Mid-Life Mommy

Do You Need A Lift?

I remember fondly the days when I could carry my children in my arms. Nothing felt better than their little arms and legs hugging me, trusting me to hold them steady and keep them safe. And on those nights when they fell asleep in front of the television and I would gently scoop them up into my arms and carry them upstairs to their beds? They would rest limply in my arms, a secret smile on their lips because of course they were at least partially awake, but didn't want to admit it, just in case I would make them walk up on their own.

As they grew older and heavier, I got in the habit of giving them piggy-back rides up the stairs at night, with them groggily strangling me from behind. I always kept one hand free to grasp the railing, just in case one or both of us lost our balance, but we never did. It felt good to carry them even as they grew; it somehow boosted my confidence in my ability to lift them up in other ways. So long as I could carry them, they would never be left behind... physically, spiritually or metaphorically. They were safe.

My older son says that he knew he had crossed into young-adulthood when he started waking up on the family room couch as the sun came up, his mother long asleep in her own bed. And while we both laugh at this observation, for me it is bittersweet. I never really expected to carry him for his whole life, but I kind of wish I remembered that last trip up the stairs... wish I'd known at the time, this is it.

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To Live Younger, Parent Later

Would you like to look younger, feel younger, live younger? Midlife parenting means you have access to your very own fountain of youth: Your children!

My mother was forty-five years old when she gave birth to my sister Elizabeth – her tenth child. While I was polishing off my first year of college, my mother was dusting off the baby carriage. I will not be revealing a huge family secret to say, this baby was not exactly planned.

She was certainly welcomed, however, rather like a delightful little chocolate at the end of a long but satisfying meal. Surprising, and cute as a bonbon.

It was all very entertaining for our friends and neighbors. Even my college roommates were eager to make the trip home with me on weekends, to observe this wonder of nature. (The baby, I mean. Although, my mother was rather impressive in her own right.)

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Walking Away from It All... and Somehow, Finding Everything

  

Sometimes it takes a career change to find real purpose in your life... and sometimes your best career has nothing to do with a job.

   

My first job out of college was with a highly successful high tech company. It was huge. It was solid. It was a coup, to be offered employment with them.

   

I was a systems programmer, supporting the large mainframe computers that serviced corporate headquarters.

   

Yup.

 

The CEO and Chairman of the Board could not function without me.

    

Well, sort of.

   

At that time, in our company at least, systems programmers were like rock stars. Highly paid. Respected. Kind of famous.

   

In charge of BIG THINGS.

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Perimenopausal Anger, Part 1

 

Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry. – Lyman Abbott

 

 

My acupuncturist was giving me a bit of a lecture the other day.

 

We were talking about my gall bladder meridian, which he had determined was in need of some TLC. Apparently, Traditional Chinese Medicine associates the liver and gall bladder with the emotion of anger. He asked me where my anger was coming from.

 

Me, angry??

 

I don’t usually think of myself as an angry person. My glass is always at least half full. Life is good. 

 

I accept that I am responsible for my life and I gladly create my own prosperity. I don’t feel like I am plagued by enemies or cursed by fate.

 

My future is bright. I am blessed.

 

Still, it would be true to say that when I entered perimenopause I started experiencing angry outbursts that seemed to roll up from the soles of my feet and explode out the top of my head.

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The Ridiculous and the Sublime

 

Tales from the Bumpy Road to Consciousness

 

Warning: The following article contains descriptions of specific bodily functions that may be too explicit for some readers. Or maybe not.

 

I am trying to grow, really I am.

 

Each day, new learning opportunities present themselves. It might be a moment during meditation, when some new insight blooms into being and I am different than I was before.

 

It might be a moment of stillness, when I remember to stop and look at my child without judgment. And I see the Divine, right there in front of me. 

    

And I realize anew that God is all around me, and in me, and I only need to stop long enough to feel the grace. The absolute, amazing grace.

 

Of course, there are also many, many, many times when I can’t quite get there.

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Parenting from the Trenches: When Mommy Misbehaves

 

There is something about the intersection of peri-menopause and puberty that makes mid-life parenting extra special. On any given day, someone in the family unit is experiencing an explosion of hormones.

 

Some days, it is my eleven-year-old son.

 

Some days, it is forty-seven-year-old me.

 

Other days... you know where I’m going with this.

 

Today was a particularly “fun” example of what happens when we have a mother-son, head-on, hormonal collision.

 

Son (regarding evil younger brother): He’s lying! Why do you always believe him instead of me?

 

Mom: You have exactly one chance to tell me the truth now, or I will keep your cell phone for a whole week.

 

Son: Fine! I don’t know where my cell phone is anyway!

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How a Bubble Bath Saved Family Movie Night

My poor kids.  Some days, they just seem to get more than their fair share of life’s troubles.  Having a single mother in her forties is one of those troubles.

 

As happens periodically, I was having a case of the crankies last Friday.  I knew it, they knew it and none of us was happy about it.  Seriously, I tried to snap out of it but it just wasn’t happening.

 

My only saving grace is that, now that the boys are in middle school, they have commenced SEX EDUCATION.  Woohoo.  My oldest son can proudly list all the major symptoms of puberty.  My personal favorite is MOOD SWINGS.

 

The beauty of this is I am now able to explain that when grown-ups hit their forties – and this is especially true for women – they go through what I call a “second puberty.”

 

During this time, while we do not grow body hair in new places (I hope) and our voices do not change (except for those moments when I am yelling my head off and my voice goes up about three octaves), we do, once again, experience mood swings.

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