What is a Middle Mom?
It’s not only about age, but it’s about the great changes and challenges that seem to be happening during this stage. Not only are those things happening to me, but they are happening around me too. The children are no longer babies, but definitely not adults. Interests, attitudes and personalities are evolving and forming more fully. A mom with everything in transition is a middle mom.
The ending of familiar things can be sad and scary. The unknown is definitely scary.
When you are no longer in the beginning stages of motherhood or your career, is it too late to start new things? As a middle mom, is it too late to take on new challenges or make changes?
Even though it may feel different and be really hard, I don’t think it ever is.
Life in the Middle
It would be easy just to focus on myself and talk about what’s happening to me, but my family and their transitions are just as important as a middle mom.
As a couple, we are no longer newlyweds, or even in our first house. Marriage is hard work, and so is raising a family. No matter how many times people tell you that, I don’t think you are ever really prepared. When the newness and excitement wears off, you still have to decide who does the laundry and what’s for dinner. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it’s just a different stage.
Speaking of stages, we have fully moved from the baby and toddler stages into the preteen and teenager stages. While some things are definitely easier, others are overwhelming. There’s pride in seeing your kids grow and change, but also some sadness about the things that will never be “firsts” again.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be out of diapers, onesies and carseats. Although, Nikes and video games are not cheap. While the Among Us guys are kinda cute, they are no Thomas the Train or Lightning Mcqueen. I’m pretty sad we are too old for Bluey.
Gone are the baby babbles, replaced by words like “Bussin” and “Slay.” When I finally understand some of their slang, they start with some new silly words to keep me guessing. I’ve finally mastered the “Gritty,” but I still look ridiculous, and there is a new version of the dance move already. It’s also amazing to be able to go out to run an errand without needing a babysitter, but the amount I worry about sometimes outweighs the convenience.
Only sometimes, though.
Mr. B is now in his second year of middle school. He is fully a teenager, complete with attitude and angst. Everything “sucks,” and is totally boring. He already knows everything, useless facts included.
Was I really this mean to my parents when I was his age? Probably. Mom, I am sorry!
He is, however, very responsible, and still a sweet boy when he wants to be. He hates getting his picture taken, and doesn’t say I love you as much as I’d like, but he still likes to snuggle.
Even though he claims to hate it, he does great in school. I’m also proud of the things he has tried, like Cross Country, Band, and Stage Crew…even though I may have pushed him into joining one, or all three of those things.
The twins are in 4th grade, talk about “crushes” on girls, and have already started bugging me for a cell phone. Well, that’s not happening.
They may still get confused from time to time, but each boy has their own personality. Mr. C is my outgoing, caring helper, while Mr. P is a little more reserved with definite likes and dislikes. I still get a LOT of “I love you’s” and bus stop “selfies” from both.
Not Everything Changes
Don’t worry, though. Even though they are closer to driving a car than I would like, they are still very much boys. There is still plenty of fighting, and now includes naughty words and even louder yelling. There are also still battles over vegetables, refusals of teeth brushing, and pee pee messes. It’s just around the toilet, instead of leaking out of a diaper.
Luckily, there are still cuddles on the couch, bedtime routines, and plenty of “I love you mom’s” happening too. Even though they have all been reading on their own for a while, they still sometimes prefer when I do it. I have to admit that I do too.
Start of the Middle Mom
I’ve really been thinking about my age and what made me feel like I was in the middle of life and a middle mom. It hasn’t been about a specific number, but this is the first time I’ve really felt that transition period. Physical and emotional changes have been huge.
Weight gain, in the middle, of course, has just been the start. Joint pain, skin changes, and grey hair have been super fun too. Did I mention chin hairs and the need for reading glasses?! New allergies?
While these physical changes have been frustrating (How did I gain more weight when I’ve been eating the same way for years? Did I just pull a muscle washing my hair? I can’t read that number on my phone, hang on…) The mental changes have been even worse.
I used to pride myself on being able to remember names, dates, and schedules. I didn’t need to write things down or keep three different calendars. Learning dance choreography or a new student’s name came easy to me. I didn’t worry about forgetting something important.
Now, everything is different.
I feel like a hot mess most of the time, and I’m not talking about how much I sweat. (Although, that is another thing to add to the list!) Checking and rechecking schedules is the norm. I forget birthdays and what time basketball practice is. Names are the worst of all.
The biggest reason I felt like a middle mom? I guess not feeling like me anymore.
Things I used to be good at were way more challenging. Things I liked to do weren’t very much fun. What was happening? How do I stop it?
I guess that’s the real problem. You can’t stop it. So, you have to learn how to live there.
Which is what I’ve just started doing.
Making My Own Changes
When the World shut down, I kind of shut down too. I stopped writing, I became less active, and I settled into a routine that wasn’t very healthy.
It’s taken me a long time, and I’m still struggling with making my own changes. But, at least I’ve definitely started. It may take me a lot longer to get to where I want to go, but I’m slowly getting there.
I’ve gone back to the gym, and I am more active than I’ve been in a long time. In fact, I’ve even started teaching classes there, and I am working on getting my group fitness certification.
While I’m more unhappy than I’d like to be about what I see in the mirror, I’m trying to be more accepting and gentle on myself.
Being a middle mom has also taught me that I don’t need, or want to rush through. I don’t want to wish away this stage, but be more fully present. We never get to do these stages again, so we have to make the most out of them.
Everything feels like a work in progress, but that’s kind of what the middle is supposed to be, right?
So, even though it’s not the beginning, it’s the beginning of the middle mom stage for me, and I’m going to do my best to embrace it.