A Runaway
A Minute to Myself (66)

Midlife-Adolescence Crisis

I have this horrible feeling that instead of a mature mother rubbing off on and influencing my daughters, they are influencing me. Which has led me to the realization that I have become a midlife adolescent. Gone is the patience that surfaced on the first day that I needed to nurse my older daughter non-stop with twenty-minute intervals (meaning the day I brought her home from the hospital), until, well, the last few years (the patience, not the nursing). My lovely patience has been replaced by these words coming out of my mouth: “I don’t care.” Yes, a mother who accepted with grace poop seeping out of diapers onto her clothes can no longer stand to be pooped on.

Maybe a midlife crisis, or a woman’s version of it, or this woman’s version of it, is the parents pulling away from the child. It does seem odd, doesn’t it, that we have been in control for so long, and then suddenly the tides turn, and they now control everything. So maybe our losing patience, our no longer being ready willing and able to heed every request from our overly chauffeured kids, is us breaking out, and not them. It is our behavior that is enabling them to leave the people who catered to their every pizza and ice cream whim, and every logoed clothing, and frozen latte shmatte, and cd desire. Yes, I am causing the rift, otherwise, surely, they would never want to leave my nurturing side.

But why do we have this midlife-adolescence crisis? Could it be that after 13 years of servitude we decide that it’s time for freedom? Could it be that our very dedication is what brings on this midlife-adolescence crisis? Maybe we have a limited number of times that we can soothe a child without needing to be soothed ourselves. Perhaps at a certain point we need to be attended to (and I don’t mean when it’s time for the Senior Living Center) and not just attend to others. So this is our cry in the hallway for some obvious signs of love.

Yes, I am certain that it is all about us and not about them. We’re taking back our lives and our time; it is not that they spurn our every interaction and no longer need us to ferry them about, it is that we are showing that we don’t need to hang out with them any more. Yes, yes. We finally have the time to establish friendships and keep them going, and go on dates with our husbands or significant others or insignificant others, so why would we want to stay at home watching them watch tv or text friends or close the door--with a click--to their bedrooms? 

Ah, I am so relieved to realize that this midlife-adolescence crisis is about becoming a more mature woman, and not a clingy mother. Now I see that I am not losing patience, but I am gaining a more realistic attitude of how I need to interact with my daughters. It is me who needs to grow up, and grow past that need to be needed 24/7. I am so relieved that I have realized that my daughters are readjusting their behaviors according to mine. They are seeking independence because I am. Midlife-adolescence crisis: it’s not such a crisis after all.

* * * 



I've been sitting here, trying to think of an appropriate comment. All I can come up with is bravo.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Thanks, April. This perspective came to me as I sat alone in my room, as they sat alone in their rooms. And we were all, somehow, connected in our being disconnected.


Maybe this is also an indication of the wonderful mothering job you have done. Your girls are more independent because they stand on the firm foundation you have provided for them. Everyone is ready for release and change. Bravo!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Jennifer, I, of course, would never have thought of that (in spite of what my mother tells me all the time) and so I thank you.


A very good friend of mine said to me when I was struggling with my oldest daughter's rebellion (she is now 30 and still not conforming LOL). By this age you have taught them right from wrong, you have given them all that they need. Now is the time to step back and rest - because you might have to catch them when they fall, but you first have to let them fall.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Judith, a wise friend. And now I am ready to hear that, before I was still in the embracing within my cocoon mode, now, now I am ready to witness flight and applaud from the ground.

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