Do you have more free time on your hands now that the kids are older? Trying to figure out what the next phase of your life is going to look like?
When my son was little, I knew I wanted to go to work when he got older and didn’t need 100% of my time and energy but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then when the time came, I was floored to realize that I had no idea what I was interested in pursuing. I didn’t even know what kinds of things I liked to do for fun anymore!
I felt kind of like you do when you run into an old friend you lost touch with and you’re trying to figure out if deep down they’re still the same person or if they’re totally different than you remember.
I felt lost and it was kind of scary.
We all know life changes dramatically when you have kids–when you hear that heartbeat on the monitor or hear that first cry in the delivery room, you know your life will never be the same.
Those are some of the big moments in life when you know things have changed, but, some changes happen so slowly you don’t realize they’re even taking place. They happen when you’re busy with the feeding and the changing diapers and the not sleeping; when you’re busy doing the work of loving and nurturing and caring for these little people.
Then, all of a sudden, those babies are teenagers and they’re going off to high-school and then college. They’re spending their time and energy learning about their own passions and the things they want to pursue. They don’t need (or want) mom or dad to be so involved in their day to day activities. Not that they don’t need parenting, but if the goal is for them to grow up to be independent, self-reliant, productive members of society then they need some room to grow and make mistakes.
What’s next then?
The thing is, a lot of moms aren’t sure what to do next. We focus our time and efforts and energies on our families and don’t realize we’re losing track of ourselves in the process—that’s if we ever had a good grasp on our identity in the first place.
For me, I didn’t even realize it was an issue. My wake-up call came when my teen started high school and someone asked me what I was planning to do with my extra time. I realized I had absolutely no idea because I wasn’t even sure what I liked to do anymore.
At first, I thought I was the only person going through this and that there was something wrong with me. Then I started noticing little comments in conversations and questions about what to do next popping up in Facebook groups and I realized there are a whole lot of us dealing with these same issues. It’s not easy to get to know yourself again but the beauty of where we are is that there is still a whole lot of life to live and we get to decide what this next phase, Phase 2, is going to look like.
I’m on a journey to (re) find my own identity and purpose and the things I’m passionate about. My goal is to help other women do the same thing. Let’s make Phase 2 all about finding yourself, chasing your dreams and doing something that matters to you!
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