What Parallels Exist Between Pregnancy’s Third Trimester and Life’s Third Tri?

Mar 11, 2022 | Life Stages, Q&A, Relationships with Adult Children, Spiritual Growth | 1 comment

As author of Life’s Third Tri, I encourage empty-nest moms to reframe their dilemmas as problems similar to those they successfully surmounted during the third trimester of their pregnancies.  Forty similarities came to my mind when I made a list of commonalities. However, my book had space to cover only twenty-three of these forty parallels. In future blog posts, I may address additional ones not covered in my book.

Jesus taught parables about the Kingdom of Heaven using similes with everyday life experiences (such as a farmer planting seed in a field). Likewise, you already possess first-hand experience and familiarity with pregnancies. Recognizing connections between something familiar (the third trimester of pregnancy) and something not yet mastered (life’s third trimester) can provide insights to help you thrive during your challenging final era of life.

Since most women have never thought about their empty-nest stage of life as a “repeat” of the third trimester of their pregnancies, let me list three parallels I write about in Life’s Third Tri:

Parallel #1

Pregnant women crave mentors or coaches; in the third trimester of life, we also long for mentors and coaches.

Do you remember your Lamaze instructor and other experts coaching you and teaching you about the childbirth process? In Chapter 2 of Life’s Third Tri, I describe the process of identifying caring mentors and coaches to whom you can look for positive examples and guidance as you travel through challenging third-tri territory.

Instead of continuing to happily live in a full nest, you must now adapt to the reality of an empty nest—no small feat! Developing a network of wise mentors to come alongside and show you the way forward can make so much difference in achieving desirable outcomes. Their examples and coaching can help relieve isolation, fears, confusion, and feelings of failure as a mom.

Parallel #2

Relating to the next generation and obsessing about developments in their lives dominate mothers’ thoughts both during pregnancy and during life’s third tri.

I call the continuation of mothering instincts after we launch our children into adulthood our “grand obsession.” Unfortunately, the ways we mothered when our kiddos were young no longer work well once children are launched. We need to shift into a different gear. Figuring out how to accomplish these adjustments can be hard on mother and child alike.

We wonder why our grown children display attitudes and choices different from those we tried to instill. Our offspring are still always on our minds, and it feels as if they hold our heart-strings in their hands.

Parallel #21

Whether in pregnancy or in life, the third trimester ends in either celebration or mourning.

The moment when the doctor or nurse placed your precious newborn son or daughter in your arms for the first time probably remains a highpoint of your life. This ecstatic culmination of pregnancy is the hope and dream-come-true for almost all pregnant moms-to-be. However, sometimes a terrible tragedy occurs, and the end of her third trimester becomes one of her most horrendous experiences ever. The sadness never completely goes away for mothers who’ve lost sons or daughters at birth.

In Chapter 15, I talk about the ramifications of coming to your third-tri delivery time, your exit from life’s final era, and entering into your eternal future. Making important preparations for the “big event” includes gaining assurance that there will be no reason for eternal mourning—only everlasting celebration.

1 Comment

  1. Barbara Stryker

    Dr Charlotte! Excited to read this book! I’ve shared with two people already! We have a group at church that meets to pray for adult children. I’m sure it will be helpful!

    Reply

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