Most of us would admit to having had frantic thoughts in the middle of the night while we were pregnant in which we questioned our choice to become parents, or wondered if we would still be the same person after becoming a mom. Those of us who were planning on pursuing careers after childbirth might also have been anxious about whether we would be engaged in our labor as well.
When the singer and songwriter Amanda palmer was pregnant, one fan voiced that concern for her, wondering if Palmer’s career would suffer after she became a mom. She was worried that the artist might not be able to produce songs of the same level. âWhen you have this baby,â she argued, âeither he / she will suffer or your career will sufferâ.
In his response via a open letter on Medium, Palmer expressed her own nervousness about her possible “loss of identity as an artist” when she became a mother. She wrote of the concerns that plagued her when she decided to have a child: “If I had children,” she reflected, “would I become a boring artist, out of my mind?” by the way, ignorable? Would I suddenly start writing balance songsâ¦? Would I become that annoying person who is so captivated by their child that it is impossible to have a smart conversation with them about art because they prefer to show you iPhone photos of their child drooling? a spoonful of mashed carrots? “
It is undeniable: after childbirth, your priorities change. You change. Different questions take priority at different stages of your life. Life with a new born is worlds away from life without children, and life with a teenager is worlds away from life with a newborn. While your main preoccupation before having children was how to climb the corporate ladder, your most pressing thought after giving birth might be how to do both – climb the ladder and be an involved parent – or even how to get off the ladder completely. . The person you were then is not the person you are now.
Research tells us that a lot of changes happen when we choose to have babies, and that a mother is not the same person she was before she had children. American scientist reported It has been a few years that almost all female mammals undergo “fundamental changes” during pregnancy and after birth and that pregnancy and lactation hormones can alter the brain, “increasing the size of neurons in certain areas and producing structural changes in others â.
Other research found that a combination of pregnancy hormones and the experience of pregnancy and childbirth improve our memory and learning abilities.
Mothers who were asked if they felt like they had changed all agreed that they had. Photographer and mum Carmen Visser, however, believes that Palmer’s fears are misdirected and her priorities will change after becoming a mom: âDuring pregnancy you have time to think and fear losing your identity, but once the child there, no time to worry about life, because life is happening. Life with a child is richer, richer than the fear of losing your own identity. ”
Ema, a mother of three boys, agrees: âWhen I became a mom, I kinda lost ‘me’. Obviously we all need a little time for me from time to time, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Now I am more than âmeâ. I am a mother. “
Teacher and mom of two, Shereen, says the biggest change she’s experienced since becoming a mom is âthe emotional vulnerability you feel. I look at people who have lost children, âshe said,â and there is such fear and knowledge that the pain of such loss is beyond anything I want to go through. I also have so much more empathy with other people, whereas before the kids I think I was quite emotionally detached. ”
Ema has also experienced this vulnerability since becoming a mother: âI used to watch the TV news or a documentary and see children in pain. Although I felt sadness, there was also a disconnection and an inability to understand exactly what these images represented as a whole. Now every child on the news is my child. Also, I was worried that I would not be popular, or that I would have enough money to buy all the nice things my friends had, or that I could have an exciting and cool vacation. Now my fear is that I will not be able to provide everything my children need. I’m afraid I won’t be able to give them the best possible chance in life. “
Melany, Eden’s mom, said she didn’t want to have children, but then her little one arrived. âWhen I was 38 my mom, sister and I chatted over a Christmas glass of wine how awesome it would be to have a combination of (my husband) and me running. I threw away my pills, closed my eyes and didn’t look! A year and a half later, Eden arrived. “
âI don’t think the core of who I am has changed. I am still me. I haven’t changed, but I’ve grown. My heart is bigger and it overflows with a spotless, simple and pure love for Eden. It’s refreshing to see the world through your eyes. We make daily escapes to fantastic worlds filled with imaginary creatures. Life is better, more beautiful and more peaceful with my daughter in it. ”
Change for the better?
The fears of Palmer fans about his change were certainly not unfounded. But will the change be for better or for worse? Will his capacity as an artist suffer?
Poet and novelist Finuala Dowling believes Palmer has nothing to fear. She maintains that motherhood inspired her to become a writer. âI discovered that my writing ambitions only gained clarity after I got pregnant. I suddenly realized that I had wasted a decade wishing I could be a writer but producing very little beyond two failed novels and a few stories. In 1993, I sat down with my belly growing and, with an almost overwhelming feeling that time was running out, I wrote an award-winning story. Later, knowing that my daughter was waking up early, I would wake up even earlier to write the chapters for what would become my first novel. I think being a mother teaches you how to use all the time you have available. “
Researchers from the Netherlands recently proven that during pregnancy, fetal cells enter and spread throughout the mother’s body. Called “microchimerism”, it is the presence of cells “with a different genetic makeup” in your body. The researchers collected samples from 26 pregnant women with sons and found the presence of Y chromosomes in each of them.
This is solid proof that after becoming a mom, you are no longer the same person. It’s Palmer’s choice if she becomes a “boring, irrelevant, ignorable artist” and someone who is incapable of having intelligent conversation. The inevitable fact, however, is that pregnancy, birth, and parenthood will have changed her profoundly.
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