I’ve been having a hard time lately.
I’ve been a little snippy and irritable with E, Z and myself. I’ve been eating way too much junk and resisting my every best attempt to get back to working out more regularly.
I’m still doing my usual self-care routines to take care of myself. I’ve also been talking things out with my counselor. Yet something has still been bothering me under the surface.
Things feel harder than they should. And it’s not about my job, since I’ve got pretty much the most amazing work life of my career right now, and that’s all going great.
It’s definitely not about Covid, since that’s getting better for the most part in Ohio, too.
No, it’s something else – something that’s been nagging at me just out of reach. Something like a shadow I can see out of the corner of my eye, but then when I turn my head… it’s gone.
It wasn’t until I read this article, about how difficult it is to be the mother of a tween, that I realized this might be what’s been bothering me. Motherhood is rough right now. Is this a midlife crisis?!
Being a midlife mama to a tween or teen means that your baby is growing up and needs you less – or they still need you, but they resist and resent it. Even if they occasionally admit they need you still, and in new or perplexing ways, it’s not necessarily in ways that we can actually help. Middle school is a time when they must sort some things out for themselves.
Right now, kiddo and I have so much closeness and together time, which I love – yet also I don’t have answers or solutions to so many of the age-appropriate peer issues and personal struggles Xage is dealing with. It all weighs down on me and makes me feel depleted and useless. I feel my child’s pain acutely and it crushes me not being able to take it all away.
I do all the reading I can about teen parenting, seek out advice and counsel from counselors and wise friends, and listen and learn as much as I can from Xage themself. I do my best to provide support; friendship and fun when needed; and above all loving firm boundaries around things like screen time, physical and mental hygiene, and making sure we eat fresh fruits and veggies, get outside in nature and move our bodies.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m missing my hubby at the moment. E has been working on a big car project for many months – his biggest ever. When you combine his extremely demanding job and this long car project, we simply haven’t seen much of him this year, apart from our wonderful week out west. I miss spending time with my hubby (outside of the garage) desperately. He knows this. The end is in sight – his goal is to finish the Miata this month.
Once it’s ready, of course, he’ll be off showing and racing it – but that still won’t be as time-consuming as rebuilding it has been! I am really looking forward to more family outings and date nights.
On a positive note, we have a lot of fun stuff coming up this summer. Dive team and a week at wildlife camp for Xage. Family visits from E’s dad and my parents, as well as my bro and SIL and nieces. I’m especially thrilled to see our Cali crew as it has been a very L-O-N-G time apart. Too long!
We also have super exciting family news… we are bringing home a sweet little puppy in late June. I’ll write more about her I’m sure, but for now, all you need to know is her name is Lamborghini and she’s coming to us from our beloved Autumn’s breeder so we know she’ll be perfect.
I guess this was all a very long build-up to the news that I’m going to be centering this blog more around being a midlife mama: a mom in midlife who is parenting a child in the messy midpoint between babyhood and grown-up life. It seems to be my new sweet spot, so I’m rolling with it. There may even be a re-naming and re-branding of the blog to match.
Oh, I just remembered one more big event happening this summer: like many Gen X’ers, I’ll get to experience my first routine colonoscopy. Oh, joy – see, there we go full circle back to midlife again. But you know me… if it ends up being good content, I’ll most likely blog about it!
What are your thoughts on being a midlife mama? Do you struggle with this phase of motherhood, too? And do you relate to the phrase personally, or do you feel like it sounds too old? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or over on Facebook.