All change here – midlife and menopause!

 

This is the most important post on my blog, to date, because it gives my reasons for starting this big adventure called ‘After the Playground’. On my wonderful journey as a parent I have reached the point where the conductor is about to call “All change here” and I didn’t see it coming. I was actually enjoying this journey and I don’t want it to end. Where is this midlife and menopause destination and what am I supposed to do now that I am here?

Midlife and menopause

Why the change – midlife and menopause?

I know that everyone’s life is unique, and that it is almost impossible to generalise about the parenting journey, however, there are certain things that many 50ish year old ladies face at midlife and menopause and here are some of them:

  • Our youngest children are leaving, or are about to leave, primary school and that can bring to an end an association that has been going on for many years. When my own youngest daughter leaves primary school next year, I will have been standing in that particular playground twice a day for 15 years. When she walks out of the playground for the last time, it will be my last time too. Overnight it will become a place that I never go to.
  • Our older children are becoming more independent and don’t need us in the way that they used to. I feel like a firefighter who has been asked to step down from active duties. I liked being on the front line and I’m not sure that light duties are going to suit me.
  • Our older children are leaving home, either to study at university or to set up house with a partner or friends. Empty nest syndrome is sometimes dismissed as a trivial thing but for thousands of women it triggers profound depression and a feeling of loss. At the same time, we are adjusting to additions to our family in the form of boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, spouses and, in many cases, grandchildren.
  • Our parents are increasingly likely to be frail or ill and many of us have already experienced the death of at least one of our parents.
  • We are likely to be approaching the menopause and all the physical and psychological challenges that it can bring including anxiety and a loss of confidence which is not exactly what we need right now!
  • As we get older the risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions increases and this includes heart disease, circulatory problems, musculoskeletal problems and cancer. Health scares become a more regular occurrence and can be prompted by our own symptoms or by screening for diseases such as cervical cancer, breast cancer and bowel cancer.

Do you see what I mean? No wonder many of us feel a little overwhelmed.

So what do we do? The American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou summed it up perfectly when she said ‘If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.’ The thing that actually has to change here is me.

I intend to be a strong, confident, interesting mother for my daughters. I don’t want them to pity me or worry about me or dread getting into their fifties in case they end up like me. I want to be fun to be around and have lots of news to tell them. I want them to be able to get on with their lives safe in the knowledge that Mum is doing just fine but to realise that they are still at the centre of everything I do.

And, actually, Mum is just fine. She’s putting on her battle armour and she’s coming out swinging. Midlife and menopause will not beat me!

5 step plan to survive midlife and menopause

Bringing up young children was the happiest time of my life and I think that was because I had to live ‘in the moment’ – one of the techniques recommended by the ‘new’ mindfulness concept. Young children make you live for the moment. Their needs are so urgent that you get absorbed by them. I was living in the ‘now’ and putting someone else’s needs first – I didn’t have time for the future or the past. Now, I have to find things to replace the immediacy that made me feel so content. Here is my plan.

 

Midlife and menopause

1. Health – after the playground

I am going to pay much more attention to my body as I reach the menopause. It’s a marvelous machine; it nurtured three amazing human beings. Now I have to give it something back. I will focus on how I use my body and explore the role of exercise in maintaining a positive mood. I want to find out what suits my body and what does not. I’ll experiment with different foods and drink, perhaps try out vegetarianism and different cooking techniques. I’ll visit new restaurants and try out new cuisines.

Midlife and menopause

2. Arts, culture, travel – after the playground

You can find such joy in what you see, hear and read. I want to look at beautiful things and listen to music that makes my spirit shine.  I don’t know what these are yet although, as my eldest daughter starts her music degree in a few months, I’m looking forward to a lot of classical guitar concerts! After spending many years of watching children’s films (which I enjoy and will continue to watch) I want to explore other film genres, read loads of books, visit exhibitions and take photographs of things that give me pleasure to look at.

Midlife and menopause

3. Education – after the playground

I have always had an inquiring mind and I love learning. I pursued my education as far as I could and gained a PhD in Epidemiology in 1998 – the same year as my eldest daughter was born. Now, I want to start my education all over again. I want to explore courses and learn skills that are completely outside of my comfort zone. I may give archaeology or Latin a go – why not? I want to examine the wonderful new ways we have of learning – from podcasts to skills swaps. I still have (a few) brain cells and I want to use them.

Midlife and menopause

My look – after the playground

This is the tricky one for me because I have never been a huge follower of fashion or worn a lot of make-up. However, I do want to learn to make the most of what I’ve got. This time of life brings changes to your metabolism, complexion, eyes, hair and nails so I will have to embrace the fashion and beauty scene and finally find out what all the fuss is about! I have a lot to learn about midlife and menopause but I’m willing to start.

Midlife and menopause

Motherhood – after the playground

I will try to define this exciting stage of motherhood. At the heart of this is the fact that you never stop being a mother. I will try and identify travel and days out that you can enjoy WITH your teen and young adult children that you will all actually enjoy. I want to show how a family can move forward together when they also have to spend time apart. This is just a different sort of juggling and, as mothers, we are used to that aren’t we?

Take your change please Madam!

Ultimately, I want my blog to serve as a directory that women who are at this crucial stage of motherhood can use to construct their own toolkit to get them through the tough times. Then, when the conductor calls “All change here” we can leap to our feet, grab our coats and stride confidently to our new destination – after the playground.

 

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  193 comments for “All change here – midlife and menopause!

  1. June 27, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I absolutely LOVED this! I love your energy, your positiveness and your reflection. I’ve been experiencing heaps of different emotions recently as mine, too, are needing me less and less. Funnily enough my husband mentioned this morning that in 5 years time all three could have left home – I told him to stop as we have to live in the moment and appreciate now and really think about how we parent and what we want from the next five years – I want happy memories so we have to live in the moment and enjoy! I love all of your dreams for you – I’ll be the same for sure. Thank you so so much for having written this #Marvmondays
    justsayingmum recently posted…Surviving Teens With AttitudeMy Profile

  2. June 27, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Lovely post! I agree that with young children you definitely live in the moment, and their needs always come before your own! I can’t imagine what I would do with my time when the kiddies grow up! #MarvMondays

    • June 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you lovely – I’m sure you’ll think of something. Hopefully I’ll have loads of ideas up on the blog by then!! xx

  3. June 27, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    This is a great post. It’s easy I imagine to get stuck in the moment and the to fee at a loss when they don’t rely on you so much, it looks like you have it all mapped out. Thanks for linking up to #marvmondays.

  4. June 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    This is right on my wave-length! In so many ways. I loved reading this and felt it could have been written about me in many ways. Our 6 year old has a few years until secondary school (but I know they’ll fly by) and I remember thinking that I would never stand outside pre-school again on her last day. I will be popping by to see what other words you share. Thanks 🙂 #sharethejoy
    Carol Cameleon recently posted…How do you introduce children to the news in a positive way?My Profile

    • June 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      That’s lovely – thanks so much Carol. Looking forward to reading your blog too now that I’ve found you! xx

  5. June 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I really enjoyed reading this Sharon mainly because you’re speaking about the stage that I’m in – my youngest is about to leave primary school too. I need to start thinking about how things will change for me. I’m also considering changing my blog name to ‘Beyond 3 Children and It’. Things are going to change here too and I need to start thinking about myself now. It’s hard though isn’t it, cos we are still mummies at heart! This gave me some food for thought. Thank you. #loudnproud
    Suzanne recently posted…Loud ‘n’ Proud – 30.06.16My Profile

    • June 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Thank you Suzanne – I’m so pleased to connect with ladies at the same life stage as me. It’s challenging but I know we’re up to the task! Thanks for hosting xx

  6. June 30, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I love this post so much! I’m getting pretty close to the crossroads too with my eldest in y10 and youngest in y5. My main role as a parent seems to be taxi driver, but I’m sure even that is going to get less soon.
    You’ve inspired me, I’m going to keep following your journey!

    • June 30, 2016 at 10:20 am

      That’s fantastic – thanks Sarah. We seem to share a lot of life experiences – I’m an avid reader of your blog. Let’s get stuck into the next stage of being a Mum! Thanks for hosting xx

  7. June 30, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I can imagine how overwhelming and emotional this change must be. Spoke to one of the mums whose daughter is leaving primary school, she actually burst into tears! Change can be scary, but exciting too and looks like you have already embraced it 🙂 #loudnproud.

    • June 30, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you. It’s a work in progress – but making the decision to be positive about it is a big step. 🙂

    • July 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Thank you! I think the trick may be to interpret scary as exciting – but that’s easier said than done! 🙂

  8. June 30, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I love this post and the fact that you are proactively planning how to tackle this change in life stage head on. My children are 10 and 8 and already I am sad to seem how much of their childhood has slipped away. I remain in an odd hinterland why I am both encoded to see what their future holds and desperate to cling to their childhoods for along as I can. I will follow you blog and take my guidance from you. Thank you. #loudandproud

  9. June 30, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    So much of this post resonates with me, especially as an older first time Mum, my son is about to finish year one at primary school whilst my eldest nephew graduates from University in July. I need all the energy I can muster! Good luck to you on your journey #loudnproud
    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One recently posted…Letts Wild About range – review and giveawayMy Profile

  10. June 30, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    When you said 50ish with kids going to secondary, I did a double take, but then realised I won’t be far off that when N moves up. Certainly we need to rethink – I’m hoping I’ll still be dancing then, but will plan to do lots more arty/theatre/music things like I used to.

  11. Kim
    July 1, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Such a great post. I am currently in the little (very little) kid stage of motherhood and yes the needs of the kids are urgent! Your post was a wonderful read, Enjoy and embrace the change, sounds like you have some great plans for after the playground 😊 #marvmondays

  12. July 1, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    What an interesting read. I am at the crossroads of my youngest going to school. At the moment I am looking forward to some time for me – but that may change as it gets nearer. I love your positivity and keeping fit has to be a good thing whatever the age. #loudnproud

  13. July 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Sharon what a wonderful read of transition and hope – I love that you’re looking to the future with intention and forward to a time of fresh exploration. My two are still very young at 7 and 3 but time passes by so quickly doesn’t it. I look forward to reading more of your journey beyond the playground x Thank you for sharing this at #sharethejoy
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  14. Deirdre Johnsto
    July 4, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Hello Sharon! Loved this. Really resonated with me as my eldest will start Year 13 in September and my youngest will start secondary school. And my husband will retire in 18 months so it really will be all change in our family! Keep these posts coming. They help me see I’m normal – whatever that is. Xx
    Deirdre

    • July 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Haha loved your comment D! I’m not sure that either of us could be described as ‘normal’ – and neither of us care! Thank you so much for all your support. xx

  15. August 3, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Sharon – what a heartfelt post. Yes you are in transition, but it looks like you are embracing all the wonderful new things this season has to offer. And another wonderful part of it is that as your children become adults, they can also become your best friends! There are many wonderful midlife bloggers out there who are blogging about this stage of life. There is a FB group called Women of Midlife. I invite you to join that – you’ll find many kindred spirits there! Thanks for sharing with #overthemoon PS – thanks for sharing my blog post on your FB page!
    Cathy Lawdanski recently posted…6 Podcasts That Motivate And InspireMy Profile

  16. September 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Having my first child at 21, and the youngest leaving home for uni last year when I was 57, meant most of my life had been caught up in what my children were doing. In some ways I’d been looking forward to child-free time, with lots of plans for what I’d do, and in the last year, I’ve tried to make use of my new-found freedom but now I have the Teen moving back home for a gap year/work placement, and I’m concerned we’re going to slip back into our old routines. Finding my new, more mature self might get put on hold for a while.

    • September 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Thank you for commenting Mary. I can totally understand your concerns – once you’ve got this ball rolling it must be a bitter-sweet feeling. I have just found your blog and I love it! I’m going to follow your posts now and get some inspiration for my own transition!

      • September 10, 2016 at 11:29 am

        Thank you! I hope you find it interesting. his year has been a weird one of gigs in pubs, and taking up camping! I’ve realised though that having gone through the ‘teen leaves for uni’ phase once, I’m going to be doing it all again this time next year, and it might be tougher second time around!
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  17. September 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I hear you and I’m with you and so many others here. Also the last year of primary for us. Not quite a fifteen year stint – half that – I have one daughter. It’s incredibly poignant. Nodding along to age, menopause and body shape. From my positive perspective I see it as a new chapter for all of us in the family. Scary days make me want to cry in the corner. Love your post and love to see that there are so many here on the same journey.

    • September 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks Nicky. You are so right – it is a new chapter and the only way forward is to be positive about it. We can all move on together! Thank you for commenting XX

  18. October 11, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I am younger than your target reader, and my children are still very young, but I loved this! 🙂 So inspiring to continue learning, exploring, changing and growing, no matter your age or stage in life. I especially love the Maya Angelou quote! <3
    Erin @ Stay at Home Yogi recently posted…8 Tips for When Your Spouse Is Not On Board (Financially)My Profile

  19. Malene
    October 22, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Fantastic Blog Sharon – I’ll be following your exploits as a mum after the playground & look forward to being inspired (well I already am!). Best wishes Malene

  20. November 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Love the sound of all this – you have really stepped up to maya Angelou’s quote ! #kcacols

  21. November 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing Sharon – such an honest, beautiful post. Part of me wants my youngest to hurry up and join that playground too in just under 2 years, so I can be the person I want to be, and not just Mamma. But I also know that if I didn’t have them I’d probably not even have the motivation to be the person I want to be outside Mamma. Change is hard, even when it comes from within – good luck. You have a great plan for it, and I love your attitude! #KCACOLS

  22. November 19, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I love reading your posts as I’m at the same life stage. I still have little ones around me here on holiday but my own family are growing up, day trips out are rare now unless it is to take them shopping and I miss my eldest who left for University this year more than I expected. Life is definitely changing and I’m not really ready for it. I admire you wanting to go back into Education, I don’t have any ambition there but as the wrinkles develop perhaps I should take an interest in make up. #KCACOLS
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Country Kids 19th November 2016My Profile

    • November 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment Fiona – I really appreciate your comments on my blog because I know that you are at a similar stage to me! xx

  23. November 19, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Incredibly inspiring and positive post. I want the world to know and understand this post. All of the feelings you describe and the scenarios we will go through as mother’s. I am 33, I have a 3 year old and am pregnant with our second. I haven’t even made it to the school gates yet. I have already though of the logistical problems of life and the worries and stresses that family life bring. But the positivity of your post makes me realise that I should be looking forward to these moments and not worrying. I absolutely love your outlook on life. Thank you for writing this #kcacols

  24. November 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Such a beautiful post! I am mum of 2 girls, a toddler and a baby. I imagine myself in “After playground” life and I realize how magical are the moments that I currently live with my girls. I am so busy with my every day life, that sometimes I forget this…We must enjoy every single moment with our kids, we can’t stop time, and my “after playground” life will be here earlier than I realize, and it will be different but I am sure it will be still so beautiful #KCACOLS

  25. November 19, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    What a fab post. Im a long way off life after the playground but this was a fabulous read 🙂 #kcacols xx

  26. November 19, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Good for you! It’s great to have a plan in place so you can embrace the next stage #kcacols
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  27. November 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    I am still knee deep IN the playground- like literally drowning in woodships over here. Nevertheless I adore your blog. You are magnificent and your blog is lovely and I think very reflective of you.

    If you ever are in need of adopting a 34 year old exhausted mom of four girls- you can def. adopt me!

    #KCACOLS

  28. November 20, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Love this! You’re so positive and adventurous. I really like how you’re planning to inspire your own daughters with your adventures and activities. My mom is very similar (she’s a fair bit older than you are) but she’s always working, travelling, volunteering etc and she is an inspiration for sure. #KCACOLS

  29. November 20, 2016 at 2:44 am

    I LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing why you blog, and great job I love the photos. #KCACOLS
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  30. November 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

    This is such a wonderful post! I am terrified of this change…as much as i want my children to grow up and live fabulous lives…I am not sure what I will be without them…I have a long way to go, but you can bet i am bookmarking this post for when it happens! #KCACOLS

  31. November 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Goodness I’m so not there yet – I can’t think beyond next week! – but great food for thought! #KCACOLS
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…Why I gave up my dream job to breastfeedMy Profile

  32. November 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

    A lovely positive and uplifting post. Your children are lucky to have such a positive influence around them. I really enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more of your blog now I’ve discovered it. xx #KCACOLS

  33. November 20, 2016 at 9:22 am

    This is so beautifully written. I often think about what life will be like as I grow older, and what type of person my daughter will become (a good one I hope!). I am a stay at home mum to a lively 2 year old, and while sometimes it can be incredibly hard and challenging, I am aware that these times won’t last forever. I’m sure that I will look back on them with tears of happiness in my eyes. #KCACOLS

  34. November 20, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Back again for #kcacols. I love this as its easy to get pulled down by the negatives of life instead of enjoying life. x

  35. November 20, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Sharon, this is such a thoughtful post. You used my favourite ‘mantra’ for my life which is to remind myself to ‘live in the moment.’ Before long, my children, 10 and 14, will be moving on. It will pass by so quickly. One thing that struck me which my empty nester friend said when I commented on what a fantastic relationship she had with her kids and how they always loved coming back home, ‘Invest time in them when they are at home…The years when you have them sow the seeds of the relationship you will have with them once they leave home.’

    How true that is! You can’t expect your kids to want to have a deep, close relationship with you once they’ve left if you haven’t nurtured it whilst you had them.

    There’s lots of other good stuff in this post, but that bit about kids leaving caught my eye. #KCACOLS
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  36. November 20, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I think this is your time to enjoy yourself and put yourself first, before all the grand-kids come along! #KCACOLS
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  37. November 20, 2016 at 10:20 am

    This is an admirable plan to face a new stage in your life. It’s funny because “the grass is always greener”. Despite recognising the things about your stage of life that you are finding challenging, I couldn’t help but be slightly envious! Having two small children, I miss doing some of the things you are planning on revisiting now that you can. But I’m going to try and live in the moment as you say, and know that those days will come too soon! #kcacols

  38. November 20, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What a lovely and brilliant post. It sounds like you have lots of positve plans and that is fab. I look forward to reading more #KCACOLS
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  39. November 20, 2016 at 11:03 am

    This is beautiful. I am just about to embark on the school journey for the first time in September. I know all too soon it will all be over and all the stress and worry I have now will have disappeared. I know I have all of this to look forward to. It sounds like you have the right idea in planning your next stage in your life. You have lots of exciting things planned. I like that you are starting to concentrate on yourself again, we give so much of ourselves to our children.
    #KCACOLS

  40. November 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Sharon this is such a beautifully written post, and I found it quite emotional too! My son is currently in Year 2 at school and I will be so emotional on our last day on the school run together. I will miss the rushed mornings, the waving at the gate and his beautiful, excited smile as he runs into my arms at the end of the day. My daughter is 7 months old and I will have all of this to go all over again. But the friends I have made from these school runs will no longer be at the gate, but I guess it gives me a chance to meet new people. I hope to be able to focus on me for a bit once the school runs are over. It’s nice to know you have it all planned out. Thanks for sharing this. Xx #KCACOLS

  41. November 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I love this post, honestly, I think it’s fantastic to write all this down and look at the things you’re going to change, taking on the life changes with such a positive look! Enjoy!! #kcacols
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  42. November 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I love how you plan to face this next stage of Motherhood, it sounds really positive for you and your family. I have a 3year old and a baby who are my whole life, I have no idea how I will feel when they grow up and leave home..makes me sad just thinking about it!xx #kcacols

    • November 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you Wendy – please don’t be sad. Be positive about all those lovely years that you have with your little ones and then make a plan! It helps xx

  43. November 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    This is a great post and really strikes a cord. My children are very young and as you say, my life is completely absorbed by their wants and needs. My parents however feel at a loss, even though they help it seems it is not enough. They want to be on the front line but all of their children have flown the nest. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.

    #KCACOLS
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    • November 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      I know, so many people do feel like that. I guess that is what I am trying to avoid, but only time will tell if my plan works. Thanks for commenting. xx

  44. November 20, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    A great post. I’m at the opposite end of the journey right now but I can already understand how emotional it must be to know those early parenting days are gone. But you’ve got a great attitude and I love that you are planning on focusing on yourself for the first time in years. I have always wanted to do further study but it’s just not something I can consider right now. I love the idea of being able to do it when my daughter is older and wish you lots of luck in pursuing that and your many other ambitions! #KCACOLS
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  45. November 20, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Oh wow, I haven’t even reached the playground yet and I keep thinking dropping my boy off at nursery will be difficult #KCACOLS

  46. November 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Love the positivity, it really is the only route to happiness. We completely changed our lives, packed up and left everything because we weren’t happy. Now we are! Enjoy your new life after the playground! #KCACOLS
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  47. November 20, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    A really interesting post as we are on the cusp of starting our ‘playground journey’ as Mia starts in January however reading your post made me think about my mum and how she must have felt seeing 3 of us grow up, leave school and fly the nest! I feel really sad now that I didn’t realise what an impact my life choices had on my mum. I left home twice and came back when my relationship ended, now I’m happily settled with Mario and we have Mia but mum now lives an hour away which does make a difference!
    Thank you for making me think about all of that as its really important and I’m so aware of it now! 🙂

    #KCACOLS

    • November 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      This is such a lovely comment Becca and such an important message. I’m so glad you are happily settled now xx

  48. November 20, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Gosh Sharon what a treat to arrive here at the same place (or similar) on the tracks as you are, age wise too. My post this week is on the same theme but with cartoons. It’s so good to come across someone with such energy and joi de vivre as yours rippling off the page. Sorry, screen. And you did PhD before your kids so a full star chart for you and so many avenues open in the future.

    Lovely to have Maya Angelou quoted here, she’s been in one of my blog posts too – Phenomenal Woman – that’s what comes out of your post 🙂 Jo #KCACOLS

    • November 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks so much Jo. I loved reading your blog posts and it’s lovely discover that I have company ‘after the playground’ xx

  49. November 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    So much to look forward to, and such a positive attitude x #KCACOLS

  50. November 20, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I loved reading this post. I’m rubbish with change so when this eventually happens to me, I don’t know how I’ll deal with it. Saying that, you have such a positive outlook! I love your plan, particularly the education bit. I desperately want to learn to decorate cakes properly but I don’t have the time with a 2yo…maybe when he leaves the nest, or gets a little older. #KCACOLS

  51. November 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    My mum has just turned 60 and I’ve been completely inspired by all the things she’s achieved in her 50’s. She’s definitely got the travel bug and has been to some amazing places, but she’s far braver than I am and willing to embrace new experiences – she’s hot air ballooned more times than I can count (something I don’t think I could ever do), as well as abseiling down buildings and climbing over bridges. She’s pretty amazing! I love your attitude too, so much opportunity and wonderful things to accomplish. Best of luck with achieving everything! #KCACOLS

  52. November 20, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Such a great post, I have both grown up and primary age children so it’s strange for me.1 pushing me away as he spreads his wings not needing me and 2 who want my attention constantly. I find myself moaning for ‘5 minutes peace’ but then think in 15 years time I won’t know what on earth to do with myself and will be ‘all change’ for me too x #kcacols

  53. November 20, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    This is a wonderful post. We are all so tied up with what we are doing with our younger children we are not prepared for when they need us less. I think your plan is great.
    #KCACOLS

  54. Pen
    November 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    What a great post. You seem so calm, collected and sure of who you are and who you want to be. Good on you. Good luck with all of your new pursuits. I can’t wait to hear about them. Pen x x#KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…Democracy has an ugly faceMy Profile

  55. November 20, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    This is a great post – I love how the older I get, the more I realised ‘old’ is relative! I used to think 30 was middle aged – ha! xx #kcacols

  56. November 20, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I can’t imagine this. My little girl is still so little but I know I’ll struggle when she grows up and leaves things behind. My mum only has my brother at home and he’s planning to move out soon. I hope that she loves her freedom but I know she will feel lonely.

    Great blog post!

    #KCACOLS

  57. November 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    This sounds like an exciting time! I am at the very beginning of my parenting journey but as a teacher I have seen many parents in your position once their children reach the end of primary school. Good luck with your next adventure! #KCACOLS
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  58. November 21, 2016 at 11:07 am

    It’s so interesting. I don’t know how this will work for me. Two of my three kids are autistic and I don’t know how their lives will develop. Things may be different for me but I’m sure it will still go in stages and some will certainly take me by surprise. #kcacols
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    • November 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      This is very true. The process for children with special needs is more complex – thank you for commenting. 🙂

  59. November 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    What a fab post and so inspirational! I still have two of my five at home so I have another nine years before my youngest finishes primary but I do worry about what I will do with my time, I’ll be 45 by that point! It’s exciting to think that there is so much in store though, great post. #kcacols
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  60. November 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I’m not even in the playground yet and I’m inspired, good luck with all of your plans #KCACOLS
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  61. November 21, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    What a world of opportunity!

    I’d recommend trying Pilates, if you haven’t already. As well as improving your strength, I feel like I can take over the world after my weekly 1 hour class!

    #KCACOLS

  62. November 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    This is wonderful. So positive and inspiring it is a truly brilliant outlook to have and one your kids will love you for. I don’t think empty beat syndrome should be trivialised I am petrified of it. #KCACOLS
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    • November 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. No I don’t think it should be dismissed either and I’d like to do all i can to help those who are going through it. 🙂

  63. November 21, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Such an interesting and motivational post and one I think everyone can relate to. I just hit 36 and although my boy is three, Ive been analysing my life in terms of health/arts/fashion/education. there are so many opportunities to change things and for the better and its completely up to me. thanks for the reminder : 0)
    #KCACOLS

  64. November 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I loved everything about this. Your website name and this post perfectly captures this stage in your life, and I can better imagine how it would feel to transition to “the next phase.”

    My husband (now 50 years old) went through similar feelings before we had our twins 4 years ago when his (then) only son moved on to middle school and then high school, so I feel that I had a front row seat to all of these transitions. Now that my stepson is in college with one year remaining, we are preparing for the final step of him graduating and moving out on his own. My husband feels lucky to have the unique opportunity to have one child graduating the same year that his other two children will be beginning kindergarten.

    The one thing I will say is that it has been so much fun to watch the relationship between my husband and my stepson evolve to a friendship as well as a father-son thing. I feel that the same thing happened between my mother and me and it has been a most rewarding thing. #KCACOLS
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    • November 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Yes that is a unique combination and it must be amazing. Thank you so much for your lovely, positive comment. 🙂

  65. November 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I loved reading your post. I found all your thoughts and the described feelings inspiring. #KCACOLS
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  66. November 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    What an interesting article! I have just started my journey with my eldest just starting primary school. I love your positivity it really shines through #KCACOLS
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  67. November 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Great post. My kids are 7 and 2 so I have a while at the playground yet but I do feel it’s going by so fast and your post is a reminder to really enjoy it while it lasts but that each stage has its benefits. I love that Maya Angelou quote too, one of my favourites x
    #KCACOLS

  68. November 21, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    This is a REALLY REALLY great post. You have touched on so many things that will affect me at some point but that I haven’t yet even thought about. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  69. November 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    It seems like this change will bring about fun, laughter and adventure. Enjoy. #KCACOLS

  70. November 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

    great post! change is always fun in my opinion! x #KCACOLS

  71. November 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    This was such a good read, I loved your analogy also! #KCAKOLS

  72. November 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I’m of the beginning of my journey but I can understand what you writing about. They always saying that change is good:)
    #KCACOLS

  73. November 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Very interesting to read, especially as somebody just beginning a part of there life that you are moving on from. It is something I hadn’t even paid much thought to as like you say with young children it is easy to be absorbed in the moment. I am glad you are now embracing this change and focusing on what will come next for you x #KCACOLS

  74. November 23, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    What a great post – and I love the idea of it being ‘after the playground’. I’m still very much at the ‘starting in the playground’ phase, but I really enjoyed reading the joys of the kids getting older! #KCACOLS
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  75. November 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Absolutely love this post and just how positive you are!! It is a huge change I can’t imagine what I will do when this time comes!! Great post #KCACOLS

  76. November 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I love this post. I have a 17 year old and want him to see me as an interesting person but it is hard when I am almost entirely absorbed into caring responsibilities. I am trying though! #KCACOLS
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  77. November 24, 2016 at 5:22 am

    I love this post. I myself am not ready to think about my boys being older but it is happening far to quickly. #KCACOLS

  78. November 24, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I have all this to come. I have 3 kids and the first is moving up to secondary next year with the youngest currently in year one. It actually brought a tear to my eye thinking about the day I walk out of that playground forever! #KCACOLS
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  79. November 24, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I loved reading this, such a well-thought out post. I’m still at the quite early stages I suppose, very much still in the playground. And while it feels hard at times, I am very aware that I’ll really miss this stage when it’s gone. x #KCACOLS

  80. November 24, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Back again! You got me in the heart again. You know I am sharing the same journey (albeit slightly different) and I do know exactly how you feel. Loved it the first time, second time and no doubt will read it again. xx #kcacols
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  81. November 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I love this post, your positive attitude is inspiring! #KCACOLS
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  82. November 24, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I love the positive. 🙂
    My oldest is only 12 so I’m not there yet! hehe
    But you sure made some points I think I can relate to. 🙂

    #KCACOLS
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  83. November 24, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Just refuse to get off the train. Tell the guy you bought a return ticket and that you want to go back. To quote another great poet –
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    #KCACOLS

  84. November 24, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    This is so inspirational! As someone whose eldest daughter has just started school in September I am just starting on this journey. My mum is in her sixties and she amazes me with what she does. It really does seem life gets better as you get older. x #KCACOLS
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  85. November 25, 2016 at 6:16 am

    What a great post! We’re just starting that journey with our little one but know it goes so fast already. Sounds like you have a great attitude towards it all and I’m sure you’ll be a positive role model. #KCACOLS

  86. November 25, 2016 at 11:31 am

    This is a great post. I think my daughter is similar age to your youngest as this is her last year in primary school. I think it’s all new and exciting and I hope when my life starts to change I can embrace as you will and more around after the life I once had #kcacols
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  87. November 25, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I love Maya Angelou, she speaks so much sense and looking at things in a more positive way and thinking about how you can change things to make it better is so important. I absolutely agreed with and felt everything you wrote though, it is all so true and can be hugely overwhelming. #kcacols

  88. November 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Eventhough my boy is only a toddler I will look to your blog for when he’s not. Better prepared and all that, right? I love that you have embraced your current life. #KCACOLS

    Nadia – Scandimummy x

  89. November 25, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    What a beautifully positive and dynamic post. I love your attitude! I’ll definitely be following along on your journey. #KCACOLS

  90. November 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Lovely post and great attitude! My eldest will be starting school next year, so I will be at the first of the school related changes! #KCACOLS

  91. November 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    This was really interesting to read. My children are nearly 2 and four, so I am just starting out, right in the midst of my playground years. I have all this to come, but still your words resonated with me – I can see my future and how difficult some of these changes will be. I also think you’re brilliant positivity and attitude shine through. It’s great that you have taken control for you. #KCACOLS

  92. November 26, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I think your plans sound fantastic and its so important to embrace change and take all that comes out of it that is positive. It must be really difficult with so much change going on at once not to feel nostalgic for the past though. Good luck with your plans x #KCACOLS

  93. December 5, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Your new direction sounds so lovely!!! It’s so good you’re embracing the change and are finding the excitement in it, as well as recognising the sad end to an era. You definitely do live in the moment when you have young children, but it sounds like your whole family have some exciting life adventures coming up still x
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  94. January 11, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Are you really 50! You look amazing! I would have easily put you in your thirties.

    A lovely insight into what’s to come down the parenting line. I have a two year old so at the start of the journey.

    Defo a great idea making plans for what to do now you are needed a little less by your brood. Best of luck with it all. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    #KCACOLS

  95. January 18, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Beautiful! But try to still live “In the Moment” as well, every once in a while… it’s a beautiful way to live, don’t you think? My “baby” is 14, so I have to strive a little harder every year to do so. 🙂 #KCACOLS

  96. January 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Such a lovely post Sharon. This is where I am right now. I have 4 children and my last baby left primary school last year, 2 eldest have left home. I need new things to focus on as my children are all independent now..
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  97. March 7, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    A really thought provoking post. Thank you! I have been doing some of these things without really realising it for a few years now! I took up floristry in a friday morning class at the local Memorial Centre a couple of years ago, wanting to gain some me time, round about the time I closed down the Lunchbox World online shop, looking for a new direction. I loved the course, the people who love flowers so much, I immediately signed up for another floristry course level 2, which was run over weekends at Missenden Abbey – an amazing venue. I then really had the bug and signed up to level 3 a part-time course run at BCA in Berks, and way hay! I am now a fully qualified florist. I love the creativity and textures and colours, so a new found passion for me, a major hobby for me, that I will gain huge pleasure from for the rest of my life. It will always be a big part of my life, the ever changing seasons, nature is amazing! Good luck if you do decide to study Latin. I’m starting to learn Spanish so when I visit in holidays to come I will be able to be fully understood by the locals! xx

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