I am not quite sure how it happened because time does seem to pass pretty quickly but I am midlife. Infact, at 45, I am probably past midlife now and it is an odd place to be – comfortable but unsettling in equal measure.
As a feisty, 45 year old woman who has pretty much lived life on her terms, I have confidence and attitude I am proud of but this comes with, what can sometimes be, disabling mental health issues and my body is currently in peri-menopausal bluegh with depleted energy, self doubt and unsteady hormones. In short, I am a fucking joy!
Add to the mix two teenagers and it’s a wonder my husband doesn’t work away more. My eldest child is about to turn 16, she has just left school and she has thrown the typical teenage crap at us, which has provided us with a rollercoaster of challenges. However, the biggest challenge for me is that my kids are growing up, they are all about their friends and not so much about us anymore. While I know this is normal, healthy and the right thing, I feel a bit left out and a bit lost – I’m just the person left doing the washing and cooking the food that no one eats.
We have still have memories to make but I am left feeling so grateful for the slow days together in their early childhood – for all the cuddles and giggles and silliness; for the mess; for the fun; for when they have clung to me. I desperately miss those days with my kids but I am slowly adapting to life with my older children, who are either not here or they are rather serious.
Of course they still need me, just not in the intense way of younger children. My children gave purpose and meaning to my life and I have focused on them for 16 years, now I find myself with more time but rather than enjoy this freedom I have been missing them, waiting around for them and pondering on whether I have been a good parent and focusing that guilt of being a working mother and on those moments where I have shouted and not been as patient as I could have been.
I find myself in an odd limbo of needing to be around and available and making sure they are safe but not making the most of the free Saturday afternoons. So with small steps I am going to learn who I am again, this woman beyond just mum. A date with the husband would be good, more gigs but beyond that I’m a bit lost, I don’t really know what I like anymore…