day that came was an exciting adventure where you were continuously learning something you hadn’t known before.
So when did people stop calling us ‘new’? Was it a certain day? A certain stage that our children reached where, all of a sudden, we had this whole motherhood thing down? Maybe it was when we could change diapers with no hassle or feed our babies without second-guessing ourselves? I mean, I certainly don’t think that’s a fitting threshold. There hasn’t been a day that’s passed where I feel like I’ve understood exactly how to be a mother. We are not ‘new’ only this one time.
When you have your first child, life is turned upside down. Every day is a wake-up call. As life moves forward and each day changes, we experience daily intricacies in our lives that mold our entire lives and the lives of our children. And from these experiences, we grow. Perhaps certain things get easier to do, but with each new learning, we are changing our motherhood journey and becoming new all over again.
Welcoming a subsequent child is certainly another example of a different state of motherhood and parenting. Our roles as mothers change, our partners’ roles change, and our children’s roles within the family change. We all evolve together and are reborn multiple times, yet no one calls us ‘new’ anymore. If we take the meaning of new as ‘not existing before’, then it’s simple to see how each momentous occasion or experience would render us reborn.
As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being put to the test. We are cleverly learning entirely different ways to mother our children. From homeschooling to schedule-making, to juggling our work (and our sanity) from home (please tell me you’re staying home!) at the same time, we’re navigating unfamiliar times and growing as people in unprecedented ways. Wouldn’t you agree that this is completely new? How are we to adapt to our surroundings without learning helpful skills to work our way through new situations?
Change is a constant, that much we can count on, and so is our rebirth in our roles as mothers. We are new today, different than yesterday; growing with each second and changing with each experience. There’s so much beauty in all of this newness. I hope you’re embracing it.
Words by Melissa Curman
Photographed by Sharon Schuster
Muse. Kristine Boel