“Not all of my friendships have survived the transition into motherhood, which is unfortunate, but enough new people have come in that it doesn’t feel like a loss. It feels like an enrichment.”
Becoming a parent changes to your identity, and the way you relate to other people, in fundamental ways. In this episode, I talk to two of my friends about their experiences with childbirth and new motherhood, which, although it’s perhaps the most conventional of the many different ways of becoming a parent, brings challenges that still aren’t talked about much.
Beth wasn’t sure she really even liked kids, and she was afraid of becoming the kind of boring mom who “doesn’t get the Simpsons.” Allysun was looking forward to motherhood, confident she’d just carry on as usual with her baby tucked under her arm. When they had babies, both of them—in different ways—found the experience harder and more enriching than they could have imagined. They talk about the vital importance of friendships with other new moms; how different the social expectations still are for moms vs. dads; how those of us who don’t have kids can be supportive and stay connected, and how much it means to them when we make the effort.
Beth Martin has just completed a PhD in English literature and is currently working in research at the University of Toronto. She’s also a co-host of It’s Just a Show, another Megaphonic podcast. She has a four-year-old daughter.
Allysun Welburn is an elementary school teacher in Wakefield, Quebec. She has three daughters aged 10, 7, and 5 months. And she is currently obsessed with embroidery.
The CBC story I mention is a segment of the radio series Out in the Open: “‘It’s not something we talk about…but it’s a real issue’: The isolation of new motherhood”.
The New York Times story, “Motherhood in the Age of Fear”.