Last week I had the ultimate “mommy day” planned: free babysitting from my dear mother-in-law, a mani/pedi in the afternoon (which was also paid for through a gift certificate from said MIL), a little shopping time, and a night out with some of my favorite mamas, including wine, carbs, and tons of laughter. Perfection.
During my manicure, I overheard a group of women–three college girls and a couple of married 20-somethings like myself–strike up a conversation. They shared favorite restaurants and hotspots throughout town. So as a relatively new Fort Worthian, I was totally eavesdropping (and probably kidding myself that I experience any kind of “night-life” these days). The married girls left, and I overheard one of the college girls comment “They were 29? They looked great for 29. I am so scared of 29!”
I had to pick my chin up off the floor before they saw me. Twenty- nine is not that bad, girls. I am not old.
Then I walked into Urban Outfitters. I am totally old.
I know we moms find ourselves at a variety of ages, so forgive me if you don’t connect with me here. To some, I am a baby, to others, way old. But let’s be honest; many of us find ourselves in this limbo state between no longer being the young post-college professional that could start a night out at 9 or 10 and being the totally lame adult who is completely out of touch with all that is modern and hip.
So in an effort to convince those young girls (who are surely avid FWMB readers) and remind myself (a super-cool, soon-to-be 29-year-old) how awesome this stage of life really is, I decided to compose a short list of why this stage is nothing to fear:
1. Good things happen before 8 a.m. I never thought I was a morning person, but with the busyness of a husband’s career and the crazy life with littles, the quiet of the house before everyone is up is a thing to be treasured. A cup of coffee, catching up on your favorite book/blog/news/social media, getting a quick workout . . . I never knew what could be uncovered or accomplished before the day gets going.
2. You can operate on very little sleep. Fatigue from all nighters studying for a test? Ain’t got nothing on a mom with a teething, 12-month sleep regressing baby. I am capable of far more than I realized.
3. Having your own money to pay for things is better. Trust my words – it is better. Even if you have the super fortunate background of a fully-paid-for undergrad degree and a car filled with groceries and Anthro bags each time you went home, being the master of your own finances and capable of buying your own things is incredibly empowering. Though I did enjoy my free mani/pedi. And I am still too cheap to buy anything but two buck chuck.
4. I can hold a plank way longer than I could in my early twenties. That’s all. Take that, body that has pushed a human out of it.
5. Friendships can and do get better. I thought I would never experience friendship like I did in high school and college. Roommate convos until 2:00 a.m., late night dance parties, road-trips across the country . . . I thought I knew what it meant to have depth in friendship. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I have come to now understand that it is because parents need community–real and meaningful friendships–to survive most days (and maybe a little wine, too). There is something inherent to motherhood bonds, and many of my friendships today are the sweetest yet.
6. You are far more humble. And humility is a good thing. If you’ve ever had a toddler throw down an epic tantrum in the middle of Target, then you know that embarrassment is unavoidable. And ultimately, you run out of time and energy caring about what other people may think about you. I’ve never felt such freedom.
7. My eyesight may be failing, but I look super hip in my Warby Parkers. Again, that I paid for with my own money. But I did buy them on a cool, traveling, yellow school bus, so that should totally double the cool points I get for that one. I am so hip.
Sometimes I feel out of touch, and I get tired of complaining about my aching body (I am learning that chiropractors are miracle workers). But life certainly did not end when I became a mom. There is nothing to fear with each passing year.
What have you learned about life, about yourself as you’ve
aged, uh, grew older, um, matured, became more experienced?