My daughter is entering middle school in August. I don't know about you, but it scares me. Probably more than other childhood stage I've experienced with her. I remember junior high all too well and it was not a pretty time. Then there's the hormones that will be surging soon, likely turning my very rational little girl into who knows what. There's the worry attached to letting go and allowing her to experience more independence.
But there's also the "stage" I'm going through. She needs me less (at least for her basic needs like food and clothes), which opens up more time for me and, all though I've had my own business, I've always kept a careful cap on it, telling myself I couldn't "go big" because I was needed at home. Now that excuse is disappearing and I have no one to blame but myself for staying small and avoiding adventure.
If you know me, you know that whenever I am faced with a problem, I research the living daylights out of it and then formulate a plan. (That sounds very sane, I should probably mention that I often cry and have a little pity party, get sick of myself, and THEN I research the problem.) In my latest efforts to get my daughter prepared for middle school, I came across Michelle Icard's wonderful essay, Seven Tips for Having the Best Time in Middle School. It has great tips and I think my daughter will benefit from it and I will encourage her to implement many of the tips. But I'm thinking it probably wouldn't hurt me to take some of those seven tips and apply them to my situation either. Read the article as if it's titled, Seven Tips for Having the Best Time in Middle Age. I won't rewrite the article, but I would invite you to go back and read it as though it was written for you, not just you, the parent of a middle of schooler, but you, a middle aged woman who is moving into a new stage in her life, and possibly having some hormonal changes too (ahem). Read it through that lens and see where it takes you. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.