Taking Motherhood Seriously - TC Alumni Magazine

Ask most passersby the phases of life, and you’ll get the usual suspects: childhood, adolescence, adulthood. But matrescence? Not so much.  

That, says Aurélie Athan (Ph.D. ’10), is because the transition to motherhood — and its accompanying biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual complexities — is “the biggest story never told in academia.” 

Athan has helped put matrescence — a term coined by the late medical anthropologist Dana Raphael — front and center in the larger discourse and has created TC’s new curriculum in Reproductive & Maternal Well-being.

“The act of parenting changes you. In a world of competition, parenting sometimes teaches us collaboration. In a world of violence, we know our kids respond better to understanding. In a world of distraction, parenthood demands our presence.”