I feared turning 40 because it meant getting old. But today, I don’t feel old at all unless I am talking with our teenagers. I am in a new season of life with a new energy to pursue things with purpose and deep intentions.
God is writing a fresh chapter with setbacks and aha moments. The Lord unfolded these series of events one after another when I turned 40.
I planned to be a hands-on mom before our first child was born. Three and a half years later came our daughter. I was breastfeeding our daughter while caring for an active 3 1/2 year-old-boy. My life revolved around them. Even though I still had my clinic, I couldn’t treat patients anytime.
While my colleagues and childhood friends were busy building their profession and career in their 30s, I was homeschooling, breastfeeding, and devoting my time with the family. There were times I would wish for a different life because I felt useless. The clinic was there, but I used my role as a mom not to see patients.
The profession can be profitable. But it’s not always about the money. Nobody understood what I was going through. They didn’t see the conflict in my heart between doing what I am expected to do and doing what I want. Though I have no what “doing what I want” was, but I know there was something else.
I have asked many times for a change of heart. “Lord, you know I don’t like this career but if this is what you want for me, then please, change my heart.” I have reopened the clinic and attempted to start again many times, but it didn’t last. I was miserable.
To prove a point, I looked for online jobs because I wanted to escape this life set for me by my mom. My motive was not right. In hindsight, I knew why I didn’t get the job I was applying for. There were a few opportunities, but they were short-lived.
Then, I made a big decision that changed everything. I sold all my dental equipment and closed the clinic for good. But this did not come overnight. It was years of praying, counseling, doubting, and crying. It’s a choice I have to make for myself. I know it disappointed my mother, but I have to live a different life. It was a painful but liberating decision.
My mother supported me throughout dental school because she wanted me to practice this profession. I accepted the path she carved out for me, but I was so unhappy living somebody else’s dream. When I informed her of my decision, she gave me her blessing to pursue what I wanted to do.
What now, 40-year-old mom?
Again, I sought the Lord in prayer to guide my path. While waiting, I continued to write. I read more books and took online lessons to improve my writing. Listening to podcasts also helped improve my writing vision. Then, I prayed for an opportunity to get paid to write, and the Lord answered it the following year.
A friend hired me as a writer, and that experience increased my confidence to pursue writing. But as fickle-minded as I am, I asked the Lord again if writing would be my bread and butter. His response was not what I expected. He told me to review my prayer request in the previous years. When I reviewed my journal, the Lord confirmed to pursue the business, but I forgot.
So, I devoted time to developing new products for our small business. I enrolled in classes to be a better baker and chef (at home). And the Lord just opened doors for the business.
Second, the Mommy Mundo team led by Janice Villanueva chose me as one of the 20 pioneer mompreneurs for the Mompreneurlab project. The purpose is to help mothers who are juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship to be the best moms for their kids while managing a business. It is ongoing and hoping to graduate by November.
When I met my classmates at the Mompreneurlab, I realized I may be the oldest, if not, one of the older moms in the group. I felt like an oddball in the group, but this made me more determined to pursue the business this time.
While this was happening, another writing gig opened for me to write for a group of business people. This also paved the way for a regular content writing stint. There may be a lot of things on my plate today, but the Lord is gracious to help me balance my time.
Know Who You Are
I was an insecure 30-year-old mom 16 years ago. Now, I am 40ish and able to do things I didn’t imagine doing. I knew that there was something more for me, and I waited for the right time. Just because I am a mother, it doesn’t mean I cannot do anything else. Motherhood is one role I play every day, and I am not just a mom.
Author Jeff Goins says, we are all souls who have different roles. We are wives, mothers, sisters, friends, professionals, counselors, writers, and many more. But knowing who we are is far more important than the roles we play. Our roles do not define us; God does.
At this age, I know who I am: I am a child of God not because of what I do but because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.The roles I play daily reflect this identity. I will never have a perfect life in this world, but I know a sinless one awaits me in God’s kingdom.
So, if you are a first-time mom and feel you have your hands full, it will get better. Trust me. I’ve been there. Breastfeeding and sleepless nights will cease. Diapers will no longer be in your grocery list. The kids will grow up so fast and when they do grow up with up too. Do not neglect yourself, Mom. Life doesn’t stop for you just because you became a mother. There is still a woman behind every busy mom. Who is that woman?
Look forward to your 40s. Life only gets better!