What type of Mum are you? by Sara Fernandes of Only Human Therapy
What type of Mum are you?
Sara Fernandes from Only Human Therapy reveals the common archetypes we often find ourselves trapped in and discusses the topic of Matrescence.
Hi, I’m Sara, a holistic and intuitive therapist specialising in Maternal Mental Health. I am also a Mum myself, so am continually adapting to and navigating the transitions we go through.
This isn’t about parenting styles as the title may suggest...it’s about how you cope and how you think as a Mum. I have recently found myself increasingly drawn to researching the different traits we embody and the labyrinth we find ourselves in.
When we become a Mum, we go through something called Matrescence which changes everything!
What is Matresence?
Matrescence is when you are reborn as a Mum. It is the process of becoming a Mum, so of course it begins before your baby is born. It refers to the psychological, physical and emotional changes you go through during this time.
It is often likened to Adolescence because it can be categorised by a humongous shift in hormones, causing overwhelming emotions. This is why we can both laugh and cry within the space of two minutes. This is why we don’t recognise our own body or self anymore. This is why we often feel out of control. Can you relate to this?
Matrescence is not a unique experience to some, it happens universally. Whether the individual is aware of it or not. What I find really interesting is that it actually changes our brain structure and neural pathways! When we become a Mum and go through this mid-life sort of puberty, we will never be the same again. Our grey matter (the part that is associated with memory), actually shrinks. Studies have shown that even after two years, this brain change remains!
Do you remember how soon after your labour that you felt guilt? Or maybe you questioned your ability to Mother? You let the self doubt creep in. My point is, you are not alone and this is a legit thing that we all go through that affects our entire existence. It’s not just a bit of ‘baby blues’ or ‘mummy brain’. Our brains have changed and do change, we can’t outrun that one I’m afraid. However we CAN learn to embrace it.
Our new and improved ‘mummy brain’ can actually do things it couldn’t previously. We have things like super-human hearing and an ability to create bespoke antibodies for our infants. We even have the ability to love more fiercely and empathise more deeply. How sophisticated is that?
So what are these archetypes?
I felt it was only fair to give you the background before I delved deeper into ‘types’ of Mums. This is where our personality traits really come into play and affect the way we think and behave in different areas of our lives.
After carrying out some questionnaires recently, I narrowed these down to 3 archetypes us Mums often identify with and relate to. The top runners were; The Worrier, The Perfectionist & The Juggler. If going through Matrescence and having a baby wasn’t enough, many of us continue to struggle with the challenges our role brings. Hence the slightly negative terms.
Feelings of overwhelm, concern, guilt and exhaustion around these areas were the most commonly recorded. This speaks volumes about how little we actually disclose about how we are feeling. We are very quick to portray an ideal version of our reality when inside we are crumbling.
So, I wonder which one you are? In all honesty I relate to all 3. I have definitely changed since becoming a Mum. Before having my little girl I was well and truly in the ‘Perfectionist’ or the ‘Worrier’ camp, whereas now I am also the ‘Juggler’.
I want you to take a moment to pause, breathe and sit quietly for a few minutes. Think about which one you relate to the most, if any. It’s totally fine if you don’t relate to any of these. There were and are loads more, these are just the top 3 from my personal study. This wasn’t a large scale study, merely some market research. It certainly got me thinking though…
I have taken this research and my findings as inspiration to create some new packages within my own therapy practice that fit these 3 styles. In addition to these, I also have packages suitable for ‘The New Mum’ and ‘The Expectant Mum’.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing don’t you think? Knowing what I now know, back then, would have helped me hugely in pregnancy and during those early months. That is why I dedicate my time and energy to studying and supporting other Mums through the transition. And let’s be honest, the transition never ends. Every step of the way there are new lessons to be learnt. New problems to solve that we’ve never solved before. New cycles we feel stuck in.
To find out which archetype best describes you, click here
Which type of Mum are you? One thing I know for sure is that you are the best one you can be. You put your heart and soul into it and your child/children love the socks off you. I know you are a good mum because you care!
To find out more about Sara or work with her, please check out the following link
Written by Sara Fernandes @onlyhumantherapy