Eti Wade


Motherhood is often perceived as uncomplicated, joyous and fulfilling. Albeit, some sacrifices have to be made, career aspirations restricted but on the whole motherhood is thought of as a welcome transition in every woman's life. Popular and traditional representations of motherhood, young, attractive smiling women holding beautiful, healthy babies in nappy adverts or highly publicised and photoshopped images of WAGs and other celebrity mums in the popular media, which resonate with the archetypal 'Madonna and Child' religious iconographic paintings confirming fulfillment and comfort women supposedly derive from the maternal role.

What is omitted and obscured in these dominant forms are the realities of motherhood as experienced by most women, especially, and most intensely, with the first child. Becoming a mother affects an extreme and abrupt change in a woman's life, constituted of loss of identity, loss of financial independence, loss of personal space and time, loss of status and extreme restrictions of freedom in addition to the changes in the body; often irreparable scars and physical trauma. Going through these changes, learning to acccept what is lost and discovering the joys of the maternal role is a gradual process.