Are you finding yourself so engulfed in caring for others that you’re starting to miss that independent streak you had? You’re not alone and it’s way more common than you may think.
Keep reading because the goal here is to provide new moms over 40 with support in sparking that independent warrior inside. She’s still in there, she just took on some new roles and priorities. You know, motherhood.
As beautiful as new motherhood is, part of it is learning how to reconnect with your new self. Maybe for you it’s about boosting your confidence as an individual while you continue to be invested and present as a new mom.
Speaking of new self, did you know it’s thought that our brains and cognitive function change when new motherhood begins? More on that is coming right up.
For this guide, let’s clarify what it does and does not mean.
- recognizing your adult responsibilities
- having the capability to address your needs
- making informed decisions
It does not mean
- you must always be alone
- you must do everything alone
More On Hyper-independence
Hyper independence is the mindset of you can do everything on your own and don’t need anyone else due to a lack of trust.
Hyper independence can become noticeable in new motherhood as we naturally transition into a protective role. Read more about hyper-independence here
You can have partnerships, friendships, marriage, and even take care of others all while being independent. The focus here is rather to have the capability to also care for yourself in key areas of your life if you need or want to. It means honoring yourself as an individual.
Stop Being An Afterthought In Your Own Life
For the woman that was once independent and is now losing touch with that, it can be a hurtful and confusing time. You have all these new challenges you’re expected to meet with no rule book on how to navigate them.
You may become resentful and irritable and not understand why. Not to mention you’re rocking your forties. Congrats by the way.
But something feels a little…off.
Ever Heard Of Matrescence?
Most of us haven’t. Matrescence is thought to be the process of transition into motherhood. Similar to adolescence is the transition from childhood into adulthood.
You can still love the new you and admire a piece of the old you. Sometimes it’s just nice to know it’s not all in your head. Like what you’re experiencing is normal and real. There’s an interesting abstract on the impact of matrescence on the brain here.
There are actionable steps you can take. One step at a time. I see so many social media posts rooted in the matrescence struggle yet no actionable steps to work through it.
We need to take consistent action in the right direction for our efforts to be effective. So many default parents could benefit from safe communication, setting boundaries, and self-advocacy.
Oh, Hello Forties
You’re used to excelling in everything you attempt, so naturally, you put your all into this new motherhood role.
In doing that, maybe you lost touch with that strong independent woman along the way. As a woman in her forties, maybe those perimenopausal hormones are starting to fluctuate.
Do you get stressed and emotional easier? Maybe you’ve been there, done that, and just don’t have time for the bull. You’re ready for a change to increase confidence and help you feel secure and solid in your roles.
Get That Independent Feeling Back
Life skills, responsibilities, and coping mechanisms can be found in many areas such as health, wellness, time management, and finance.
Isn’t it funny how it’s all relative yet connected? Relative because what may be significant to me on my independence journey may be completely insignificant to you yet we’re after a shared goal. Keep reading and challenge yourself.
Jot down health, wellness, time management, and finance areas that could use some attention in your life. Focus on a new area each month or so. Have fun with it by tracking it in a journal. Why?
Transtheoretical Model of Change
Writing it down and tracking your effort makes it actionable and effective. As pharmacists, we are trained to inform people of lifestyle modifications to promote wellness.
We learn about lifestyle modifications and other non-pharmaceutical options before studying medications. One of the processes used is called the Transtheoretical Model of Change.
It consists of six phases:
You can read more about the stages of change here
Tracking your progress is an effective strategy to get you into the action stage so you can see results and encourage progression to maintenance. Don’t just read about it, be about it.
40 Tips To Start Feeling Independent Again
Your independence is getting hungry. Let’s feed her a snack before she gets hangry.
If you could use some help along your independence journey, then I want to introduce you to a guide I wrote called Hangry Independence. It consists of 40 effective ways new moms over 40 refuel their independence.
You can still be a present and engaged mom while regaining your independence. Your independence does not have to take from that. With these 40 lifestyle modification prompts you can track them in a journal, stay accountable, and see results.
You decide the pace, order, and focus of these forty tips. Remember, it is better to pick one tip and work on it than to not attempt to regain your independence at all.
Sometimes it’s not about doing the task on your own but rather knowing how to seek help for yourself appropriately. Independent women are quite resourceful.
What if something happened and you needed that strong, independent woman fire? If she’s hungry, feed her. If she’s gotten hangry for her independence, it’s not too late. Working on just one of these tips can flex that independent muscle when you need it.
Now…what’s your theme song? Read Hangry Independence to see what I’m referring to and let me know!
This is your time. You deserve it.