Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


2 Comments

Win Some. Lose Some.

A conversation between a preschool teacher and preschool students.

Win

Teacher is sitting on floor building blocks with children.

Mrs. M. How old are you?” – Boy Student

“I’m 51 years old.” – Teacher

“Oh.  Okay.” – Boy Student

“Why do you ask?  How old did you think I was?” – Teacher

“Same age as my mom.” – Boy Student

“Oh.  How old is your, Mom?” – Teacher

“She’s 33.  I thought you were younger than she was.” – Boy Student

Lose

Teacher sitting at table outdoors coloring with children.  Preschool student is looking at teacher’s photo on name badge.

“Mrs. M. Is that a picture of you?” – Girl Student

“Yes it is.” – Teacher

“Why doesn’t it look like you?” – Girl Student

“Well, maybe the photo has different lighting.  Don’t you think the photo looks like me?” – Teacher

“No.  You have a lot more wrinkles in real life.” – Girl Student


8 Comments

Signs of a Midlife Crisis

The other day when I wrote about middle-aged women ‘going wild’ a friend of mine sent me a website link.  The link was titled Signs of a Midlife Transformation, from the website Personal Tao, created bt Tao Master Casey Kochmer.

My blog is partly dedicated to my life as a mother and wife, but another important aspect of my blog is to discuss my midlife issues.  I have coined the term midlife something as the process I am in.  It is not a crisis, but it is something.  The article uses the term midlife transformation.  I like that definition as well.

I believe my midlife something began two years ago after a life changing event occurred.  Prior to the life event, I had been blissfully going about my life, not really thinking what would lie ahead when my children headed off to school.  However, afterwards I was completely changed.  The event shocked me to the core, making me question where my life was and where I wanted the next steps to go.  In the course of two years I have slowly been putting pieces back together, that were shattered.

Not everyone has a traumatic event that leads to midlife issues, but it was the case for me.  I realized the career I had prior to becoming a mother would no longer fit the person I am now.  I had originally planned to go right back into Early Childhood Education after the children went to school.  But now, the only career path I have ever known no longer seemed to fit.  Suddenly, I realized I did not have a clue what my next step would be.

My blog is my attempt to sort out what lies ahead for me.   Writing has transformed me not only to improve my skills as a writer, but to try something new and become successful at it.  The act of doing something I had never done before has been life changing.  I am still not sure what exactly I will do career wise, but I worry much less about it.

Today I would like to share with you some information from the article, Signs of a Midlife Transformation by Tao Master Casey Kochmer.

A Midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart.  Due to existing personal commitments, it often isn’t easy to self resolve the inner conflict a person’s feels. As a result many times a person in mid-life crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life. Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not really understanding why they are acting in the manner they are. This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable.

What interests me most about this statement, is that a midlife crisis is an attempt to find a life that is a better fit for a person’s heart.  I would have never predicted my ideas would have changed as for what type of career path I would take.  I now feel because I have changed, I must find a new path that will be suitable for my new views in life.  Some people deal with career issues, but others deal with personal ones such as no longer feeling the need to be married or changing religions.  Whatever the case, I realize people do change.  Identifying the changes as they happen or even before can prevent a full-blown crisis.

The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a mid-life crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes.  Again, taken from the article Signs of a Midlife Transformation.

Signs of a Midlife Crisis

  1. Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
  2. Desiring to quit a good job.
  3. Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
  4. Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
  5. Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
  6. It feels good to get hurt.
  7. Wanting to run away from everything.
  8. A desire to get into physical shape.
  9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
  10. Change in allergies.
  11. Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
  12. Exploring new musical tastes.
  13. Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
  14. Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
  15. Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
  16. Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
  17. Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
  18. Extreme changes to what you eat.
  19. Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
  20. Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
  21. A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
  22. Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
  23. Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
  24. Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
  25. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
  26. Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
  27. A desire to teach others or become a healer.
  28. Desiring a simple life.
  29. Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
  30. Playing again just to play!
  31. Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
  32. Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
  33. Recently experiencing something extremely stressful. Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness.
  34. Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
  35. Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”

In reviewing the list I have 19 of the listed symptoms.  That is a lot if you ask me.  However, I have known I was in the middle of my midlife something for some time so it is no surprise.  What is surprising is how many people younger than I do not think they will experience issues in midlife.  As you recall, I was blissfully going forward without much thought of what lied ahead then …boom.  Suddenly everything changed.  I was naïve to think my life would stay the same for the next 20 years.

My process of transformation has been difficult.  It has happened very slowly.  I am not the same person I was two years ago, but the core of me is the same.  I still have much work to do, but allow the changes to occur naturally.  I read, write and surround myself with people who are supportive of the changes I am going through.  I am fortunate I have the support I need, without judgements.  It makes the process easier.

I am on my way.  I am happier now with my life than I have been in a long time.  Have I come up with all the answers to what the second half of my life will bring?  No, but I am okay with that.

The answers will come.  And if they don’t, I guess I will have to come up with new questions.


11 Comments

Old Girls Go Wild

Last week,  a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook.   The article,  discussed how forty-year old women are “behaving like a bunch of crazy twentysomething hipsters”.  Fed up with the boring day-to-day routines of life they are shaking things up.  Women my age are going out and partying hard like they did in their college days.

If you had asked me if this type of behavior was occurring a few years ago, I would have laughed.  I did not know of anyone engaging in ‘wild’ forty year old behavior.  However, I am not laughing now.  Over the last couple of years I have seen more and more women my age, acting like my college buddy roommates.

Several years ago a friend told me she no longer wanted to be married.  After twenty years, she said she was tired of being the responsible one.  As primary breadwinner of the home, she also did most of the cooking, shopping and helping the kids with school work.  She figured if she were single, at least she would not have to care for her husband and would be able to have more time to herself.  Her husband would be forced to help care for the children more.

My friend did leave the marriage and went wild.  Suddenly, she began partying with other single women.  She changed her wardrobe from respectable to hoochy momma.  Instead of spending her free time volunteering at her children’s school, she went traveling with friends.  The change was dramatic.  At times I hardly recognized the gal I once used to have coffee with, as our children played in my backyard.

The behavior of today’s forty-year old woman is what one would expect from a man the same age going through a mid-life crisis.  I think women today also go through a similar ‘life questioning period’.   About the age of forty, men and women begin to wonder where their life is going and more importantly, “Is this all ?  Do I want to spend the next half of my life doing what I am doing now?”

The mid-life crisis is no longer reserved just for men.  Many women earn more money than their husbands, but they still do most of the work at home.   Over time, the responsibility is overwhelming.  Becoming reckless  is one way for women to relieve stress.  However, it is not just female heads of households who are going wild.  Nice full-time home moms are getting crazy too.

When the article posted on Facebook, several women commented how they did not believe the craziness was occurring.  If you have not witnesses women in their forties getting loose, you are most likely not in your forties or hang with a conservative crowd.    I know several women my age who no longer want the status quo.  They want more from life then endless hours of work, laundry and homework.

I used to be judgemental of older women who behaved irresponsibly, but that was before I turned forty and realized caring for a family is a lot of work.  As much as I love my kids, I often envy childless couples who do not worry about immunizations or college savings.  I think it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times caring for others and to want to escape.

Have I gone a little overboard at times, acting like a young gal in my twenties?  Yes I have.  And I can tell you it was a lot of fun.

However, when the fun was over I was happy to return back to my everyday life.  I love my family.  I like having someone to eat dinner with every night.  Even if it means I have to cook it.


4 Comments

Thank Goodness

Stretching

)

A conversation between two middle-aged women in a hip, downtown bar.

“Holy cow!  Did you see that girl’s outfit?  How can she even fit into that tiny dress?  What happened to leaving something to the imagination?” – Nate

“Cleavage and big butts are in.  The more you show them off, the better.” – Fran (fake name)

“Well, I have neither one of those things.  Thank goodness I snagged my husband in the 90’s when shoulder pads, bad perms and fun personalities were in.” – Nate


2 Comments

What Difference a Year Makes

New Year Sunrise

New Year's Day

Happy New Year.

My head hurts a little as I type. We celebrated the New Year with friends last night.  The new home did a great job as host for the fab party.  Way to go girl!

2011 was a great year.  I thought I would take a moment to share why last year was such an incredible one.

Last year began with a challenge.  The challenge was to get my out of date skills and education, back up to date.   In January, I signed up for a week-long training to become an infant/toddler education specialist.  The course taught how to educate professionals who care for infants and toddlers.  It was the first time I had been to any type of training for over 15 years.

Attending the training was difficult.  It required me to battle my insecurities.  Many times during the class I wanted to walk out.  I did not feel qualified.  I completed the course and wrote two 35 page papers.  Writing the papers was a difficult, but worth the effort when my certificate of completion arrived in the mail.

Completing the class made me realize I have things to offer.  Especially, to the world outside my family and home.  I felt proud of my accomplishment.

But completing the class did not answer the question I wanted to know, “What will be my next career?”  I have worked with children, including my own, for all of my adult life.  After the training, I began to question if working with children would be my future.  The uncertainty of what would be my next step led me to my personal statement, midlife something.  I am still in a midlife something It is not a crisis, but it’s something.

The rest of year was filled with highs and lows.  I started my blog last April.  Definitely a high.  Writing the blog has been hard, but also a wonderful joy.  I am amazed how much I like writing.  Very kind people urged me to create my blog.  Having my little space in the world has changed me.  I am more confident.  I take risks.  I have my dear blog to thank.

The low point of last year was when my friend was diagnosed with cancer.  He is currently fighting his battle against the disease.  His positive spirit has inspired me.  I have learned so much about, since his diagnoses.  Although his diagnoses is uncertain, I am grateful for how he taught me to enjoy each moment, every day.

The highlight of last year was the move from the little house to the new house.  Starting last March, we began the process to move to a new home.  We would not have made it without the love of my good friend Colleen and loving mother-in-law.  These two ladies believed the move would be a good thing. They were right.  Boxes are still in the garage and the baseboards may not be finished for months, but we made it.

I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions.  But this year I’ll try it.  My little son heads out to kindergarten in the fall.  I know you have heard me say this many times, but I hope to resolve what my next career choice will be.  If nothing else, I hope to find employment that leads me to answers for my midlife something

New beginnings are the best.   I am grateful for each opportunity that came my way last year and look forward to all the wonderful things in store for this year.

Have a wonderful year.  Talk to you soon my friends.