I never expected menopause to be so empowering. Sure the hot flashes make a person crazy and there are mood swings, but I’ve always had those. The interesting thing is that suddenly I don’t feel guilty about putting myself first. For years as the caregiver of my family I did everything for everyone and now all of a sudden I just say no.
I read recently that when a woman enters menopause that her “nesting” or “caregiver” instinct diminishes. It’s an actual chemical/hormonal function. So when the laundry is piled to the ceiling and everyone is waiting for me to do it they can just keep waiting – or do it themselves. The cries of “help me - I’m needy” fall on deaf ears a lot of the time now as I sit and think “do it yourself”.
Another thing about this time of my life is the new level of anger I experience – and the fact that I no longer feel compelled to hold it in. I tell it like it is more than I ever did. These days when invitations come in the mail for events I don’t care to attend I simply refuse. I don’t feel like I have to make an excuse or tell a white lie. I just don’t want to go and that’s that.
After years of putting everyone else’s needs first it feels good to decide things for myself and not feel guilty. No I will not reschedule my appointment, I will not be quiet and tolerate things I hate, and no I will not deny myself some well-deserved alone time.
Do it yourself, don’t nag me, don’t expect me to jump for everyone and don’t expect me to nod politely at your “constructive criticism” comments. I have paid my dues time and again. I’ve made the sacrifices, I’ve played it safe, I have done everything that was expected of me. Now it’s my turn.