We chat to Certified Life Coach Carlien Doevendans, who is based in Barcelona.
She explains why she is passionate about helping women in midlife, her own experience as a ‘trailing spouse’, the common reasons why women feel stuck in midlife, and how parents can cope with empty nest syndrome.
She talks passionately about how she felt having lived an expat life constantly on the move for over 13 years, while raising a family, nurturing friends and relationships and failing to find purpose in her life beyond that.
She goes on to give advice for parents to get through so-called empty nest syndrome once the children leave home.
Find out more about Carlien Doevendans here.
(0:50) MumAbroad:What made you decide to focus on women in midlife?
Carlien Doevendans: “For the past 13 years my life was literally duct taped to an airplane, and suitcases. Relocating between countries and travelling from home visits, holidays, projects, and on top of that raising my boys, running a household, the list is endless. And I still had to find time to find friends, nurture old relationships, and then my relationship with my parents and my siblings.
For quite some time my life felt like a silent film, like in the early 1900s, fast-paced, exciting, but opening to interpretation from whoever looks in from the outside. And for a long time I presumed that I needed to keep up appearances, because that is what society expects of us. And when I looked at everyone else’s silent film life, it looked like they have it all together.
So until a few years back, suddenly it was like the sound became more clearer in my life and I noticed that the conversations with friends and even strangers of same age were so relatable. There were more similarities between our experiences and our feelings, whether it was questioning our value and our worth or feeling stuck or feeling invisible to society especially after giving everything to our loved ones.
And it was then that I decided I set out on my own journey with a coach to explore and create my own personal road map, you know, to living my life with purpose and more intention. And that prompted me to set out and support amazing midlife women who dare to dream what life might look like beyond caring for others.”