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Midlife Review

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The Nurtured Mommy

By: Denise E. Bailey   |   May 2, 2024

The mid-life crisis isn’t really a crisis, to me it is more of a review. My midlife review started early, about a year after we completed our family. I had spent almost four decades working so hard to build the life I dreamed about and then one day I woke up and realized that I still wanted more.

I couldn’t help but notice how profoundly different a human I had been since I entered motherhood. I wrote almost 150 pages of a book trying to sort out the phases of motherhood in my head and heart. I did tons of research on the psychological and emotional changes that a woman goes through when she becomes a mother. The transformation of my new identity and my new life. There is actually a name for this phase, it's called Matrescence. I questioned: was it the grief of losing my father and mother-in-law the month the twins were born? Was it undiagnosed postpartum depression? Was it because I am not as good being a mama of three as I was being a mama of one? Was it the excruciating pain of needing a hip replacement? Was it because I was running a family business, alone? Was it because I had decision fatigue and an overwhelming list of responsibilities as the primary parent? 

I longed for a moment of peace when I could quiet my brain and stop my inner critic from ripping me to shreds. I wondered if other mamas feel this way. So, I launched this column in September of 2021 and set out on a mission to let mamas know that they aren’t alone. Afterall, we teach (or write about) what we need to learn.

I think this is what an early midlife review feels like. Questions started to circulate in my head like; what’s my purpose, what have I chosen in my daily life subconsciously that no longer serves me; and who do I want to be now that I am grown up? My husband’s company is in a great place for me to exit. And while it will be bittersweet, it is time. This has caused me to feel like a 12 year old again. That place in your life where you are no longer a little girl and not yet a teenager. You are both sad and excited about what is ahead and feel this tremendous amount of responsibility to get it right. 

My husband randomly attended a book signing for Chip Connely’s, Learning to Love Midlife. He brought the book home and I immediately knew it was a sign, and gift, from the universe to dive in. I feel grateful to be in the earliest stage of my midlife review still able to really frame my paradigm about what it means to be an almost 44-year-old woman raising three daughters and married for almost 16 years. I am feeling excited to choose, wisely, what this next stage of my profession/career will look like. Knowing what I value most this time around. 


So, in the spirit of Mother’s Day, please take this article as permission to keep dreaming. Celebrate all that you already are and all that you are becoming. It’s okay, I promise.


  • What is your purpose in this stage of your life?
  • What have you subconsciously chosen that no longer serves you?
  • What do you want to be now that you are grown up?


Denise is a coffee lover, over-sharer, and truth seeker who is dedicated to vulnerably discussing the not so pretty parts of this amazing role. She is inspired by her three daughters to help women manage their expectations, let go of perfectionism, and lean into their enoughness. Denise is working on becoming a published author while simultaneously trying to figure out how to truly nurture herself in the midst of motherhood and beyond.
Read more on her Instagram @thenurturedmommy
More from this issue:

A Love Letter to Mothers HERE >> 

Advertorial: One in Ten—Understanding Secondary Infertility HERE >>

Calling Mom from California HERE >> 

May is Maternal Mental Health Month HERE >> 

Midlife Review HERE >>