Matresence  coined by Dana Raphael in 1973 refers to the process of becoming a mother and the physical, psychological and social changes that occur during this transformative period. Central to Matresence is identity change as we experience shifts in our sense of self, priorities and roles.

In my work as a Career Coach specialising in helping parents find career happiness and fulfilment, here are 5 of the most common shifts I’ve noticed:

  1. Shift in Priorities: from focusing on ourselves, we shift our focus to the wellbeing and needs of our child. This can result in a fundamental change in how we define success, fulfilment and purpose.
  2. Social identity: becoming a mother is a brand new role that we adopt– we may find ourselves redefining relationships with friends, family and colleagues as we transition into this new role in Society,
  3. Psychological Changes: we can experience profound psychological changes including a range of emotions from joy to anxiety and loss of identity. Accepting and processing this loss is a key part of Matresence.
  4. Re-evaluation of Values and Beliefs: we can be prompted to question and reassess the values and beliefs that have been driving our decisions and behaviour in the past. We may need to create a new value set and belief system that’s in alignment with our new identity.
  5. A new career: going through Matresence can lead to a desire to find a new fulfilling career that is in alignment with our new beliefs, values and definition of success.  If we choose, it can be a time of self reflection and enlightenment.

“In giving birth to our babies we may find we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves”

Jon and Myla Kabat Zinn

This article was written by Lucy Higgins, one of our partner coaches.  Lucy is a ICF accredited Career & Wellbeing Coach & Mum of two, with 20 years experience in Corporate Communications. She is passionate about helping unfulfilled Mums find work life happiness and harmony. You can get in touch via her profile page or book a free discovery call with her to find out more about coaching.