Mothers are Shapeshifters

“You’re unhappy because you need to reinvent yourself now that your children are all in college,” I say to a client the other morning, “You need to shift your life to accommodate these most recent changes.”

I take a breath to let this sink in and then continue, “As mothers, we need to shift and change as our children grow. We do it for them, but we often forget to do it for ourselves.”

I’m finding this more and more in my practice. Women who are at a crossroads because their children’s needs dwindle as they become adults.

These mothers have forgotten they’re so good at shifting. They’ve had tons of practice. They can handle the shift, they just need to figure who they want to become.

Because, mothers are shapeshifters.

The position requires it.

Our children demand it.

Our families rely on it.

As mothers, we’re required to make many shifts in our lives and as women, we tend to completely immerse ourselves into each stage at the expense of our own identities.

We lose ourselves as we become who our families need us to be.

Therefore, our shifting actually becomes shapeshifting.

Think about it.

As women, we’re wired to tend to everyone else’s needs. We’re programmed to connect and engage and genetically, we can multitask better than the opposite sex.  So, the onus is on women to stretch and adapt as the family grows.

In the beginning, it’s just us. We graduate from school and perhaps pursue career. We become independent, self-reliant and driven to succeed.

We meet, fall in love and perhaps marry a partner.  Since we’re connectors and multitaskers, we handle most of the life management and household activities.

We connect to our partner’s life in ways our counterparts cannot comprehend. We give of ourselves to accommodate another’s goals, beliefs and stresses.

Then, if we chose, we start a family. As we have our children, our shifts become shapeshifts.

This is the point we begin to actually shapeshift for the remainder of our lives. Because as mothers, we become everything our children and families need us to be.

We actually become nursemaids and nannies.

We become caregivers and nurses.

We become nutritionists and chefs.

We become managers and financiers.

We become teachers and instructors for all of life’s lessons.

We become advocates and advisors as we interact on our children’s behalf.

We become schedulers and chauffeurs.

We shift and change to accommodate our families’ needs.

However, we need to recognize we can shapeshift to meet our own needs as well.

We’ve got the shapeshifting down – we’re perfection in this area. So, change is not the issue.

The issue is we’ve forgotten we have needs, desires and passions. Just for us and just because – there’s no other reason necessary.

We need to tap in and discover our needs, desires and passions. We need to give ourselves permission to rediscover who we are and who we want to be.

The shifting and changing?

We’ve got that.

The stretching and accommodating?

Bingo.

The ability to become someone else entirely?

Done.

So, when we’re at a crossroads in our lives, let’s rely on our shapeshifting ability.

Let’s know this is a strength.

Let’s know this is a well-exercised muscle.

Let’s know the shift will be easier to approach and navigate because of this ability.

Let’s instead focus our attention on just who it is we want to become.

As shapeshifters, we can become anyone.

Let’s say it again, “We can become anyone.”

This is exciting.

It’s invigorating.

It’s breathtaking.

We’re shapeshifters.

A change in our lives?

No worries.

We’ve got this.

As shapeshifters, we can become anyone.

Who are we going to be?

 

As always, wishing you joy,

 

Kim