The Primal Fears of Motherhood

The human condition is part of our journey. Our ability to recognize fear in our body, mind, and intuition is rooted in our DNA. Our ability to respond to fear is optional. Fears can show up wearing different masks but can generally be reduced to three primal fears. Which of the following show up for you?

Fear of not being loved (community and connectedness)

Also known as fear of rejection or being judged. Feeling connected is a primal need. Take other mammals and even our ancestors as an example; traveling together is safer. We are stronger together. We have more skills, strengths, and support when we belong to something greater. That is, when we can negotiate through conflict and disagreements. Fear in this area can surface when our sense of belonging is threatened. For mothers, this might show up as judgement from communities, family members, other mothers.

Fear of lack of purpose (profession and higher purpose)

Bringing life into the world illumines the primal sense of purpose in a whole light.  As mothers there is a new sense of responsibility when your little one depends on you for everything. Fear of not fulfilling your divine life’s purpose for new mothers can translate to fear of your professional identity on hold. Your higher purpose may shift during the transition into motherhood. In general, with transition brings fear of the unknown.

Fear of dying (baby is thriving, survival needs met)

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our most basic survival-based needs must be met in order to ascend to higher goals and aspirations. If we are concerned with where we live, eat, sleep, or if our safety is compromised we cannot act, speak, or think from a place of love. It’s stressful being an adult responsible for the needs of your children. The stress of sustaining life and providing clean, safe space might look different in modern day world than in primordial times.

So, what’s the antidote for fear?

Connect to the love you have for yourself and your baby.  Share your fears and bring them out of the shadows. Fear itself serves a purpose. It can teach us about ourselves and help us to grow. When we expose our deepest fears they no longer have the power to control our thoughts and actions. Use your tools. Whether it be meditation, yoga, dancing, breathing, singing, painting... The more we create with wild abandon, the less room fear has to occupy our subconscious.