By this Blob, most adults are well established in their careers and personal lives. A routine has taken over and this often makes these established adults to self-confront and reassess their lives. They ask themselves “Is this all there is to life?” and compare who they are, to what they thought they would be. It is almost ‘half-time’ and very often a time of crisis, especially for women.
Women, who are still single or childless may experience the “eleventh hour panic” if they think about the ticking biological clock. They need to decide to either remain childless or
make extra efforts to bear children, now or in the future. Some companies, like Apple and Facebook, now even offer to cover the cost of elective egg freezing to female employees who agree to delay child-bearing.
In general both, single men and single women in this Blob, have to face uncomfortable situations and pertinent questions from so-called well-wishers inquiring about their ‘single’ status. According to Eurostat statistics from 2015, there is a widespread decline in the number of traditional nuclear families composing of a couple with children; a high proportion of adults actually choosing to live alone (31.4 %) or as couples without children (24.7 %).
On the other hand, women (and men) who are married, but dissatisfied with their situation, may also experience restlessness and depression. They may feel that they are still relatively young and of child-bearing age, and could make a new start. Divorces in this Blob are thus not seldom and, increasingly, initiated by the wife. With divorce comes change and a temporary financial and social crisis that needs to be dealt with. Readings from the Eurostat statistics show that the number of families composed of lone parents in the EU-28 region accounted for 16% of the total number of families, the majority of which were lone mother families (13.4%).
But there is of course also a large proportion of happily married, settled down couples with children, who might be thinking of going for a ‘last child’. Their thinking may now have become quite practical to cope with the challenges of “family life” and the need to take important private and career decisions. There is want of success at work and at the same time, social responsibilities to fulfill. School activities of the children often take up a lot of time and energy. At the same time, there will also be a change in relationship towards their parents, as they reach retirement age.
Physically, aging becomes more apparent. Physical appearance changes as skin becomes drier, wrinkles start to appear and the hair grays even more. Women may experience pre-menopause and may feel distressed due to hormonal imbalances and fluctuations. These may be apparent via weight distribution and gain with no apparent change in eating habits, sleep disruptions and disturbances, hair loss, vaginal dryness, changes in libido, irregular or changes in periods and other side effects. Mentally, pre-menopause may cause anxiety, mood swings or a sense of urgency in women, as they notice these physical changes occurring, even though they themselves feel young.
Click here for Blob 8: Anchored Adult
Understand why the 7-year life stages are outdated in this Blog
RESOURCES AND REFERENCES
Being young in Europe today – family and society from Eurostat Statistics
People in the EU – statistics on household and family structures from Eurostat Statistics
You’re Turning 40-Embracing Both Physical and Emotional Changes at this Milestone Birthday by Deb Schilling (Family Medicine, Primary Care)