Blog confession #3,456,783:
I actually like getting older.
Like, have been waiting for it, will never complain about a birthday, like it.
I became a mom very young and I spent years envying moms who were older, moms who were “supposed to be” moms.
I envied how they knew exactly what they needed at the grocery store, how a waitress would look to them for the orders of all the children filling a noisy table, how they were regarded in the workforce, called Mrs. or Mam more often than Sweetie or Honey.
Many years later, although I can’t say I’m a fan of “Mam,” I appreciate every bit of the respect that comes with age.
I am happy to not be dating or apartment hunting or job surfing. I’m content to cuddle up to a good book on a Friday night and settle in to take out and a movie with my husband on a Saturday.
Laugh lines and crow’s feet and the deflating of, um, everything, have taken me by surprise but I’m okay with it. I can’t say I don’t miss my 20 year-old figure but I wouldn’t dream of going back to reclaim it.
I could totally do without the responsibilities of paying bills and figuring out what is for dinner every. single. night. but the confidence in my decisions, the respect I am given as a parent and the ability to coupon my way through the grocery store with my eyes closed, leaves me perfectly comfortable with the next birthday that rolls around.
Sometimes I wonder if women realize the confidence they exude as they age, the presence a younger me could not wait to gain.
I hope you do.
I hope that as you cook a dinner that no one is going to eat any way or try to find a wrinkle cream that doesn’t make your eyes burn or refuse to wear white because tiny hands will cover it with goo before 10 am, that you take pride in your place in life.
Good choices, bad haircuts, store-wandering, parallel parking attempts, spit up catching and menu speed-reading have made up the years that have brought us to the women we over-criticize in the mirror each day.
So I have to admit, I cringe a little when women wish away birthdays because we’ve earned them… every single candle. And one of these days when I have enough for a blow torch to light, I hope to be surrounded by women who want to live to be 100 too and also for an extra cake, with extra icing because I’m eating the whole thing, all by myself.
I’ll be long over the loss of my bikini bod by then.
Do you know Chaunie of Tiny Blue Lines? She is a young mom doing an amazing job at being a role model and support for other new moms and she’s putting the finishing touches on her first book. I was honored to share my experience as a young mom with her.
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Absolutely fantastic. This is how I feel too. I’ll be 30 in a year and a half and I’m EXCITED about it. Partly because I shall be throwing a grown-up prom to commemorate the occasion, but also because it’s an age that signifies maturity to me. Well, hopefully. People are always wanting to go back when in reality we have to move forward. Moving forward is GOOD.
I love this and am right there with you. I’m actually pumped to be turning 30 this year. Because, somehow, older is who I was always meant to be.
Elaine A. says
Today is a good day for me to read this because it is my beloved Mother’s birthday. She is 74 today and she still loves her birthday and blowing out a candle and cupcakes and presents. And I share her same spirit. I don’t mind getting older, at all. And I think it’s wonderful that you feel the same way. I wish all women did!
Corey Feldman says
I am really happy for you, I wish I felt the same way but I don’t. I love that my dark hair is long enough to cover the ever increasing stands of grey on the side. I am totally committed to my wife, but I can’t say I love the shrinking glances from younger women. Call me vain… I love to run, but I hate that I now have to to keep my swimwear attire form. And while getting older is better than the current other alternative, I wish their was a third option!
This is something special. And wonderful. And dead on, 100% the truth. Are there parts of youth I miss? You bet. Would I trade it for wisdom? Not in a million years.
Corey Feldman says
I am really happy for you, I wish I could say the same. I hate getting older. Thankfully my hair is long and thick enough that it covers the increasing number of grey strands on the side. I’m happily married, but I’m not loving the slowly shrinking number of glances from younger women. Call me vain. I love to run, but I hate that it is now necessarily to keep my bathing suit figure. Yes growing older is better than the current alternative, but I really wish their was a third option!
I just spit imaginary coffee out of my mouth.
I get what you mean.
I don’t like getting older but I am thankful that I’m healthy-ish and able to experience life.
I still reserve the right to keep my eyes shut on my birthday and mourn my ass that is now sagged.
I don’t mind the aging so much, but there is something, something I can’t quite explain that irks me, unnerves me, makes me feel like something is just…wrong. It’s that I still don’t FEEL like that mom you describe — the one who is confident, is looked to for the answers. If I could get to that place and not feel like I’m playing house, I think I would be a lot less irritable. (And there is NO way I’d go back to dating. Ever. Whenever I’m out at dinner or a party and notice younger people mingling, I cringe. I couldn’t do that again.)
sarah @sundayspill says
I love this. I love everything about this. There is so much good that comes from self-love. I like aging too. I’m really comfortable where I am in my life. Like you, I wish the same for others. Better to embrace what’s in front of me than fight it. Why would I fight it? Waste. Of. Time/Energy/Everything. xo.
John (Daddy Runs a Lot) says
Simply, age has done you well. Very well. I wish I wore my confidence like you do.
I’m one of those parents who is “supposed” to be a parent for my kids, at my age . . . and 99% of the time, I go to the grocery store looking for one thing, but end up with a cart full of everything but that item.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jessica. Although I haven’t reached past the “hon” stage when people address me, it no longer bothers me. I know I’m a good mom–and thanks to inspiration from other young moms like you, I would say it’s safe to look towards a pretty bright future as well. Thanks again, loved this post!!
At every birthday, I am grateful. Grateful to be alive and survived another year.
Also, happy to not be dating 🙂
Oh dating was the worst, so glad I never have to do that again.
Robin | Farewell, Stranger says
I’m with you. I don’t mind getting older. I wouldn’t go back to my 20s for anything in the world. There’s some stuff I don’t like, of course (I wish my knees were nicer to me), but overall I’ll take the gifts of getting older.
No problems here with getting older but would not mind a little less deflating. Love the picture of you and McKenna. xo
Sarah De Diego (Journeys of The Zoo) says
You have totally lost it 🙂
I turn 41 this year and thankfully, turning 40 was not like turning 30.
Perhaps it would have been better if I looked like you.
P.S. You’re adorable.
P.P.S My saggy boobs are saggier than yours.
P.P.P.S. I LOVE going to the dentist (and am going this week). Who’s the crazy one now!?
Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
Finding Humour in Everyday Life
Elizabeth Flora Ross says
I admire you. Because I am NOT dealing with this aging business well. At. all. Including the deflating of – everything. I always thought I would grow old gracefully. So far, I’m not living up to that. I do enjoy being an older mom, however. Having my first (and only) child at 40 was not what I ever pictured, but I feel there are many advantages to it. I do pride at my place in life. (love the way you put that.) I just don’t like getting older.
I’m going to try to be more like you. B/c I have totally been sulking about all the changes to my face and body. You have inspired me. Thank you for writing this post.
It’s so good to hear this post gave you a boost. I sulk about other things but not my age. 🙂