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Archive for May, 2013

Mommy Make-Overs For Empty Nesters

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

 

I had dinner with one of my dearest girlfriends recently.  By the start of our second glass of wine we got right down to the nitty gritty – “L.A.C. of purpose” (Life After Children).  She is now an empty nester and life without her children in her home has been a serious adjustment  as life as she has known it, is now changed forever. She is a bright, beautiful, enthusiastic woman who runs a multimillion dollar company yet she found she is lacking something…a passion or purpose in this new empty nesting stage of her life. She isn’t sure how to fill all of the evening time that used to be absorbed by the kid’s activities and shared that home just doesn’t feel the same.  The idea of focusing on herself is new territory and the process is a slow one. She has been the ultimate caregiving for years. It is what she does, part of her identity.  I have spoken to many of my mom friends who have also been deflated by this life changing event. It is indeed a lot to take in.

As I have one child down and one to go, I am listening to them carefully and taking notes. I’m preparing myself for that same empty nester syndrome as we speak. I have been told that I was a little crazy for about a year before my oldest daughter left me behind to further her education.  As the days rush closer and closer to senior year for my youngest, I can feel a pinch of sadness each morning as I flash her a smile and wish her a good day at school, knowing there are only 191 more opportunities to say that ever. I’m already starting to morn her absence and she hasn’t even left yet!

It seems to me that no matter how we try, moms just can’t emotionally prepare for this event, we just can’t. It just leaves a hole in the middle of our chest. And there is no one who can fill it but us. As little girls we prepare for adult life by pretending to get married on the school playground and spending countless hours mothering our dollies.  But in all those years, I don’t ever remember pretending that the kids actually grew up and left home!  My dolls never got too old to sit on my lap and listen to their favorite bedtime story or too old to be seen being dropped off at the movies by their mommy.  I don’t ever remember walking into the red, white and blue playhouse my dad built for me, pretending to return home from work to be over- come by the sadness my homes new silence brings when the kids aren’t there to greet me… no more banquets or ballgames to rush off to…just a perfectly clean, perfectly silent, perfectly empty, nest.

Being a mom is like a continual series of small demotions until one day when we finally get fired or retired – I’m not really sure which it is…

As a mom you have dedicated your life to attending ballet recitals, baseball games, band concerts, weekend volleyball tournaments, school plays and talent shows (where of course your child was the best, oh wait, no, that was mine  lol).  You have played Pokémon, Barbie’s, and settled fights over who gets to be the RED Power Ranger. You taught your child to ride a bike and master the multiplication tables.  You have watched endless hours of Bugs Bunny, Banana’s In Pajamas, and Boy Meets World.  You know you’ve caught yourself singing Barney songs in the car even when you kids weren’t with you!  You’ve kissed boo boos, dried the tears of a bad haircut and had uncomfortable but necessary sex talks. You’ve cured everything from colds to crushed hearts.  You’ve dragged your entire family’s luggage from one side of the airport to another all because your little princess wanted a Cinnibon. You have thrown school holiday parties, picked out prom dresses and first cars, spent hundreds of hours worrying about facebook, dating, drugs, alcohol, and college degrees.

You have planned carefully to teach them all of the lessons they would need to successfully go out into the world as a responsible, respectful citizen and then at some point they actually have the audacity put those tools work.  They have left your nest.  Now what?

Now what?  That is the question many empty nesters are asking. Well you can spend day after day curled up under the covers of their empty bed looking at photographs from years past or you can decide that it’s finally time to focus on you and find your next adventure in life.

I see this same empty nester syndrome in many of our patients at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic.  The ones I see are the take charge empty nesters who aren’t sitting back in their rocking chairs though.  They have been through the dark side of empty nesting and came out swinging.  That is the path I hope to take.  They are finding new careers, new passions, new hobbies. They are taking time to eat better, exercise more, and try new things.  They are acknowledging and take care of the issues that bother them and embracing the things they enjoy.

Before

Mommy Make-Overs are gaining significant popularity not only in Dr. Castillo’s practice but world-wide.  According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, “in 2011, female patients sought to get their pre-baby” form back by requesting 320,000 breast augmentations, 290,000 liposuctions and 144,000 tummy tucks.”  Today, most women would like to remain as youthful as possible.  The body changes that occur during and after pregnancy or during and after menopause can make that near impossible.

“Mommy Make-Overs” aren’t just for new moms. More often, “Mommy Make-Over” procedures are very appealing to women who have recently found themselves to be an empty nester.  In talking with one of our Mommy Make-over patients she shared “For years I’ve dreamed of having my body back.  Now that my kids

After

are gone, I finally have time to focus of me.“

Being a mom, though irreplaceably rewarding, is also the most demanding job you will have. It takes a toll on both your body and your spirit.  Too many nights sitting up polishing off the last of the Ben & Jerry’s while waiting for your new driver to arrive home safely has earned you a thick mid-section to match the already present muffin top, sagging skin and weak abdominal muscles you earned with the birthing of your children. You have lived far too long with elongated, deflated sacks that you used to recognize as breasts before breast feeding your little darlings.

It seems like society has placed mothers in a role that is much like a super-hero of sorts.  More than in years past, today’s moms are BUSY! We do it all! We are educated, over-scheduled, over-worked, under-rested creatures who find time to affectionately care for everyone but ourselves. I often here from mommy make-over candidates that they have been bothered by the appearance of their post-pregnancy breasts and body for years but just never had the time or left over energy to do something about it while they were still raising children.

Samuel Ullman once said “Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up on enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.   So this Mother’s Day wish for all the empty-nest mommy’s out there is to take this opportunity to give yourself a mommy makeover, whatever that may be to you.  You have done your job.  You have introduced kind, successful, respectful citizens into society.  Take a breath, pat yourself on the back.  Now focus on you! Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and get started!  Discover new books, old passions, take better care of your health and your skin, take an adventure with a good friend, or maybe even get your body back with a Mommy Make-Over by Dr. Castillo.  You have certainly earned it!  With any luck you will re-discover yourself and your adult children will discover that their confident, interesting, evolving mom is someone they really enjoy spending time with.

Congratulations on a job well-done ladies!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Roxanne

Skincare & Laser Specialist

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery