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Over 40 and Still Don’t Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

By Mira Khatib

As children our dreams soar as high as the skies above. We dream of becoming doctors, leaders, artists, even astronauts. We believe our dreams are possibilities and may come true as we grow up. But then life happens, and circumstances force many of us to start slowly letting go of those dreams.

Many women find themselves trapped by circumstances and lack of opportunities and struggle to reach their true potential and passion. I am talking here about stay at home moms, these compassionate, compromising women whom decided to put their families and children first and put their personal aspirations and careers on hold for the sake of their loved ones. There is nothing wrong with juggling a career and a family but many women prefer to focus their attention on one or the other.

Many of those hard working moms take their job as a parent very serious and put all their energy, tears and sweat every single day, seven days a week, no vacations no time off, always on call 24 hours a day, and asking nothing in return. This mom knows it’s worth letting go of her dreams and making new ones for her children instead. Finding the satisfaction, happiness and self-worth just by seeing a smile on her child’s face, when he puts her arms around her and squeezes and says, “I love you mommy”, all her aches and pains and frustrations just melt away, and make her compromise worth it.

But one day this mom wakes up and her kids are all grown up and don’t need her as much. She will always remain a mom but her duties have suddenly been cut short, and she finds herself in early retirement with nothing to do. She spent her youth in giving and serving her family and now that she has grown older and services no longer needed as much she finds herself with a lot of time on her hands. The focus is no longer on her children but now she has the time to look at herself in the mirror only to realize, “now what?” How will she fill her days? With no experience or tools to get her a job, with no hugs from her kids to give her self-worth and satisfaction like before, what will she do? Can she go back to her dreams of long ago as a child and start over? Can she have the courage to re-ignite her passion and try to make them come true at an older age?

I believe it is possible, although this mom might have fears of starting over, and will find difficulties along the way but even after 40 one can turn their life around and have a new beginning. It takes determination, motivation, perseverance and a hard look in ones heart to know howto re-awake lost dreams and take action.

Whether learning a new skill, or joining meet-up groups, trying out new things, or doing volunteer work, those moms can still make a difference in their lives and in others too. They just have to believe and know that it is never too late to change and try again. After all isn’t your happiness well worth fighting for?

Photo credit: Monkey Mash Button / Foter / CC BY-SA

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  1. This article brought tears into my eyes but after I finished reading it they turned into tears of hope…

  2. We need more articles of this type. Supporting women of all walks of life is currently a sacred mission in the Middle East. Wish you all the luck. 🙂

  3. An excellent article and very timely! So what should a woman do in such a situation? How should she proceed? There are lots of paths she can take. She can take up writing and write a book. She can teach a skill to friends and neighbors and then grow into something bigger. She can create jewelry and sell it online. Or she can provide consultation such as advice to new moms. Whatever she chooses, it should be something she enjoys.She may need training, guidance, or a mentor. She may look into books or videos or lectures. She may take up a short course to revise what she learned years ago. But the important thing is to take the first step, the decision to do something. And then make a plan on how to proceed, write down what you’ll need, and then take action!

  4. Amazing article
    I believe it’s never too late to take on new projects or learn new skill sets

  5. A thought provoking article. The choices a woman makes seem to be the point of discussion in many female gatherings & something the media highlights on a regular basis . The social & moral fabric of society here in the west has been torn partly because of the women’s lib movement . Safe guarding due to child abuse has risen to an unprecedented level here in England .
    Women, especially Muslim women should resist the insidious pressure of fitting in with the western model of female emancipation .

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