By Sally Mueller 2-Minute Read
Last weekend, my youngest child graduated from college.
Maybe it’s funny to say for a woman who co-founded a brand focused on one of life’s biggest transitions (hello, menopause), but this major life shift is more of a doozy than I expected.
Truth is, my daughter Mary has chosen to spend her first year after college on an adventurous mission trip, which will soon take her far from home and away from ways to quickly communicate with us (think reduced Internet, limited cell phone...the whole shebang). But even if she had followed my eldest child’s path and moved to another city for a job—or if she’d, say, moved back in with us—I know I’d still be processing the change.
If working to help women in menopause has taught me anything, however, it’s that if you know a change is coming and you prepare for it—even a little bit—the adjustment can be a bit more manageable.
Here are four things I am doing right now to be ready for what this next phase may bring:
1. Remembering this process is completely normal.
While I am so proud of my daughter—what a huge step!—I admittedly have conflicting feelings. At times, I feel scared for her safety; all the unknowns can stress me out. All at once, I am also overjoyed, anxious, a bit sad, and thrilled that my last little one is moving forward and what that means not only for her, but for me as a mother, a wife, and a woman. To balance it out, I keep reminding myself that this is a natural process and what I feel is valid and totally normal.
2. Expressing myself.
I am allowing myself to simply be vulnerable. I am speaking about it with my husband and any girlfriends who can relate to what I am going through (and their advice is beyond appreciated). I am also expressing it to Mary and encouraging her to speak freely with me about her own emotions. Communication is key; I don't want to bottle this up or feel like I am going about it alone.
3. Sticking to my routine.
My morning Pilates workout. My self-care regimen. Getting to sleep on time. Ticking all the boxes of the soothing daily rituals that make me feel like me keeps me grounded.
4. Celebrating it.
Change is beautiful. I've been through it enough to know. And we should always be looking for a good reason to open the champagne and raise of glass to all the good things to come...
Hats off to you and your grad, if you're there, too. If you have any tips on how you're handling your own empty nesting, please share with me over in our private Facebook group The After Party. Let's get through this change together, like we do everything else!
Yours in #menopositivity,
Sally, Womaness Co-Founder