The fun part of being a woman is that we get to change our minds, right? As we grow we change our minds about what makes us happy all the time.

As a result, there are so many common phases of being a woman.

What lit us up pre-kids, often doesn’t hold a candle to a good book or a few uninterrupted hours on the couch with our husband a few years later.

I am thankful through coaching that I now know how very common all these phases are. No one is immune to self doubt and comparison to others. However, we are all ‘hot messes’ once in a while, thinking we are the only one losing our mind and falling short.

Another truth, we are all on our own unique journeys. Where ever you are, you are exactly where you are supposed to be!

So relax and have some fun reading through these stages, which are you in? your friends or sisters? which did you move through and survive?

These phases,  many of which I have experienced personally, include what keeps us up at night, and where we tend to get stuck finding peace and satisfaction, so check out and share the tips when you see yourself.

Corporate Career Gal

What you may be experiencing:

Strong sense of identity and purpose, fully manicured and focused  – yes, for me this phase was pre-kids. If you have perfectionist tendencies though, you are likely working too much and trying to please too many people, without checking in on how you actually want to be spending your life. Somehow inherent in this phase is overwhelm  and stress due to people pleasing, trying to ‘prove yourself’ and ineffective/unclear personal boundaries.

Some tips for this stage:

Peace at this stage can be created by looking at what drives you – is it fear of failing or disappointing people (triggers from past) or passion for what you are doing and wanting to do it well? Work on how to stop being hard on yourself, and working though what could get in the way of making some new choices. You may look like you have it all, but exhaustion or anxiety are signs you could be even happier. Take care of yourself and get the support you need to reach your goals with joy.

Career Gal With A Forever Changed Mommy Heart

What you may be experiencing:

Enter profound life changing love, but also enter exhaustion and mommy guilt. That feeling that you are failing everywhere despite being smart and working so hard to please so many! The shift that it’s more fun being proud of their achievements than your own. More mommy guilt due to overwhelm, crazy schedules and age appropriate kid procrastination; the combination of which can turn you into a screaming banshee in the mornings, only to then feel guilty while you miss them all day!

Some tips for this stage:

Remaining emotionally grounded using mindfulness techniques, getting clear on your personal values and boundaries and your parenting goals, being kind to yourself and asking for help are the keys during this stage in order to truly enjoy each precious moment of this life stage.

Part-Time/Flexible Work Arrangement Career Mom

What you may be experiencing:

Potentially less stress, although the feeling of failing everywhere continues and is compounded with some loss of self-worth at work, and wait – aren’t you working as many hours but from home and getting paid less?! Happy to be able to make it to more school events, get them off the bus and be there if the school nurse calls..nothing else matters..right? or does it? can you be there for your kids and also feel fulfilled professionally? How about being able to organize the home now you are in it more or get in better shape, is that possible?

Some tips for this stage:

Important to get clear on what you really want. Part time creates a different type of stress due to potentially unrealistic expectations from yourself and partner typically, of whats possible. Clarity and communication critical.

Stay-At-Home Mom

What you may be experiencing:

Huge relief of mommy guilt – you feel you are where you are supposed to be, except now enter the guilt of not earning, adjustment that you have no money, worrying if you are being a ‘good enough’ stay at home mom while insanely comparing yourself to jean-cleaver-types. Adjustment and more self doubt as you realize that the little people are much harder to deal with than even the craziest of ‘corporates’ and you are missing the ability to accurately measure if you are even doing well at this crushingly important new role! Enter more exhaustion, some boredom, and all the stay at home mommy clichés you swore you’d never say or do. But then so much joy, priceless snuggles and giggles, the moments of which all magically erase the most challenging or worrying of times.

Some tips for this stage:

Challenges of this life stage include losing your personal identity, separating and prioritizing your personal needs from the needs of your family. People pleasing and perfectionism can swing into bouts of giving up, lowering your standards and depression if not identified and dealt with – all despite many wonderful snuggles and knowing you are where you are supposed to be. Awareness of these potential pitfalls is key, seeking support for your own happiness is important. Only you can give your children a happy mom who loves life.

Mom On A Job Search

What you may be experiencing:

You’ve adjusted to stay at home life, perhaps been there a while….you’ve got this! Must earn some extra money though. What can you do between school hours that pays more than $10 an hour, gives you flexibility of random sick days off with no judgment and doesn’t make you want to blow your brains out?  Easy to limit your options and get discouraged.

Some tips for this stage:

Some great work would be to circle back to your skills, values, and what you really want to do without presumed limitations, and get some accountability to work through fears to take action.

I’ll Just Put My Life On Hold Until High School Mom

What you may be experiencing:

Perhaps deciding that no jobs that pay well give you enough flexibility, you’ll keep yourself busy and stay on a budget until they go to high school. Enter much PTA work and/or stages of secretly binge watching Netflix. The “I used to be a …” conversations, ignoring the occasional dissatisfaction of supporting everyone else’s dreams, leading to random outbursts at family that they don’t appreciate you. It’s common to feel as though your life is on hold (albeit for loving reasons) and resentful that you are not feeling fulfilled, valued or appreciated.

Some tips for this stage:

Work through your real options with someone able to discern fear from real blocks, brainstorm solutions, encourage and keep you accountable to keep moving towards what you really want.

Seeking Peace GIrl

What you may be experiencing:

Perhaps a challenging life event threw you a curve ball, and you’ve been struggling through like the heroine you are ever since. Perhaps for too long without seeking help to process your emotions, but everyone depends on you, right? Enter either disconnection from husband because you feel he doesn’t understand you, or too much yelling.  Resentment that despite working so hard no one seems to appreciate you and husband/kids don’t help you without nagging or yelling.

Some tips for this stage:

Likely something else going on underneath, who are you really angry with or at? How can you think about your situation or your families actions differently? who do YOU need to be to change your situation? Get yourself some support, you deserve to be happy- it can change if you do (see “I’m So Angry!” post).

Questioning Life Plan 

What you may be experiencing:

Feeling there is something else you should be doing? enter repetitive conversations with girlfriends, what could you do or be next? you used to feel smart, really! Can you be something meaningful now and not screw up parenting your kids? If you were to give yourself permission to do something for yourself, what would it be? Who are you anyway separate from being a Mom?

Some tips for this stage:

All great questions but lets stop circling and land the plane! Work this through, circle back to what lights you up inside, what do you love to do? whats practical? brainstorm baby steps how you can get there, even if on an indirect path. Set out action steps and accountability, and work through any doubts that you shouldn’t get to do exactly what you want to do. Maybe you’ll even get to do what you were put on this earth to do.

Momtrepreneur

What you may be experiencing:

Return of personal fulfillment, discovering your personal life purpose or your “what’s next”, taking risks that make you want to throw up, always living and learning how to be a better mom and person each day. Possible overwhelm and struggling with work-life balance. Thoughts swirling 24/7, creative business ideas, red t-shirt day at school tomorrow, missed gym appointments and exciting networking. Potentially super fun stage, so long as you are not exhausted, letting go of personal health goals, or feeling as though a ball is going to drop any second.

Some tips for this stage:

Learning mindfulness techniques, being aware of where your fear lies, being super clear on personal values and priorities and the developing confidence to execute on these without guilt will make this stage as much fun as it can be.

So what’s next on your journey, where did you see yourself in these stages? I would love to hear what resonated for you, and what you are working to create next.

Much Love,
Joanna

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