The woman today has no doubt more choices than her mother or her grandmother had and behind all those self-improvement mottos, there lie tired eyes, very tired eyes, thanks to lack of sleep. Despite it being, “New Year, New You”, the middle age for women is being touted a tiring and stressful time even though when they were growing up they thought they could achieve anything and now that they are actually grown up it’s not as rosy as they thought it would be.
They were disappointed that they did not live up to what they were told they could achieve
‘Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis’ by author Ada Calhoun sheds more light on the issue and when she interviewed hundreds of Gen X women she found that they were disappointed that they did not live up to what they were told they could achieve. Hence, overwhelmed with guilt because they are convinced that they could have done more with their lives and should have done more, particularly when they were handed more opportunities than their mothers; this is now a new kind of mid-life crisis that is eating away at their sleep. “Even women I spoke with who supposedly “had it all” — the career, the family, the exercise regimen, the friends — told me that for one reason or another it didn’t count, because they weren’t good enough at one or more of these endeavors,” writes Calhoun. Moreover, Gen X women are also feeling guilty for complaining about their life because they had more opportunities, “but choices don’t make life easier. Possibilities create pressure,” says Dr. Deborah Luepnitz, a psychotherapist practicing in Philadelphia.
There is the expectation that every generation must outdo the former
Back in 1982, Helen Gurley Brown conceived the now-cliché phrase “having it all” in her book ‘Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money — Even If You’re Starting With Nothing’ and you wonder why women think they need to have it all; they also want to do it all. “It seems unfair that the wave I got to ride through my 40s, not just the economic boom but the exhilaration of finding our way as ‘liberated’ women, isn’t there anymore. Exceeding expectations was so much easier when there basically were no expectations. Whatever you managed to do was more of a win. It’s as if the idea of stress hadn’t been invented yet when I was your age,” said Caroline Miller, former editor-in-chief of New York magazine, Seventeen, and Lears. There is the expectation that every generation must outdo the former, however, the truth is that while men 41 percent of men are outearning their fathers, only 1 in 4 women are outearning their mothers. Today, the 40-something woman still juggling everything at home like looking after the elderly and raising children all while working a full-time job. Hence, many women are just worried all the time and what they really need is a strong support system and companionship to embrace this phase of life.
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