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Do Women Have a Midlife Crisis?
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Here is a shocking fact. I didn’t always like women. In fact I couldn’t stand most of them. But eventually I realized that their seemingly perfect lives were not so different from mine and not perfect either. We had similar problems in a different shade of grey. Here is an example: I was a single working mother, searching for my perfect fit and upset at how difficult that was. The flipside of this was a woman who dedicated herself to her family and two kids who now felt trapped because she gave up so much. For years on end her life had been about everyone else’s needs and demands – never about what she wanted.

I, however, have always been a woman who wants everything – family, love, career, money and happiness. And more and more I see that women, especially those in their forties, are desperately trying to break the mold they have been in and are searching for “Me.”

This disruption or mold breaking is a classic midlife crisis, or as food blogger Christine Harris calls it, a Midlife Renaissance. Needless to say I prefer Christine’s term!

Here is a good article that explains some of the feelings a woman might experience in a midlife crisis.

I know and work with a lot of women who fit this description. They are educated, have taken excellent care of themselves and love their families, but they have arrived at a crossroad. It’s either a left or a right, going straight is not an option. In The Women’s Code this phase is called the Me ego-RHYTHM. This is when, for the very first time in many years of putting herself on the backburner, the pressing question arises: What about me?

Here is how the pressure builds. After years of service and caring for her husband and supporting him in his business endeavors and career we feel that we have done enough.

Our children are older and don’t need us as much anymore. Raising teenagers isn’t a walk in the park. Actually, they would rather not have us around too much during their adolescent years. They make it easy for you to want to let them go and explore the world. From my own experience I can attest that during those years that voice inside started to get louder and louder and it said, “What about me?” Women start to become more selfish.

In our forties we still have a chance to make something happen career wise, we are still young enough, hot enough, and have enough ideas to start a business or find a great job. We don’t want to be the +1 anymore and we don’t want to be known as Gina’s mom anymore, either. We need our own identity.

Going through this process of redefining ourselves is normal. Even the most dedicated women I know who used to bake award winning cupcakes for the PTA meeting are not content anymore with what they have. It’s not enough. We want more. Take a look at this article that I wrote about defining years, you might find it helpful.

You must listen to the voice inside, because refusing to do so can cost you much more in the long run than listening now and putting a plan into place. Your partner or husband is most likely to support you and boycott you at the same time. That is also normal because if we change the rules after twenty years of a predictable pattern he has to be fearful as to what this means. I’ll write about this in a future article.

In The Women’s Code here are the steps to follow:
– Use your Want-It-All list and first get clear as to what you want.
– Communicate your need for Support.
– Be prepared because your ideas may not be received enthusiastically by your family.
– Understand that the guilt you may be feeling is neither right nor wrong. It just is. Simply accept this feeling of internal conflict.
– Listen to your voice inside and seek other women who are experiencing the same – you are not alone in this.

Hopefully these ideas help you to master your own Renaissance. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

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