Midlife Crisis

by SWVA Mom

I just ran across this article and thought it might make for an interesting discussion. I don’t have much to say in terms of an intro except it feels good to know I’m not alone!

Why So Many of Us Experience a Midlife Crisis

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176 thoughts on “Midlife Crisis

  1. That article makes me feel a lot better. As I’ve mentioned, my life satisfaction increased by a factor of 10,000 from age 18 to 24. So, while things are great now, I miss that feeling that things are constantly getting better at a very high rate.

  2. Junior was my midlife crisis. I was miserable in Biglaw, then he came along, other things happened and I emerged from my crisis truly enjoying being a full-time dad and sometime lawyer. It will be interesting to see what will happen in a few years when he leaves the cat and me. Maybe it will be a “W” instead of a “U”. I hope not.

  3. I would be interested in how much of this “U” is due to that seems to be the time in life where you are being pulled different directions. People are not having kids as early, so in your mid-50s:
    1. One or more of you kids hasn’t launched, and might still be in high school or younger.
    2. Your and/or spouse/partner’s parents are needing more of your help – time and/or financial.
    3. You are at that place in your career where your work is more connected to other people – such as managing them directly or managing projects as opposed to being team member.
    4. It’s when you start to face your own health issues – from just the minor slowing down to potentially serious issue.

    But, give it a few more years and kids have launched, parents are gone, and retirement is just around the corner, if not already here. Seems like life would look bettter

  4. Good article. I was a little surprised that this “mid-career” crisis was expected to persist into your mid-50’s. If that’s true for you, it doesn’t give you a ton of time for the bliss at the other end.

  5. I wonder how much is because all of the new and exciting things have mostly happened – graduating, first job, getting married, buying your first house, first kid, etc. and this is when you figure out that this is it. For me, having goals and big, new things to look forward to are a big driver in my happiness. It is something that I struggle with now, particuarly since I am not working (even though it was of my own doing).

  6. Interesting article. My mid life career happened early (29-30 years old), when I had to give up some of my career aspirations to be the mother that I wanted to be. After giving up my ambition, I have been a lot happier. Now I lead a “good enough” lifestyle. My career attainment, my salary, etc. are “good enough”. I know I am not going to climb higher, and I’m ok with that.

  7. Public Service Announcement: So it turns out that some aches and pains, slowing, fatigue, etc is not just normal at 50-ish. Some can be brought on by vitamin deficiency (in my case B12). It is not something routinely tested, so you should actually mention the symptoms to your doctor. (I did not, but it was found when investigating something else). I’m hoping that restoring myself to good health will address some of the midlife crisis issues.

  8. “I wonder how much is because all of the new and exciting things have mostly happened – graduating, first job, getting married, buying your first house, first kid, etc. and this is when you figure out that this is it.”

    Oh I definitely think so. After 20 years of knowing that there was something bigger & better coming all the time, it’s a hard adjustment to take a hard look and see that I am approaching 40 and also approaching my probable plateau in my current career. And at home – 10 years of marriage, a 7 yo, and lots of routine. I don’t mind it so much in my personal life, but there is not as many big changes or events to look forward to, that is very true. And it’s kind of a drastic change from the past 20 years which had so much change and growth.

  9. PSA, a friend’s husband had vitamin B12 absorption issues around 50 brought on by medication, so it’s not just getting enough B12, it’s also absorbing it.

    Tangent: Explain, at a second grade level, why the sum of two even numbers or two odd numbers is even. I tried, but I was not great. Explanations on the web use variables, which is too abstract.

  10. This rings true, DH and I are in our late 30s. There’s still career upside probably but sometimes we feel terribly behind compared to others in our circle (salary, where we are at work, savings etc.). It’s also a good thing to accept early that people that are not as smart as you, can often make way more $ because of luck, personality, etc.

    PSA – I think a lot of Americans are B12 deficient from what I’ve read.

  11. I’m also feeling the midlife crisis stuff this year, with my mom’s cancer, job ambiguity, and, strangely enough, new baby. I’ve decided life transitions are hard for me, and I do better when I know what to expect and how to manage life in light of it.

  12. WCE – I would tell a 2nd grader it is because the numbers each have a pair. Pairs = even. odd man out = odd

  13. I agree with Cat. Because, as the question says, it’s the sum of TWO even or TWO odd numbers. TWO is even.

  14. Cat S, I used basically that idea, contrasted with the “leftover” one you get when you add an even and an odd number. Rhett, the number line is good for a kid who doesn’t get the idea, but DS1 understands the idea. We just both struggle to explain it with words for the teacher. We’ll see what the teacher says, and then perhaps I’ll have a better idea for next time.

  15. Milo, aren’t you taking for granted that 2 times something is even? That’s true, but is essentially what you have to show. Or maybe I’m reading too much into the question.

  16. “So, while things are great now, I miss that feeling that things are constantly getting better at a very high rate.” — Yeah, that.

    ITA with the “so many demands at once” aspect, and the “be careful what you wish for, you might get it” aspect. The thing about being a kid is you’re so excited to figure out what you want to “be” when you grow up that you’re almost desperate to get there — so you rush through this and that and the other, and you hurl yourself down the path you think you want. And then either you don’t get there (which forces you to face your limitations), or you get there and realize that you still don’t feel satisfied (which forces you to face your limitations *and* feel guilty for being a whiny complainypants in the process). And then you start to look at all the paths you didn’t follow and wonder if any of them would have made you happier — but now you’re getting older and don’t feel like you have time to start over, and you have family/work/financial obligations, so you can’t just ditch everything and take out $200K of student loans to take a flyer on something. And then you get to deal with aging/dying parents and grumpy ungrateful teenagers to boot. So instead of life seeming like that vast open plain of opportunities, it’s more like you’re looking down the fat end of a funnel, with obligations closing in and joy just seeping out. And a nice heaping ladle of guilt for not feeling sufficiently grateful that you are better off than 99%+ of the planet.

    Not, you know, that I have any experience with any of this. . . .

    I don’t know that there is a “cure” — what are we supposed to do, raise our kids to expect that their lives will suck, so at least they are happy if they exceed expectations? I think a lot of this is just (for lack of a better word) “processing” that people need to go through. What really matters to you? Are there things that bring you joy that you have not been paying sufficient attention to — and are there things you have spent too much time on that really aren’t giving you that emotional payoff? How much is enough — not just $$, but time, and relationships, and home-cooked meals, and sex, and achievements, and all of those other parts of life that require tradeoffs?

    This is where I think the “wisdom” aspect comes in (from the other article). Science suggests that people basically suck at identifying what will make them happy. So maybe you need 40 or 50 years of experience to do that a little better, so you start spending your time/energy/money on the things that really do make you happy, instead of the things that don’t.

    Which, btw, don’t all need to be sappy and emotional and Totebag-approved endeavors. I still love my Mustang. :-)

  17. WCE – I predict that I will have a stroke once my kids start getting assignments like that.

  18. You’re reading way too much into the question. This used to be a joke in nuclear power school. The Navy wanted you to learn different “proofs” or explanations for various reactor physics phenomena. In the condensed one-year training program, there’s a lot of “taking for granted,” or as we’d say “inherent by design.”

    This is second grade. Two of anything is even.

  19. Or maybe I’m reading too much into the question.

    Or maybe it’s a stupid question?

  20. Milo, I suspect you’re right. You’re seeing why many of my teachers didn’t like me in middle school/high school.

  21. I went through a midlife crisis in my mid thirties when I realized that it would be difficult for both of us to climb the career ladder with two kids. It took a while to mentally adjust to being parent in charge vs. equal parenting. Career wise, this worked out great for one not both of us. I try do the best I can at work while balancing out the home front. It has taken a number of years to get to this point and now I am happy where I am. I used to have house and car envy, but even that has dissipated. What we have is paid for and good enough.

  22. To the degree I’m going to have a mid-life career crisis, I have either passed through it, it has yet to come, or it will never come. (Probably the last…I never really rebelled as a teen. I remember my mom & sister having humungous arguments but I don’t remember that about me and neither does my mom…favorite child that I am.)
    I’m probably in that “retirement is visible on the horizon, but stuff remains to be done” stage. Career advancement is not really on the list, though for the right opportunity on the right terms…

  23. we feel terribly behind compared to others in our circle (salary, where we are at work, savings etc.).

    I think that’s a big part of it. Of all the people who know, we are probably the second most successful. It certainly must be different if you’ve ended up in the middle or bottom of your peer group, even if the bottom of your peer group still puts you well into the top 1% of all families in the US.

  24. The math problem…From the math forum:

    This is one way you can think of it: an even number of objects can
    be “paired.” For example 10 apples can be matched up into 5 pairs of
    apples. An odd number of objects will have one left over when pairing.
    For example, 5 oranges can make 2 pair with 1 left over. (This is the
    definition of odd numbers, having a remainder of 1 when dividing by
    2).

    With two odd numbers, each odd number by itself has one left over, but
    when we add them together, we can combine these two “leftovers” to
    form another pair.

    Any time we add an even number of odd numbers, we’ll be able to pair
    up the “leftovers” and get an even number for our sum. But if we add
    an odd number of odd numbers, we’ll get an odd number for a sum. This
    is because we can only pair up 2 of the 3 leftovers (or 4 of 5, 6 of
    7, etc.)

    I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, write back.

  25. “certainly must be different if you’ve ended up in the middle or bottom of your peer group”

    She’s just in the wrong neighborhood. And she’s probably comparing themselves unfavorably to people who have gotten significant money passed down, in one form or another, even if that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  26. Milo/Rhett – I think it’s just been this week. This couple that lives in our neighborhood that we’re friendly with (the husband works for a client of DH’s team) just completed a renovation on their $1m home and just decided to buy the new house that’s going up across the street ($1.6M) and don’t have to sell their current home first. I’ve just come to the realization that people our age are making a lot of freaking money. Then DH says, why did I go to law school when those finance friends are doing way better and seem to have better schedules? And yes, wah, wah, wah…

  27. Rhett – peer group matters! I feel much more satisfied around my college friends than I do around my husband’s. State school v Ivy. What I find even more interesting is that even those who are less successful than average in my group seem so much happier than those in my husband’s group.

  28. “we feel terribly behind compared to others in our circle (salary, where we are at work, savings etc.”

    We have two different groups of friends–a middle class group, which is close to us financially and a 1% group that blows us out of the water, wealth-wise. Multiple houses, Italian sports cars, etc. I like them and they are very nice. However, I hate having them over to our house, as it makes me feel totally inadequate. They don’t care, DH doesn’t care, but I care.

  29. I normally don’t ever feel much for poetry, but this one was in a book I’ve been reading, and I really liked it. It reminded me of many of the conversations here:

    My Wage

    I bargained with Life for a penny,
    And Life would pay no more,
    However I begged at evening
    When I counted my scanty store.

    For Life is a just employer,
    He gives you what you ask,
    But once you have set the wages,
    Why, you must bear the task.

    I worked for a menial’s hire,
    Only to learn, dismayed,
    That any wage I had asked of Life,
    Life would have willingly paid.

  30. Atlanta – Right. You need poorer friends. Move 20 miles farther out and start going to church.

  31. For many in the Totebag group the peer group includes Top colleges vs. State schools. There must be a number in their class that went to considerable financial success causing dissatisfaction in those that are merely doing well. I forgot to mention, we feel pretty good because our move put us in an area where we feel like we are doing pretty good compared to our peers.

  32. “Crisis” tends to happen for me when too many things are on a downward trajectory or too many environments are negative at the same time. If it is one area of life, I can cope, but when it gets to be multiple, crisis does describe how I feel.

  33. @WCE: I like Cat’s explanation. Then again, DD did just rock a 46 on her last geometry test, so maybe I’m not the target audience.

    Which, btw, appears to demonstrate the need for Common Core a few years ago, when she was learning the basic principles. She is having the classic word problem issue, where you have to think through *how* to answer a problem instead of having a single rule readily apparent. So for ex this week’s final problem had two adjacent triangles making up a larger triangle; two angles were identified, and two lengths, but not on the same triangle. And then they asked a series of questions, like figure out angle A. In this case, she didn’t have the data she needed to calculate that angle, so she stopped dead and threw up her hands, saying “he hasn’t taught us that yet.” But in reality, she needed to take the data given, use it to calculate the length of one missing side, and then use that length to compute the missing angle. And of course the problem itself is like a 6-part problem, where your answer to (a) then becomes an input into (b), so if you screw up the first one, you’re dead.

    I wish she had had the benefit of the “explain how you know”/”do it three ways” approach that DS is getting under Common Core. She is awesome at the individual operations (e.g., “ok, yeah, that’s a cosine = apply rule). But if they don’t give her all the data she needs for the requested calculation, she goes deer in headlines. Whereas DS’s classes are a PITA now, but they do seem to be teaching the kids how to think about a problem, vs. just apply rote calculations. I suspect/hope that will help him develop the mental flexibility you need to break down more complex questions.

  34. If mid-50s = mid-life crisis, well then I have about 2 decades before I need to worry. :)

    I also wonder if there’s something like a quarter-life crisis. Right before I decided to return to school, I remember feeling unsuccessful and miserable with my life. I didn’t like my job, wasn’t sure what I wanted my career/family/life to look like. And then a co-worker pretty much told me that I’d never make it in grad school. It was like a bell went off. I changed my circumstances and never looked back.

    “we feel terribly behind compared to others in our circle (salary, where we are at work, savings etc.).” DH and I are guilty of this. Feeling left behind for us stemmed from my grad school salary, and DH’s stagnant wages (brought on by lots of job jumping because grant proposals weren’t being funded). And then we really looked at ourselves and the people were using for comparison. Sure they had all the toys in the world, but they didn’t own a home and probably didn’t have a strong savings. When our friends all had kids, and we were struggling to have DS, we felt like we missed a boat somewhere. One day, sitting in the NICU, I realized that the extra time it took for us to have DS meant less debt, more savings, better jobs (and promotion for DH), and even a few fun toys. We were able to survive the Great Flood of 2014. I don’t think the people we used for comparison would have been able to handle all that emotionally and financially.

  35. LFB: I am lucky that DS1 and DH are both good at geometry. DS2 is starting to learn these concepts, and we have two tutors in the family. I max out at algebra.

    Regarding poorer friends–DS1 is lucky to be going to a school with a lower socio-economic population. Most kids don’t get cars, most don’t go on glamorous vacations, and most go to the local university or take on significant college debt. This has effected his mindset about what is reasonable, in terms of colleges, vacations, spending money, etc. but in a good way. I always felt poor in high school–DS feels rich.

  36. You need poorer friends.

    I’d say it’s more about having poorer peers. Peers defined as the group to which you compare yourself.

  37. How long is the AP Calculus test ? I heard four hours from DS. Is this true ? Now, my kids bring home pieces of information that are true and sometimes wildly inflated so I am not sure what to think of “this or that is SO hard”.

  38. “She’s just in the wrong neighborhood.” — Atl, I totally agree with Milo’s prescription here. One of DH’s friends/coworkers was on the massive fast track at work, and has some family money to boot; when he made VP, he had his wife quit her job, and they upgraded from about a 5,000′ home to a maybe 7,000′ one — which they promptly expanded. Yeah, it was easy to be envious (especially since DH was the one who was doing the work that helped support this guy’s rise — and he was replaced with a total nebbish who stagnated DH’s career for the next several years).

    But OTOH, I live in one of the nicer houses in my neighborhood, everyone here drives Toyotas and Hondas (the one brand spankin new Lexus was actually noticeable), people work normal-professional-level jobs, they vacation at the beach with maybe a week abroad every 3-5 years, and the kids go to either the local public school or the local religious school. AND I don’t work “real” lawyer hours to get there. So I might feel a twang when I visit this one guy or drive through his neighborhood — but the other 364 days of the year, I feel pretty happy with where we are.

    I’ve said it before: it does not speak well of my character, but I reallyreallyreally love fancy cars and big houses and beachfront property. So I am just happier not spending every day surrounded by people for whom those things are a reality instead of a Powerball pipe dream. It helps me pay more attention to how much I do have instead of what I don’t.

  39. My midlife crisis happened when friends started to die. It’s mainly been cancer, but one of my closest friends from HS had a stroke this year.

    Dave Goldberg is almost the same age, and that is a perfect example of life is short even you’re in the 1% of the 1%.

    I quit my job due to mid life crisis, and I have very few regrets. I’m much happier and healthier than I was four years ago.

  40. LfB – I really love fancy houses too… My grand plan was to sell our house and put the proceeds half into a vacation house on Cape Cod and half into a ranch in our current neighborhood that we could renovate. Alas, DH did not approve of my plan…

  41. DS took AP Calc yesterday. Four hours start to finish but some of that was filling in name etc and at least one break. All AP tests I know of are the same. AP US history is Friday, and I will be drinking frozen adult beverages with little umbrellas in them Friday night. This has been the week from hell. ( Eg can someone explain why the music department scheduled a three hour band concert the night before AP Calc? And why the physics teacher scheduled a major unit test for right after AP Calc? Rant over).

  42. LfB ” it does not speak well of my character, but I reallyreallyreally love fancy cars and big houses and beachfront property. ”

    Why does it not speak well of your character? If you use your love of all those things to help you recognize what you do have, how does that detract from your character? For full disclosure, I’m right there with you sistah! I’m drooling on my copy of the Motor Trend cover of ridiculously expensive British cars.

  43. @Rhode: Because I am supposed to eschew materialism, especially the consumption of things that ostentatiously exceed the base level necessary for human survival, and instead revel in the fact that I require only half of a cookie — and a tomato cookie, at that — to achieve pure, unadulterated joy.

    When the reality is I want an Aston Martin Vanquish more than I want just about anything this side of oxygen.

  44. I literally just laughed out loud at this:
    and instead revel in the fact that I require only half of a cookie — and a tomato cookie, at that —

  45. About 10 years ago, when I was part-time and had babies/toddlers at home, I read in my college class’s latest Class Report about a classmate I hadn’t known, but whose career in many respects paralleled mine, only at a more impressive level for every step. And he was working in the presidential administration while I was in a job that, while an interesting job I could do part time and still spend half my time looking at interesting bugs and nursing and dealing with tantrums, was not particularly high on the impressive-career ladder. I felt a worm of envy and dissatisfaction wrap itself around my gut.

    Then, within the next year, he became a household name for his role in some shaky legal decisions and was the subject of scathing commentary everywhere but Fox News and the WSJ.

    I felt so much better about my life.

  46. Honolulu: I’ve stopped reading my class reports for business school. They go into recycling, unopened. This is important for my mental health.

  47. I feel a little like Rhett – everything was going so great for my first 10-15 years out of college. I felt like I was smart, had made all the right decisions about career, grad school, family. . . I was living the good life. However, instead of just leveling off, BAM! – I dropped off a cliff! Recession killed my job, 3 jobs in the 4 years after that killed my confidence, something in there killed my marriage. I’m slowly climbing my way back up now, but I’m more risk-averse, a lot less courageous, scared that I will fall again.

  48. I can’t say I’ve had a real midlife crisis, but I’ve had several points in my life where I’ve felt very dissatisfied with the way my life was going. Actually, I may be at that point now, but at my age I’ve executed enough reinventions and turnarounds to feel more confident that I can get through just fine. And that fits in with the explanation for why the later part of life tends to move in an upward curve of satisfaction.

  49. “a lot less courageous”

    I would tend to disagree.

    “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

  50. I wonder if the degree of the mid life crisis has to do with how well you’ve lived up to your self assessed potential?

  51. It’s interesting how many of the women here seem to have had something like a midlife crisis earlier in life, when the demands of family kicked in and knocked career ambition back on its heels. I wonder if the longitudinal surveys they’re looking at have really focused on whether men and women experience midlife crisis the same way?

  52. Isn’t midlife the point where you know enough about the world to know all the ways in which you could have done better or differently, and it’s too late now to go back and redo things? The realization that you have to live within the world as it is, not as you wish it to be, and the wisdom to sometimes know the difference?

    Has anyone done anything drastic, as a result of this, like Lauren? I am considering an MBA, just to do something different, but I can’t really justify that without a solid plan. It’s just a fantasy when bored at work. But then so is driving up the coast in a ruby red metallic Mustang convertible — that one’s just realistic sooner!

  53. Part of my obession with investment income is probably rooted in the idea that I can eventually use it to compensate for unexceptional professional success.

  54. @Lfb: I get it, I really do. But you aren’t mortgaging your house and spending more than you have to get the AM Vanquish (right there with ya… I’m drooling picturing it). And to be blatantly honest, you already ostentatiously exceed the base level necessary for human survival – you live in the US, own a home, have a steady job, and you/your family want for nothing. So there’s nothing character crushing about wanting the AM Vanquish more than your kids’ college educations. It’s an honest, human emotion. What makes you awesome is that you aren’t spending your kids’ college educations to get the AM Vanquish.

  55. @Milo, that totally worked for my parents. My dad was a mid-level federal govt. employee and my mom was an elementary school teacher/SAHM. They were always home for dinner, at swim meets, etc. when I was a kid, and they were very frugal – I thought we were poor. Little did I know that they were amassing a fortune. Of course, now they’re spending it all (but I occasionally get to benefit from that)!

  56. Well, I’m feeling that there is no purpose in life today. Suddenly I realized that I have until the end of the week to get 30 hours of CLE (Continuing Legal Education) finished. It’s easy to loose sight of this requirement when you’re partially retired. Luckily, I already had the CD’s. But they are on the most banal subjects imaginable! They were all I could get that fit my requirements for my four jurisdictions.

    I have no clue what I am listening to now. But I have to listen for the secret passwords in the CD’s to get credit in two jurisdictions.

    I am about to jump out of my skin. I simply cannot believe that the publishers of this crap (my CD’s cost me $600) got this through the state bar associations.

  57. I can’t Milo. They’re regular CD’s like music. I can’t speed them up on my computer.

  58. I do have one regret, and that is that I wish I had quit my job a couple of years before I actually made the final decision. It wasn’t sudden because I kept thinking it would get better, but the financial crisis dragged on for years. I didn’t want to leave because I liked my colleagues and I was afraid that I would miss the money.

  59. And DW sometimes expresses regret that she’s not being a “true SAHM.” She never has time to take #3 to the music classes and story times and playdates that she used to do.

    I’ll unhelpfully respond that before too long, #3 will be in Kindergarten, to which she’ll say “That’s the problem!!”

    You can’t win.

  60. There is nothing worse than listening to the audio of people showing slides. ZZZZZZ! (And I’m not calling you, my Hawaiian friend.)

  61. I am smack dab in the middle of this. So overwhelmed by the death and illness of peers and parents. As a SAHM now that kids are getting bigger, trying to figure out what i’m gonna do with the rest of things. I want to make sure there is a person there for my husband when the kids leave – don’t want to end up on two separate paths like Al and Tipper AND feeling crappy about feeling crappy when we have everything we need and most of what we want. Blerg.

  62. “…don’t want to end up on two separate paths like Al and Tipper….”

    Moxie, I think it’s good you’re thinking about this. Two of my sisters got divorced about 5 minutes after the kids had left home. They suddenly realized that they and their husbands had nothing in common and had ceased to like each other many years earlier.

  63. PTM, been there, done that. At least you remembered!

    I had my midlife crisis when I quit, so I hope there is not another 20 years in my future.

    Whether I am better off from realizing my ultimate insignificance remains to be seen.

    With the death of Dave Goldberg, a lot of my BigLaw former colleagues are posting articles that say this proves Sandberg was right about Leaning In, as you never know when your spouse will die. It strikes me as a good reminder to have generous life and disability coverage, but not a reason to run back to the office before it’s too late.

  64. Sky – I would have thought that BigLaw colleagues would say not to be in the office so much. I seemed to me like Sandberg mentioned 11 years a lot. Was that meant to say even though they had 11 years minus the time each of them spent working, they did a lot more things together than couples who spent 40 years together or what…

  65. Sky – how anyone could take away from Dave Goldberg that one should work harder baffles me. I say, get insured and enjoy the ride as it could end suddenly!

  66. Sky,

    You can’t buy divorce insurance. And even if you don’t get divorced, if you have your last kid at 30 you’ll be 48 when they leave for college. You need to keep in mind what you’ll do with the next 40 years of your life.

  67. Oh, I missed the math question! Too bad. That is a wonderful question for a second grader to be asking. I wish more would ask questions like that. My college students have probably never even thought about it.

    For a second grader, I would draw the quantities being added as dots, and then show how they always pair up if both numbers are even or odd. And show how it can’t possibly happen if one number is even and one is odd. I think visuals work great at this age. Yeah, it isn’t a rigorous proof, I know, I know.

  68. “,,, if you have your last kid at 30 you’ll be 48 when they leave for college.”

    Rhett, you’re so right! A couple of my older friends (yes, there are people older than me!) are gently prodding me to start getting back to my life. Junior probably has 5 more years with me. Then what will I do? Of course, my friends are right and yes, I hate them for it.

  69. You are right about low expectations and happiness. A local supermarket chain was hacked and 1000s of credit card numbers were stolen. I primarily use a Bank of America Visa for groceries and gas. I use Amex for almost everything else unless a store doesn’t take Amex.

    B of A notifed me about a fraud on my account before I even noticed, and they sent me a new card. It took a week for the card to arrive, but I wasn’t annoyed because it was B of A and my expectations about that bank are very low.

    Fast forward to this week, and one of my Amex cards was “compromised”. I love this new word that CC companies are using instead of stolen. Amex texted and called me to let me know that someone was trying to use it in a Tim Hortons in Canada. It took me 25!!!! minutes to get through to a human at Amex to let them know this was fraud. The representative wasn’t in the US and as soon he he realized that it was fraud – he had to immediately transfer me back to the US and I had to repeat the whole story. I was livid because I have much higher expectations of American Express. I got another call from Amex today when I started to use a totally different card that we just have for the airline points. Same process except that I was actually trying to use the card for small purchases all day. Phone call results in another trip to a a different country, and then back to the US.

    I am so pissed at Amex right now. The reason is because my expectation for their performance is so much higher than B of A, Chase or other retail banks. My retail banks are usually terrible with customer service, so I am delighted when they actually get stuff correct. This is the opposite because I am paying fees to have these dumb cards, and it shouldn’t be this challenging to get to speak to humans. I think my DD thinks the word representative is now a four letter word since I was shouting it into the phone.

  70. I had my midlife crisis when my youngest was two, DH was unemployed and I re-entered the workforce doing a job that I had wanted to get away from. I took the job because (1) they hired me (2) it paid well (3) we needed the money. I was generally unhappy and miserable for five years because this was NOT the life that I had envisioned. One day I realized that it had been a while since I had experienced that miserable feeling. I think I had just come to accept that this was the new normal, it was not so bad, and things could really be a lot worse. Throw in a few friends with life altering health issues, others with nasty divorces, seriously sick kids, and you begin to have a different perspective.

  71. Then what will I do?

    Didn’t we already settle this? Buy your Continental, move to The Villages, marry a floozy and run for mayor.

  72. I think I hit a nadir back when I was working at that awful healthcare IT place. The job was depressing, the entire field was depressing, the people were depressing, the managers treated me like I was old and inconsequential, and as a result, I felt OLD for the first time in my life.

    In my case, the job switch helped bigtime. Yes, I like to complain, because I can’t complain to my students or my chair like that. But I have been successful, I have lots of colleagues all around the country which is nice, and people treat me like I matter. Today one of the tenure trackers was begging me to run for the hiring committee for next year since we are likely to be hiring for a position. And teaching students is far more entertaining than tracking mistakes in HIPAA X12 eligibiilty transaactions being generated by some nasty ancient software.

  73. “Didn’t we already settle this? Buy your Continental, move to The Villages, marry a floozy and run for mayor.”

    Rhett, I take offense to your language – being The First Lady of the Villages was my back up plan if things go wrong up here. He could marry a perfectly nice, older lady who clearly was once very beautiful!

  74. (I hope they take cats at The Villages. In a few years the cat is going to be as old as I am!)

  75. PTM,

    Of course, as we discusses, you can start as Shuffle Board Commissioner to get the lay of the land. Then, as you begin to consolidate power, you can move onto bigger and better things.

  76. We can even make it into a reality show. Think House of Cards meets The Golden Girls.

  77. Lauren, of course you have higher expectations for Amex. First, you’re paying a fee, unlike with other cards. And second, they built their brand on promoting their customer service. Of course that was more marketing than reality. About 15 years ago, back when they had commercials all the time about how quickly they’ll get you a replacement card, my brother and a coworker were out here on business. the coworker lost his card or something and needed a replacement. Amex said it would be 3 days to get him a new card. He was screaming into the phone “you can get a new card the next day to the guy on the beach in the middle of nowhere, but I’m in Denver and it takes you three days to get me one?!?!?”

  78. HM, yes, but for some reason my fantasy involves owning and not renting!

    I did a LA-SF coast drive a few months ago, and all I saw were mustang and bmw convertibles! It was great. I also announced every one with a scream of “Mustang!” I think my mom hates me now ;-)

  79. The empty nest next step – though 5 years away still (and assuming everyone leaves home when they go to college) – does concern me. Some of the things we really enjoyed 20 years ago when we met are physical activities and are harder on my partner mainly due to some minor, but painful, chronic health issues, but also due to the difference in our ages. Over time a number of those activities have been replaced with kid stuff that we split more along the lines of interest; however, in the past year this too is beginning to fall more and more on me.

  80. PTM – If the CD allows you can move it to an MP3 player or your phone, where you can move the speed to 1.5 x. Though, I just finished a certification program where several of the webinars read every “slide” word for word. Even though I could read faster than the speaker, you couldn’t move to the next slide until they finished reading. Thought I would die.

  81. “The empty nest next step”

    I’ve mentioned before that this worries me. I so enjoy the four of us together, I don’t know what it will be like when the kids leave. It will be too quiet. We need a hobby. Or maybe we will move to PTM’s little kingdom…

  82. Rhett – I like your sitcom idea, starring PTM, even better than the cozy mystery series idea. Do it!

  83. I also am not looking forward to empty nest. Our house will be so sad without the noise. Many of my friends have been through this already and found it really difficult. These were all women with real careers and outside interests and great husbands – but they still found it really sad.

  84. I wonder how genetic this is, if at all. I come from a family of ppl determined to drink life to the lees. We appear to do this before a midlife crisis hits – perhaps to stave one off ? Perhaps the fear of such crisis is what has driven us.

    I’m suddenly quite interested in the difference: what is the impetus behind big life changes? It’s not always a midlife crisis. What makes some ppl wait for the crisis before they make a change while others have the crisis and still don’t make a change and yet another group makes the change before any crisis hits?

    Where is RMS – this seems like something she would have good insight on.

  85. Where is RMS – this seems like something she would have good insight on.

    Hm? Why would I have any special insight?

  86. Risley – What I get out of your comment is that I am happier when I am proactive in living my life instead of constantly reacting. But the dark side of that is that I’m always imagining the worst case scenario, and thinking about to prepare for it. But at least I feel I’ll not be gobsmacked. Hmm, it makes me feel more in control. “Feel” may be the operative word.

  87. It’s an interesting question, but it’s more psychological/sociological, I think. I would think it’s linked to risk-taking / risk-aversion. And maybe to how much social support you have. My parents always gave me the impression that if I screwed up I’d be disowned. This tends to restrict one from drinking life to the lees. Of course I could have just written them off, but that’s hard to do.

  88. WCE — “Occupation: Prince of the United Kingdom”. All righty then.

  89. What makes some ppl wait for the crisis before they make a change

    Human nature?

  90. I thought Rocky’s reaction to the article would be similar to her reaction to the aging advice, the “In 10 years, you’ll wish you looked as good as you do now.”

    In that light, this article is saying not to worry if you’re in a midlife crisis now, depressed that your life is unremarkable. In about 10 years, there will be even less you can do about it, and you’ll be too far gone to care any more.

  91. Ris, I could answer your question, but it would take far, far more information than I am willing to give here. In a nutshell, though, I think people suddenly realize that they have done nothing meaningful in life. At least it was that way for me.

  92. Milo – I never take #3 to those classes, either. But I don’t because I loathe them. I would rather clean toilets than sit through another round of Itsy Bitsy Spider. I figure #3 has plenty of exposure to kids because of her siblings and will be in preschool soon enough.

  93. Most people figure out sometime in their thirties or early-mid forties where they are at that point and how their life arc is likely to play out if they keep on the same path. They may be successful in some or all realms and want to continue as is, or decide to cash in their success and do something else or at least do less of their principal activity to free up time for other things. They may be unsuccessful or just getting by in some or all realms, and either check out of life entirely, or make drastic but risky changes, or perhaps have a spiritual transformation to accept the situation. With long lives, there are several “midlife” re-evaluation points – after 15 years in a career, as the kids arrive, as the kids leave, as your body can’t do what it used to, even on a positive note when financial and family time constraints are lifted and you can do what you want for the first time in many years.

    My life had so many actual crises in my 20s and 30s that when I went to work full time at 40 it seemed more like the beginning of a journey, full of promise, than a mid life shift. The decision to retire and reorient now is more like the mid life change of earlier generations. The premise of the 1932 self help book, life begins at forty, was that you would probably live another 25-30 years when your grandfather had one foot in the grave at that age. Today substitute 60 for 40 and there you are.

  94. All of this reminds me of the saying attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald: In your 20s you think love will save you, and in your 30s you think friendship will save you, and in your 40s you realize nothing will save you.

  95. We’ve been through several transitions, but none I’d deem crisis-worthy. I remember a big transition after college for many peers. At the time I was excited to be going to law school and felt good about my next steps, so it wasn’t a crisis time for me. Big job transitions were around, and transitions to more child care when we had kids. I don’t know that I’d say I’m doing “the most” (whatever that might be) with my life, but I’m pretty happy with the trajectory overall. My DH and I regularly talk about where we are on that path, what we want, and what changes we’d have to make to get there. We course correct in little ways a lot, but no major shifts. Then again, we’re fairly young, so perhaps my mid-life crisis hasn’t arrived yet?

  96. Do the British royals have no last name? Where does “Windsor” fit in?

  97. Don’t the Royals take their last names from the places they are “given”? For example, William and Harry use “Wales”. Prince Charles is the Something of Wales. Kate is the Dutchess of Cambridge (which William was given) or some such thing. I think the new princess is Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

  98. Lauren- Chase has been awesome to me in the numerous instances when my card has been hacked. They always pick up immediately when I call after the fraud alert, and overnight me a new card.

  99. Does anybody else find the obsession of so many Americans with the Royal Family annoying and bizarre? I just don’t get why I am supposed to care about royalty- it’s the exact opposite of what we supposedly value in America. It seems like mostly women who care- is it just a grown-up version of the princess dream? Or am I missing something?

  100. As several people on my Facebook feed noted, “Brits have the royals; we have the Kardashians.” Personally, I’ll stick with the royals.

  101. Rio, I have a United card with Chase. It hasn’t been compromised because I rarely use this card. I have a love/hate relationship with Chase, but they do answer the phone.

    Amex told my husband that a supervisor would call him back in three hours. This is for the Platinum card. Then the supervisor told him that they have no record of a conversation with me. He told them that is impossible since they have a new card in overnight mail to our address based on a conversation with me. I have a really good friend that works for Amex handling small business Saturdays. I asked her to help me get the name of someone that I can speak to about how this was handled.

  102. Late to the discussion. I’m in my late 40’s (yikes – feels odd to type that) but haven’t had any mid-life crisis issues. My teens and 20’s felt so hard and uncertain that to now be married with kids and with a job I enjoy seems like more than I ever imagined I’d be able to achieve. I also never had a desire to be the #1 in my field. I’m good at my job; people know I’m good at my job; so that’s enough.

    DH on the other hand has definitely been struggling with this. He’s good at his job but is unlikely to make partner. He somewhat regrets not majoring in computer science (he has a friend that started with Microsoft in the late 80’s or early 90’s and now is quite wealthy). So he’s having to let go of some of his aspirational dreams. Whereas I look at everything we have and it’s so much more than I imagined.

    There is part of me looking forward to not being pulled in so many directions and I enjoy thinking about all the things I want to do – but I imagine I will miss these days when I get there. I won’t miss trying to think of things to cook for dinner that at least 3 of the 4 of us will eat and that can be made in 45 – 60 minutes. Really really really looking forward to getting away from the daily grind of making dinner when we become empty nesters.

  103. “really really looking forward to getting away from the daily grind of making dinner when we become empty nesters.”

    Me, too! Oh, it’ll be nice just to have a cocktail and nuts, and then maybe some fruit or cookies. Or maybe cheese and crackers. Meanwhile, DH will grill a steak or heat leftovers, and that will be dinner. (I tend to front-load healthy stuff earlier in the day.) I’ve always thought I would be thinner if I didn’t have kids.

    The Villages, here I come. :D

  104. I will welcome you into my shuffle board league, CofC. When you arrive, I will pick you up in my Lincoln.

    (Rhett doesn’t believe me, but I really am buying that Continental and I may very well move to The Villages. It would be a wry coda to my life.)

  105. Their last name is Windsor. Technically, William and Harry are Mountbatten-Windsor, I think. H is only Wales in the Army.

    What I realized when we were in London — a few days before we left for there, really — is that I’m still a Commonwealther, through and through. I love the States, love living here, wouldn’t want to move back. I am not one of those transplants who’s always comparing my first country more favorably to this one — if anything, I do the opposite.

    But to me, the Royal Family is so much more substantive than a pop culture idol like the Kardashians or whomever. And I realized while we were over there that I am the only one of the 6 of us who feels that way. It wasn’t surprising to me that the other 5 don’t feel the way I do. It was very surprising to me just how much I felt the way I did.

    I can’t tell you what it meant to me to be there, at Windsor Castle, while the Queen was there. Overwhelming. Maybe it’s like how you’d all feel at a Civil War battle site, if one of your ancestors had fought there or something. My dad and grandfather were part of the RCR (Royal Cdn Regiment) and their seal, Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense, is the same as the seal of the Royal Garter, of which Prince Phillip is a member. You see that seal *everywhere* in London — in the halls of W Castle, on the Supreme Court building, on the carriages in the Royal Mews, etc. I grew up seeing that seal and hearing my dad say it. The Queen’s picture was in my schools — and on the money of course. We sang God Save The Queen a few times a year for various reasons. We went in PJs to see her ride through our city on a train for 30 seconds. There’s a photo of Prince Phillip saluting my dad when my dad was the CO of his base, and I saw it every day growing up (it was near my room, in a spare room that we called “The Army Room” because it had photos like that, etc).

    My uncle is dying, and has only a few months left. I drove up to see him last week, just north of Toronto. He told me he hopes to be around for September 16. Because that’s the date that the Queen takes over from Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch, and he’s really excited to see the ceremony for that. Imagine facing your final months, and that’s what you hope to stick around for. This is the kind of thing I grew up with.

    (None of this means I know a thing about the Royals — I’ve forgotten it all. But I do recall they are Windsor). Which, of course, is a town I grew up near.

  106. Ris, I could be wrong, and believe me, I am not a British Subject. But I think both Henry and William use Wales as their last name. Of course, on Charlotte’s birth certificate, Prince William identified himself of Prince of England (Great Britain?) and Kate as Duchess of Cambridge. No last names.

    I guess they don’t need them. Doesn’t the Queen not have a passport?

  107. Not a fan of Kardashians or Brit-royals. And I hate, hate, hate Brit-royal names. Smarmy, the lot of ’em. It was a big argument when we needed to name DD, because DH likes some of those names.

    My fave royals are the Dutch royals, who are seen out in public on bikes, and mainly look kind of jovial.

  108. Rio,

    I love it because it’s living history in a way that few things are. You have little Henry, son of William, son of Charles, son of Elizabeth, daughter of George, son of Edward, son of Victoria etc. etc. back through 1000 years of history. And you have the Victorian era or the Edwardian era etc. The chapters of a nations history defined by each generation of one family.

  109. “I did a LA-SF coast drive a few months ago, and all I saw were mustang and bmw convertibles! ”

    No bicycles?

  110. The Princess shares a name with an American city ;-) and the American city is called Queen City after a queen of the same name.

  111. “I think the new princess is Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.”

    She rules MIT?

  112. “Personally, I’ll stick with the royals.”

    They also have a show on E! now.

  113. “If mid-50s = mid-life crisis, well then I have about 2 decades before I need to worry. :)”

    You also need to plan for your retirement to last until about age 110.

  114. “is that I’m still a Commonwealther, through and through.”

    I’ve noticed that you write things like “go to hospital” or “go to university.”

  115. Sorry, I just cannot resist:

    “the seal of the Royal Garter”

    Do they toss the Royal Garter at the Royal Wedding?

  116. Ha ha Finn — it is kind of funny to see the great portraits of these great generals, etc, with a garter on their thigh.

  117. Seriously? They actually wear the Royal Garter? What does it hold up? (straight line there for anyone who wants it)

  118. PTM – this is from a website called History. (which points out that HRH does not have a passport, btw, so you’re right about that).

    “Elizabeth’s father, George VI, was born into the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but during World War I the family name was changed to Windsor amid anti-German sentiment. Similarly, her husband Prince Philip dropped his father’s Germanic surname, Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, and adopted that of his maternal grandparents, Mountbatten, during their engagement. But when Elizabeth ascended the throne, her mother and Prime Minister Winston Churchill did everything in their power to prevent the queen and her line from becoming the House of Mountbatten. They succeeded, but several years later Elizabeth proclaimed that some of her descendants would carry the name Mountbatten-Windsor—probably in an attempt to placate her fuming husband.”

    How do you like Prince Phillip’s father’s surname, btw?!!!

  119. I guess they can hold up their socks, like boy scout garters.

    I just learned something new.

    BTW, I think “The Royals” follows the Kardashians.

  120. I have just completed hour 19 of Continuing Legal Education. Eleven hours to go by Friday. I am despondent. To think anybody could think these subjects are worthy of thinking about! Much less giving a lecture on.

    Ris, I thought William at one point wanted his last name(s) to be Mountbatten Windsor, but was overruled. I don’t know. I really don’t.

  121. While I’m an American, I also grew up near Windsor,and since I didn’t have cable, I watched CBC as my alternative to “network” tv. I probably have an above interest in the Royal family than most Americans. In my many travels into Canada I have always noticed how many homes have Canadian flags flying everyday This was especially apparent in Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick. There is a different sense of pride for one’s country. I know I’m not explaining myself well, but what I’m trying to get across is that that Risley’s remarks about being a Commonwealther makes sense to me.

  122. I thought that Mountbatten used to be Battenburg (and was anglicized as well).

    All the names will change when Elizabeth dies. William and Kate will then be the Prince and Princess of Wales. I think Anne is Princess Royal, which I guess Charlotte will become someday when she is older (as the eldest daughter of the King).

    Will George become Duke of Cambridge when William becomes the Prince of Wales? They live so long that they have so many “extra” generations to have to come up with titles for!

    All non-important, silly but fun stuff to think about!

    I am less than a year younger than Princess Diana, so I always felt like we were “linked”. I was on an airplane flying to London when Prince William was born – I still remember when they announced it over the PA system – what a cheer on the plane!

  123. I am not a fan of the British royals. I like the appearance of a meritocracy and they seem so blah. Except Harry. He seems fun. I also find the Monaco prince and princess intriguing. She hates him so much. Surely he could have found a princess who could have pretended to tolerate him.

  124. PTM, one of the best days of my professional life was when I moved up here from TX (30 hours/year CLE) and asked what the MI CLE requirement was and heard the answer, “There is no CLE requirement in MI.” Ahhhhh.

  125. My credit card was hacked twice…once a Capital One card and once a Discover. The Capital One customer service resulted in my never using the card again. It was my first experience. The Discover happened second and was as pleasant experience as I could have had. They called to tell me it was hacked. At that time, they asked me for all my automatic drafts that were against my card and transferred them automatically to the new number for one billing cycle to give me time to make the changes to the accounts and prevent payments from bouncing. They asked me which transactions I had made after the hack that were legit and passed those through the new account as well. The overnighted the new card to me at no charge.

    In contrast, Capital One closed the account without notifying me – it was me calling them as to why I was declined at a merchant. They could do nothing about my automatic payments that were to have processed that day – I should call those companies and arrange something else. The one charge for that day was in limbo – they wouldn’t process it, it was just going to bounce. The customer service rep said they would overnight a new card, then they didn’t and when I called back I was told it was because I didn’t authorize the $15 fee to overnight it so it was in snail mail and would take 10 business days before I should call back. I am sure all this was in the fine print of their contract, but they lost a customer.

  126. WE ARE RUNNING SHORT OF POSTS, SO PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING IN YOUR TOPICS. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a long write-up, just a link and a blurb will do. Or just a blurb. Thanks!

  127. “You also need to plan for your retirement to last until about age 110.”

    And you need to plan that you’ll face forced retirement, or at least a forced and significant cut in income around age 55. And mathematically, once you start planning for more than 30 or so years, the difference between X number of years and perpetuity becomes meaningless.

    I don’t care much one way or the other about the royals, but I admire that they have maintained their tradition of military service, and my understanding is that they don’t get much special treatment there. It’s a small way for them to give back to their country, and it helps keep them somewhat grounded with real people.

  128. Just so you all know… please save the date for 20-30 years from now. My son will be marrying Princess Charlotte. You are all invited.

    ” I also find the Monaco prince and princess intriguing.” I’m pretty sure she only married him to get at Grace Kelly’s closet.

  129. Will George become Duke of Cambridge when William becomes the Prince of Wales?

    I’m curious to know when that will happen. Elizabeth is 89 so she’s has at most 15 more years to go at which time Charles will be 81. It’s certainly well within the realm of possibility that he will predecease her. Or, that at 81, he won’t be up to the task and will abdicate in favor of a mid 40s William.

  130. I caught the 9 kids in Italy HHI yesterday, which led me to their blog… they are missionaries, as someone mentioned, but they also own an online business selling workbooks and games for kids with dyslexia, which according to their blog is how they make a living.

    There was also a long post from the mom about how her secret to youthful beauty is pregnancy because “pregnancy stops the aging process” or something similar (they have 10 kids now) and generally waxing rhapsodic about how wonderful and beneficial to the mother every moment of pregnancy/motherhood is. I’m glad she has had an easy time (especially having been pregnant so many times!), but that has definitely not been my experience with this pregnancy!

  131. June – I have a friend who has 10 kids (singletons and one set of triplets). She now has 2 grandchildren. She does not look her age at all. She’s probably still a size 4. She had 2 very scary pregnancies in there (the triplets and her 10th child). I think my friend is just one of the lucky ladies whose body takes to pregnancy ridiculously well and bounce back at then end.

    I hope you are doing well! I can’t remember when you are due! I took it all a day at a time because if I didn’t, I would have gone crazy.

  132. Rhode, I am definitely in the final throes and will probably deliver within the next week (cross fingers). Exciting and light at the end of the tunnel!

    It has been amazing to me how different pregnancy is for each woman, and how quick people are to generalize from their own experience and assume everyone else must have the same experience (and that if they don’t, it’s because they’re doing something wrong).

  133. @Rhode – how is baby Rhode ? I hope the long crying spells have ended and he has settled down.

  134. June – did their blog mention if they are still in Italy and still in that three bedroom house? That is a lot of little people to manage. I still can’t figure out how they manage financially (hello, retirement savings???), but I’m a natural saver and worry wort about that stuff.

  135. June – good wishes for a safe and easy delivery! I think this is the perfect time of year to have a baby.

    And I am pretty sure my body would have conked out between baby 4 and baby 10. I am not meant to be a clown car. That woman is nuts!

  136. @June – not only pregnancy but also labor and delivery is so unique and one can never tell – even with a healthy baby at the end of it – how the process will play out.

  137. “(hello, retirement savings???)”

    If you have 10 kids, you don’t need retirement savings.

  138. June – my SIL is preggo with twins right now. I was talking to her last night and, at 30 weeks under house arrest, she’s very bored. She says “you remember! you were just there!”. Um no, sweetie. I worked literally up until the day I gave birth (I was planning to go to work after the doc appointment that sent me ultimately to DS’ birth). I had no time to be bored. So, I hear ya. But your story is all yours, and I hope that this is the week for you! Early May is a great time for a birthday! Please keep me informed! DS needs playmates!

    Louise – DS is 12 weeks corrected, and has found that time between being the easy sleepy baby and trying to fight sleep for our attention. He’s great at night (sleeps 6-7 hours without waking), but daytime sleep is another thing. We are now back to sleep training during the day. I think his late afternoon crying spell is all because he’s overtired. As much as he’s been cranky lately, he’s growing like a weed, and is starting to be a happy little boy. He smiles so much now.

  139. @Rhode – the being overtired and getting cranky is not limited to babies :-). One of my kids gets like that. I have to still enforce bedtimes otherwise after a few days, there is general crankiness and meltdown after school.

  140. Lemon, she said they were in Italy for a year and now they are in the Ukraine.

    Rhode, people keep acting really surprised that I am working right up until the end (and I get it because it is exhausting), but with no paid leave, I don’t want to burn any time pre-delivery. Glad to hear that Baby Rhode is getting some good nighttime sleep at least!

  141. Thanks, Cat! It is just now starting to get really humid here, so I am glad that I won’t have to brave the summer humidity while pregnant.

  142. “@Rhode – the being overtired and getting cranky is not limited to babies :-). ”

    Louise, you are so right! Junior is horribly cranky when he doesn’t get enough sleep. I’ve learned to insist that he go to bed when this starts up.

    I’m probably the worst example of this. I am horrid in the mornings until my second cup of coffee. I am just nasty, and basically I am not a nasty person. If my problem persists, and I can, I take a nap and I am immeasurably better.

  143. “and how quick people are to generalize from their own experience and assume everyone else must have the same experience (and that if they don’t, it’s because they’re doing something wrong).”

    +1. Good luck June!!

  144. Rhett – FWIW, my uncle predicts that on Sept 17, the day after HRH QE II breaks the longest- reigning monarch tecord, she will abdicate, pass over Charles and make William king. We shall see …

  145. Rhode – glad he is sleeping better at night for you! They have a daytime unsettled phase between 3 and 6 months, where their naps are all over the place. At 6 months we started enforcing the 7 pm bedtime and that worked very well for us.

    HM and Milo – I have had similar early-life crises. Both for feeling like I was a failure in my career compared to such-and-so from my class, and for feeling like I was a failure for not being a great SAHM. Unfortunately none of my classmates have been investigated for fraud….that I KNOW of. ;)

  146. June, my DW worked until Friday, and went into labor on Sunday for both of our kids. Not taking time off before delivery meant more time off after, which gave her both time to physically recover, as well as more bonding time.

    “I am glad that I won’t have to brave the summer humidity while pregnant.”

    DW having been pregnant during the summer is why we have AC in our bedroom.

  147. I would rather look old than go through 10 pregnancies. After child # 1, DH and I met a lesbian couple who had 2 kids. Wife 1 went through pregnancy for the first child; wife 2 went through pregnancy with their second child. I told DH I had never been tempted to leave him until I learned of that arrangement :-)

  148. ssm, and then there was the couple in Oregon, in which the husband bore the child.

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