The mummy midlife crisis
As I was sitting on the kitchen floor pulling the hair from around the hoover beater bar, it swept over me again….that sense of ‘is this what my life has come to?’. Job done, I proceeded to hoover up all the dried neon orange plasticine and bits of drinking straws off the kitchen floor, after the girls had finished ‘baking’ birthday cakes. Instead of feeling like a good mummy for getting creative with the kids and drawing them away from the iPad, I felt bored and empty.
This is the thing though, as parents, we are supposed to have purpose and feel fulfilled. I think I am going through some sort of mummy midlife crisis. I haven’t turned 40 yet….quite and it’s not a crisis in the traditional sense. I’m not about to take up skydiving, buy a motorbike or shave my hair off, but I’m definitely at a sort of personal hiatus.
It’s funny. All through life you are aiming for something- get your exams, get your licence, go to uni, get a job, fall in love, marry, find a house, have a family. I was lucky enough to do all of that and I certainly don’t take it for granted. I worked hard for it and none of it came easy. I worked through having 3 of my children and left my career when we moved back to the UK a month after number four was born. Now, with my youngest in nursery and starting school this year, I find myself asking ‘Is this it for me?’ It’s like someone stole the map or moved magnetic north. I don’t have my next personal target. I’m trickling along with the same mundanities of everyday life. Even my car’s onboard computer agrees- my average speed is just 19mph!
I love my family, but I need something for me. I’m not debating the whole working parent, stay at home thing. That’s a very personal choice or a need. I don’t think you can give the best of yourself as a parent and partner, unless you feel fulfilled, stimulated or useful in some other way. It happens to everyone with children, you become ‘mummy of….’ of ‘so and so’s mummy’. I don’t think it’s selfish to want to get a bit of ‘me’ back into the equation. I don’t feel as if I have left my personal mark on the world, or made enough of a difference in the bigger picture. We are told we should lead by example. How can you motivate and inspire, if you don’t feel motivated or inspired?
I still don’t have the answer and I don’t expect anyone can give it to me. That’s the catch 22 of the mummy midlife crisis. I have to figure out how to set my own targets and live my life in a new way. I’ve started to exercise regularly and am volunteering at my local nursery, whilst searching for the holy grail of mum jobs- school hours, term time only. Oh and I’m writing this blog.
In another 15 years when the kids have left home, my hormones go dolally and the real midlife crisis kicks in, I’ll be ready.