#180 – There’s No Going Back to Normal with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

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The Happy Mama Movement Podcast is back for 2022. And while many aspects of our lives are similar to last year, there are many parts which are still not quite the same.

This episode extends on the thoughts of the last two years, checking in to see if, you too, are holding your breath, waiting to feel normal again.

The transformation we have received, the grief we have endured, it has changed the conversations we have had, changed us forever.

I invite you to acknowledge our journey, together and how our new normals can be celebrated in small ways together.

Within this conversations we change the way mothers are valued and seen in our society and spread the whispers of Matrescence together.

Find out more and receive your Matrescence map here https://amytkb.wpengine.com/matrescence/


Welcome to the happy mama movement podcast. I'm Amy Taylor-Kabbaz. I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the aura nation on which this podcast is recorded as the traditional custodians of this land. And pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging. And as this podcast is dedicated to the wisdom and knowledge of motherhood, I would like to acknowledge the mothers of this land, the elders, their wisdom.

They're knowing and my own elders and teachers.

Hello, mama. Welcome to 2022.

How are you? I'm currently sitting on my bedroom floor. It is an absolute mess in my bedroom. Not something that I am happy with or comfortable with at all. And as I look around, I feel like this is how many of us have crashed landed into this year. And I am waiting for this sense of normalcy to return. I've been holding my breath for school to return here in Australia, after the long summer holidays, thinking once that happens, I'll feel normal again, I'll be able to get things back to normal. And then I think about all of last year and how often I was holding my breath for things to be normal again then too. And it never arrived. And it dawned on me that this is just like those early days of my matresence. This is just like the beginning of motherhood where you think that there will be a time and place in the future, perhaps a milestone, a moment where you will go back to who you used to be. And that is the part that we struggle with the most. This is the part where I have heard in women for so many years, this belief that they will somehow go back to who they used to be before the child arrived or before the children arrived.

And when they hear matresence this explanation of how they have changed forever, and they are forming this new sense of self all the tears flow, because they've realised that they have been holding their breath and waiting for this moment in time where it's all going to make sense and they'll feel like themselves again.

What we've been through over the last two years is enormous. I think we need to acknowledge that. This has been a birth of something new. We have changed. We're never going to be the same again as a world, as a collective and as individuals. We've been changed because of this pandemic and all of the events that have happened because of it. The isolation, the remote learning, the lockdowns, the fear, the separation in our community around vaccinations, the sense of being controlled by the government, by having our power taken away.

By also knowing in many ways that this was required and feeling so separate from each other. We now don't confidently plan holidays. Wondering am I actually going to be able to do that now? We don't plan birthday parties. We don't plan events. We hold our breath through Christmas, wondering, will this really be allowed to happen this time?

These things have changed us forever. Forever. And I feel at the moment that we're in this collective grief. we're in this collective realization that after two years of this, there is no going back to normal anymore. We have changed just as, after you have a baby. There are moments in the future after those early days, weeks and months pass where you have snippets of, oh yes, this is what life used to feel like.

But on the whole it's never the same on the whole. You are not the same. Your points of view have changed. How you feel about money, the economy, your job, your career has changed. How you feel about your relationship is different. How you feel about your girlfriends, your friends, your circle, your family, your relatives, the people at work, the people at the gym, all of those things have changed because you have been through this portal of transformation called matresence.

You have entered the portal of transformation. And when you come out the other side, you are not the same. I wonder, does it help us right now to think of this in similar ways with this two year pandemic.

It has changed everything. It's changed the way we look at our careers, it's changed the way we look at our workplace policies around work-life balance. It's changed the conversations we've had. It's changed how we feel about our friends perhaps. It's changed the conversations we have with our friends

sometimes. It's separated families. It's changed how we shop, how we dress, how we hug, how we greet each other. For a moment, just think about what that has done. And so, as I share in the process of grieving the changes of first, we have to sit with them and acknowledge that part of me is gone now. I have changed forever and there may be sadness there.

Sadness at what you lost sadness at the independence you had. Sadness at the freedom of travel, we've all lost. The carefree childhood we hoped our children would have. There's so much grief. There's so much worry about what this has done and who we are because of it. And that's okay.

But we can't keep holding our breath, waiting for things to be normal. We can't keep denying where we are. Thinking that it's going to go back when we do that, we're denying ourselves the grieving process so that we can come out the other side, understanding who we are. This isn't about spiritually bypassing our emotions and saying to ourselves, everything happens for a reason.

It'll be okay. No, we want to sit with this and acknowledge it. And then look at each other. And give each other some kindness and compassion for whatever you've had to do to get through these last two years. No judgment. We've all done the best we could. And no more waiting, no more holding off. In a conversation with a beautiful memorizing facilitator

recently, she was talking about trying to make her business work online. Fitting this square box into a round hole. she Wanted to somehow make this work because it was time it needed to start to work now. She'd been trying to make it work for so long and COVID and so many things were canceled.

And so, you know, I just have to accept that this is what is happening and I have to fit this in and I have to try and make it this way. And I have to, even though this isn't what I want to do, even though this isn't what I want to do. And so we just sat with that for a little while and let her be really angry and grieving about the fact that this is not the way I want to work.

I don't want to be online. I want to sit with women. I want to sit in circle with them. I want to see their faces. I want to get to know them. I don't want another zoom class, another zoom room. And so I just said to her, why are you doing that?

And it was because she hadn't let herself fully be in the moment of the grief she had felt about having to change what she was doing.

And I see this in mamas as well. This trying to go back to a job that used to fit before motherhood fitting herself into a role into a place that doesn't feel good anymore. Women, staying in friendships that have changed because of the experiences she's been through with motherhood and not feeling like she fits anymore, but forcing herself to fit back in.

I think the thing we have to do is acknowledge that it's changed us, who we used to be is not going to work. And instead of trying to pretend that that's not the case, We need to acknowledge that this is different now, we've changed. This is a new normal. Grieve it. Be really clear with it. Acknowledge how painful that can be and then say, so what do I want to do? If this is my new normal?

If this year is unclear, if we're still not sure when this will end or how this will feel instead of waiting and holding my breath. Or fitting myself back into something that doesn't feel good. What am I going to do? And in those places, that's when we get the answers and those places you discover that there's a plan B that it's okay to let that friend go.

That there's a conversation you can have with your boss.

So I hope at the start of this new season of the podcast for 2022, that these musings of mine that I have been doing on my bedroom floor over the last few weeks land, where they need to land for you. That you remember that this has been an incredibly hard time for so many of us. And it's changed us. No doubt, no doubt

we will emerge from this stronger, clearer, more resilient, and with such better boundaries around what we will and will not accept as parents, women, and mothers. And I hope in this moment, you can see how you have changed because of this. You can acknowledge and honor that. And then ask. So what does that mean?

What does that mean for me now?

Thank you for being a part of this conversation, mama, we changed the way mothers are valued and seen in our society and our world by bringing these conversations to light and spreading the whispers of matresence. And so I ask you to be a part of this movement now. Speak to others around you about matresence. About your experience of motherhood.

Let's bring it to light together. To find out more about my matresence.

Go to amytaylorkabbaz.com forward slashmatresence. And receive your free ebook the matresence map. So you can understand it even deeper. Thank you for being a part of this. Until next week. Satnam.

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I'm Amy.

I'm a matrescence activist - here to revolutionise the way you feel about yourself as a mama, and transform the way the world values and supports all mothers, everywhere.

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