When did we become invisible at midlife?Jul 30, 2022
This one is for the midlife moms in my audience.
When did we become invisible?
Like... when did we just become messengers for our families?
I've been to a few parties recently and I've noticed a trend....
Everyone asks me what my daughters are doing.
Have they graduated college?
What did they study?
Where do they live now?
What is their job?
Are they dating?
I'm like... they are great and I am proud, but feel free to check out their LinkedIn for the rest of the details.
I mean, I am standing right in front of the person asking these questions and none are about my husband or me.
But... all of mine are about them. Not their children. (unless I know their children well and am really interested.)
I am not saying this because I need attention (except Eneagram 3 so... there is that)
I am saying it because I'm befuddled.
When did our lives become invisible?
When did conversations with me only focus on my girls?
I mean... my happiness is affected by their's no matter how much I self coach, but ... I read books too, and travel, and have a career, and have opinions, and conversations I'd love to have.
I have worked most of my children's lives.
Or have had some robust volunteer roles.
In other words, people know I have a life outside of my daughters.
Again, this is not me drumming on my chest singing "I am woman."
It is me at midlife realizing that most people don't think we are that interesting.
Or, are conditioned to not ask us what we are investing in, doing deliberately, enjoying for fear that we are not doing any of that.
Now, the alternative is not to hand out business cards at every party, but I am going to be a bit more deliberate about shifting the conversation, not toward what I am doing, but away from what all of our children are doing. For goodness sakes.
We are more than mothers.
I get it.
It may feel safe.
Or maybe they are trying to compare my girls to their children.
Natural human habit.
But, this really isn't about our children.
It is about us.
Let's not be invisible.
What if we start a quiet cocktail party revolution where we dodge all questions about our role as moms (unless we dearly want to discuss this role, then by all means...)
And, if you don't work
Or don't want to work
Or are done with volunteering
Or never volunteered
But what if you don't hide behind what your kids are doing.
Share something about your days that has nothing to do with your husband or your children.
Just glorious you.
Shock them when you say...
Thanks for asking, but I don't want to bore you with my childrens' trials and successes. let's talk about what is inspiring you now.
And then wait in silence to see what happens?
It may just get their gears turning and I bet their answer will be far more interesting than you regurgitating your child's resume.
I am going to work hard at getting visible.
I mean not naked... (well, not at cocktail parties...)
Willing to share.
And, so not invisible.
What is inspiring you today?
P.S. These are the types of questions we will be asking ourselves at the Mastermind. All the details are here.
If you have additional questions, send me an email. And if you'd rather connect via zoom, let me know and we can arrange that too.