This year all of my kids are in school, and with the littlest one being in real school (not just pre-school which kind of doesn't count), I now have my days free to do all the things I've been wanting to do since they were born. Myhouse is spotless, closets are clean (even that drawer in the kitchen in which everything gets dumped.) I've gone back to the gym and back to your high school jeans. But truth be told, I can get a little restless sometimes. Of course the kids still need me, but not quite as much. It's different now, isn't it? Once all the kids are in school, being a mum allows me to also be a person. But since it's been years since I didn't first think of yourself as "So and So's Mum", it's taking a bit of time to figure out just who I am again.
I think of this as my Mom-life crisis. It's pretty common in fact for every mum to have to reinvent who she is, aside from being just "Mom." From the workplace, to hairstyles, to brand new boobs, here's a few ways I'm considering experimenting in the midst of my Mom-life crisis. You may want to try a couple if these yourself:
1) NEW HAIR! New hair = New You. Or does it? When I was a kid, one day my Mum came home with a whole new 'do. 5 inches shorter, to be exact. When I went to college, she died it blonde and got a perm (remember those?). Now most Mums will go for extensions, So if your little one's best friend's Mum suddenly has "natural" hair halfway down her back, it's probably not real. But without babies in the house yanking on her hair, she's free to ditch the easy bob or pixie and get back to those long flowing locks she used to love.
2) NEW BODY PARTS. It's easy to say, "I'd never get plastic surgery" until you've had a few kids. And by "had", I mean breastfed. Once you've breastfed a little human, plastic surgery doesn't seem like such a cop out. So if a few Mums at kindergarten drop off look a little "perkier" don't judge, find out who their surgeon is. You might be next!
3) SPIRITUAL AWAKENING. From yoga to "healers", many a Mum has gone in search of higher learning by searching for spirituality. There's forums, seminars, classes and retreats. Sure, they all seem to come with a hefty price tag, a lingo of their own and a somewhat "cultlike" following. But if it keeps that Mum of three feeling enlightened and content, why not? Pass the red bracelet, please!
4) THE POOL BOY. I am not advocating cheating! I repeat, I'm not advocating cheating. I am saying that some other people might consider the cute pool boy or the hot golf pro a great way deal with a Mom-life crisis. My advice, just look. There's nothing wrong with looking. Plus the first time the pool boy refers to you as, "Dude", he may not seem so cute anymore.
5) SPORTS CAR. If men can do it, why not a Mum with a little more time on her hands? Top down, music loud. It's a pretty harmless way to carve at an identity for oneself. Unless of course, you forget to put the top up in the rain. Or, your car seats don't fit in the back. Then it's a pretty stupid purchase which will look great parked inside your garage.
6) HEY, I'M AN INTERIOR DESIGNER! Real estate agent. Interior designer. Shrink. It seems like for every youngest child who goes into kindergarten, there's a Mum who's just begun her third act as real estate agent, interior designer or shrink. And why not/ Lord knows she's been doing it for the family all these years for free.
7) SWEET CHARITY. Some mums who take time off from their career to raise their children find it's pretty tough to jump back into the working world. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have the drive or skills so why not help a foundation or charity? It's a great use of those skills you can't quite seem to find the market for.
8) READ MY BLOG. Let's face it, raising kids = tons of stories that a ton of people can relate to. So it makes sense that many mums use the big one's soccer game or the little one's sleep over as an opportunity to find her inner Candace Bushnell and start a blog. Why not? Those stories have been killing at dinner parties for years. Don't be stingy. Share them! Who knows? You just might be good.
9) MARATHONS & OTHER EXTREME SPORTS. You've thrown yourself into raising your kids for this many years, so it makes sense you'd throw yourself into something equally grueling the minute the kiddos don't need you as much. And let's face it, running 26.2 miles is nothing compared to being up all night with a teething infant or keeping calm during a toddler tantrum.
10) JOIN THE PTA. The kids may not need you as much, but their school sure does. It may feel like you're working for free, but at least it feels like you're working. And you just may find you navigate the committees and parking lot BS with the decorum of a pro. That's because you are. And your kids and their school will thank you.