Thoughts from Midlife - Kimberly Thompson

“There’s a reason God gave children to young people.” My mother used to say that after babysitting my brood for a few days – on the rare occasions when my husband and I got a day or two alone. I would mentally add, “… young people who have no idea what they are getting into.” I often felt ill-equipped to face the challenges of childrearing. When our kids were growing up, it was tough for my husband (who has always been the primary breadwinner) to put in 100% at work and then come home and be fully present with the family. Being fully present all day long was hard for me too during those stay-at-home years. But today I realize that, even with all of our life experience, my husband and I are much less capable now of going without sleep and tolerating daily chaos than we were back then. We’re slower and not as physically strong – not feeble by a long shot, but lacking that crucial bit of an edge that thirty-somethings have. We have a friend or two our age who have small children and love it, feeling that their life experience helps them do a far better job than they would have at thirty.  I am happy for them.  I’m also happy for me, that I am mom to a lovely group of young adults that text me silly GIFs and call home frequently just to hear what mom and dad think about things. I’m happy to be Gamma to their lovely young children.  I’m happy that I can throw myself into my work without feeling torn in two.

“We’re too soon old and too late smart.” I heard that somewhere, and it does ring true to me. Twenty years ago, I worried a lot over things that didn’t matter. I stressed over things that I couldn’t control. I tried to please too many people. Today I am much more intentional about letting go of stuff that can’t be fixed, accepting my own shortcomings, and choosing relationships with others over having everything a certain way. I also have learned to pace myself! I manage some nagging health issues by setting priorities and allowing more than enough time to get the important things done. I actually wake up 1/2 hour early every morning so that I’m not rushed. There’s something about that cup of coffee and the news that starts the day off right. One of the reasons there has been a big gap in my blog posts is that I moved my psychology office about 8 weeks ago, and I gave myself permission to prioritize adjustment to my new location.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment.” That little gem comes from Will Rogers, the American “humorist.”   I’m still gaining experience because I’m still accepting new challenges – and new challenges quite often cause you to make mistakes. Very few of those mistakes are fatal (well, actually none of them have been so far, since I’m still around to write this). I still don’t like to  mess up, but I don’t brood about it so much anymore. I’m not so worried about saving face, and I’m more confident that I can clean up my own messes.

To quote Will Rogers once more, “There are three kinds of [people]. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” If I had one wish for everyone who reads this, it is that you will learn from my experience, and not have to reinvent the wheel for yourself.



ABOUT ME

I’m Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist with a maternal mental health practice in Lubbock, TX. From pre-conception to the empty nest, mothers can work with me in-person and online. Download my free e-book, The Busy Mom’s Self-Care Planner, and bring yourself into your circle of care. You can also find my book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, on Amazon and the Praeclarus Press website.

 

 

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