When I look in the mirror, I see wrinkles and puffiness around my eyes, sun spots, and barely existent eyebrows. I see jowls in the making and the neck of an older woman. Despite these physical manifestations, I love being in my 50s—and I don’t want to spend time or money minimizing those signs of all my trips around the sun.
During my years as a therapist, I’ve had visions of helping more children grow up feeling seen and respected. All parents love their kids, but many struggle with raising them to be emotionally healthy. I want to help parents help their kids evolve into their brightest, best selves. But the truth is, in the process of raising my three sons and three step kids, getting divorced, going back to school, and starting my career, I didn’t have time to get to my bigger dreams.
Now with 26 years of experience in mothering and professional training in creating healthy, connected families, I feel wiser, liberated, and more peaceful than ever before. But that doesn’t stop me from seeing the wrinkles. And from fearing that I won’t seem relevant to younger moms because I’m no longer in the daily trenches of mothering.
I can’t help but wonder: would I feel the same if I was a man in his 50s with the same experience and qualifications? I believe that men are not socialized to demean themselves the same way that women are. Women who came before me have done so much to remove glass ceilings so that I would not be held back because of my gender. To them, I am grateful.
But now there’s one last frontier for me to cross—and that is to call BS on my own beliefs:
- My belief that I should be wearing makeup to minimize my dark circles and sun spots before I record a training reel or a video for social media.
- My belief that because I’m an older mom now, that younger moms will think I’m irrelevant.
Sometimes, I have to just sit back and ask myself, “Oh Honey, where did those beliefs derive from?”
I’ve learned so much the hard way. I have so much compassion for the younger moms who are trying to find their own way through self doubt in their parenting, self, and relationships. I hear moms one and two decades younger than me lamenting about their aging bodies and faces and it pains me.
Let’s change the conversations we are having with our internal selves and shift our internal critic so that we can raise children who are self-aware and can truly honor who they are and how they show up in the world. If I’m not alone in this, let’s devise a way to instead celebrate the wisdom and worthiness that grows in sync with our wrinkles and gray hair.
So, the question is: how do we as women change that internal voice that so often minimizes our own value and wisdom?
I sit and read every single comment that you posted, so I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.