7 Things I Tell Myself When I Realize I Am 30+ & Breeding Like Mad



It is obvious that I am obsessed with the fact that I am taking a nose dive into my thirties. There is so much pressure to be "important" (read: educated, published, career motivated, wealthy and famous) that choosing the path of "just motherhood" somehow seems lesser, and it is more and more apparent as I edge through my 30's. It is especially grating when I see other people my age who have are far more traveled, educated, and fancy free than I am.

I admit, despite all my talk of motherhood being a feminist statement, I am not immune to pressures of society. I did not think that the most important thing I would be doing with my life as I hurled past 30 would be wiping noses, comforting tears, and doing dishes (by hand no less!). And yet, here I am.

Here are some of the things that I must remind myself of sometimes when I start feeling dissatisfied with the fantastic calling of young motherhood.

1) Some things keep- Ovaries are not one of these things. My chance to procreate easily is now, not in 10 years. And I wouldn't trade it for a degree that I CAN get later.

2) Money-schmuney- True, being broke royally blows. That being said, I would not trade the every day mundane moments for more money so I could work outside my home. Nor do I regret not being able to give my kids everything they want or even need because I had them younger and while struggling through school and new businesses. It is hard enough WITHOUT money to raise kind, grateful, and humble kids. The truth is, they (kids) don't really notice. Plus, I am constantly amazed at the generosity of others and the kindnesses that they are prompted to pour out towards my family.

3) Energy- My mom always said that she had less energy with her last that came at the beginning of her 40's than with her first. I personally cannot IMAGINE having less energy than I have right now. I am banking on relative youth being a bonus when chasing after so many little ones.

4) Wait, I am famous!- Sure, I wanted to have been published by this point in my life. That has not happened (unless self publishing on blogger counts.... um mm no.......) I might not be a famous writer, but every time I take three kids out to the grocery store I AM famous! Apparently I am one of the only people on earth who dares have three kids 5 and under! Look at me! Tell me my hands are full! Go ahead, you know you want to.

5) Hey- my life IS AWESOME!- I remember not wanting to have kids until I had done something important, like traveled the world, learned another language (I can translate three year old though) or sat in an Oprah audience. And, then, I just started having them at 25 while I had a kick-butt (haha) career as a bakery manager. Guess what- being a mom is way better than that. And as an added bonus, I discovered the wonders of natural childbirth and my other passion in life- teaching other new families about it. I can't imagine waiting longer to "find myself" when what really helped me find myself and find my passions was HAVING kids. Before I was spinning my wheels, now I have a real purpose.

6) I snagged a husband when I looked good- True story, I wish I had gone bra-less more when the sisters held themselves up without help. But, you can't regret what you didn't know at the time. That being said, I got married at the crazy age of 20 (and barley). Everybody thought it was a bad idea. In fact, I have sometimes thought it was a bad idea. But, I did it. And, even though sometimes there is nobody else I would rather drop kick, we have helped each other grow into better adults. We have pushed each other and given each other confidence and help when we needed it. Plus, my wedding dress was a size SIX! Don't know if I could do that now.

7) Contrary to popular belief, life does not end at 30!- We focus on youth a lot in our culture. We like to plant those wild oats and have fun and get things done before the 30th birthday and all resulting implosion of fun occours. Guess what though, life doesn't end at 30. It keeps on going on, with the added bonus being that at this point, I actually know what is important and what I most want. Life may not end at 30, but stupidity tends to have a shelf life that expires in your twenties.

The take home message I want to remember when I start to feel inferior and unimportant- life is good, and don't ever forget it.

Peace and joy in your journey through motherhood, no matter what your age.

Comments

Cherylyn said…
Thank you SO MUCH for this! I'm 30+ with 5 kids 10 and under. The youngest 3 are 5, 2 and 1. I also married at age 20. Yeah, I can completely relate to you! Thank you for articulating what I've been feeling, and for giving me that important reminder that I needed so much right now. I connect with every single statement you've made, but especially #5.
Sarah C said…
thank you so much Cherylyn-
Kristi said…
How in the world do you always know what I am thinking? I am so scared of 30. I don't know why, I just am. I'm 27 now, and I am JUST NOW having my first baby. I had all these goals to accomplish before I hit 30. However, after discovering the amazing-ness that is "natural childbirth," I am starting to not freak out about the big 3-0 so much.
Nancy said…
LOL, Loved reading through your post. Being on the other end...well sort of. I am in my late 40's but was pg with my 7th when I was 30.

Yeah, I think I had more energy then, hard to say. Haven't started a career...cause my baby is still under 2!! Oh, and I am famous! I will have 23 people here on thanksgiving that I mean the world to.
What more could I ask for...well maybe a full night sleep.
LaLasha said…
OMG! I love you! I also had my children young 20 and 21. and this is exactly how I feel about my CHOICE to be a young mother. They weren't and ooops they were a purposeful choice.
Jenni said…
Married at 30 & pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2006 ... my littles are 2 and 4 now. Wouldn't trade it! This era will probably come to a close before I turn 37 this spring, and that's a bittersweet thought.
I loved your post. I especially loved #4. I have 3 kids under 5 and I always get people telling me my hands are full, plus the added "is that your last one?" . I can totally relate to #6 as well since I was 18 when I got married and everyone told me not to do it, but I dont ever regret it!
Buscando la Luz said…
AMEN! AMEN! I just turned 30 last month (and married at 20 even though lots of people told me it was a bad idea...smartest decision I ever made, btw). This is one of my all-time favorite blogposts ever! Thank you!
Cherylyn said…
I also want to add that I just recently got published :) After blogging about pregnancy and birth for over 2 years I found a freelance writing job for a pretty big website. I'm not really famous, but it's a good start and definitely helps fulfill my outlet needs and help make a little extra money while I focus on what's most important: my family.
Lysana said…
"Life may not end at 30, but stupidity tends to have a shelf life that expires in your twenties."

HAHAHAHAHA! That cracked me up! :)

I'm 31, almost 32, with 3 kids under 4 (my first will be 4 in December). I do have the job, but I'd give it up in a heartbeat if it meant I could stay at home and wipe noses and give hugs. I know it would be hard - much harder than what I'm doing now - but it would be worth it to have all that time with them while they're still little. Unfortunately, I am currently my family's only source of income, so it is what it is right now. I will just try to cherish the moments I do have!
With posts like these, and several others, you may not be far from a book deal. I really want to thank you for you sharing your life and trails with all of us. My wife and I have been through and going through the same 'stuff'. Thanks again and keep writing.
Sarah C said…
Thanks so much for all the beautiful feedback.
sharron said…
Loved this article. I'm waaaay past 30 - 40 to be exact, and happy to say I'm pregnant with my 2nd (got started at 38). I *did* travel the world, have a career, do speak French, Spanish, and a smattering of other things. I'm delighted I got to do all those things, never imagined I'd wait so long to have kids, and still I can say that being a mom is by far the coolest thing I have ever ever done. :)
Ally said…
I'm 24 with #2 due in a few weeks, and I've wondered for awhile why it isn't more common to *make a choice* to raise kids first and then pursue a career...why does everyone assume it was an accident? And ps, what is it with the stigma that a bunch of children means that you're just ignorant of birth control?

Also, I've gotten the "hands full" comment with one child, pregnant and just starting to show. I think it's just an accepted comment from people who can't imagine being in your shoes. I thought it was funny at the time that I had my toddler on my back and my purse over my shoulder, and hence had two completely free hands. They don't think before they speak.
Meghan said…
Why are stay at home mothers so down on themselves, when in reality they are their worst critics as to their chosen profession? Believe you me, I'm a 28 year old woman who is LOOKING FORWARD to the day I can be a mom. Unfortunately, I'm 28 and very single. No man has found me worthy enough to be his wife and the mother of his children. You have so much to be thankful for - enjoy your job. Enjoy every minute of wiping noses and singing lullabyes. There are MANY of us out here who wish we could be doing the same thing.
Jessica said…
Beautiful! I only have one child (so far), and I'm 27, but I could not agree with you more! My husband wants to wait "until we have more money" to have another, but he said that with the first, and we can't wait forever! I also became a childbirth educator, doula, and lactation educator as a result of becoming a mother myself, and I can't imagine not having found my passion until I was much older. It's amazing, isn't it? So glad I found your blog!
Cathy said…
I love this post!!! I'm 28 with 3 kids under 5! My wedding dress was also a size 6 - tehe. Even though it's so hard day in and day out - I know my husband and I will look back on these times with nothing but gratitude for what we got to experience with these precious children. Thank you!
Gatorhap said…
Yep, love this post. I'm due with #3 in April and I already get the "you'll have your hands full" speech every time someone hears that it will be my 3rd under 5 yrs. Really, people? How do you know that? Do you look in my windows and see that my children are wild lunatics running through my house and therefore I surely must be overwhelmed by the thought of ANOTHER one??? I just smile and say, "I love it."
Cynthia said…
I am about to turn 33 and I have 3 under 5 years old...And I get looks all the time, mostly of pity. Just wait till they realize that #3 is only 11 weeks old and I recently found out that #4 is on his/her way. But I would not trade this life for anything...who needs money or fame :)
lisa said…
I was married one month after turning 20. I now am 47 with 12 kids. the oldest is 25 and the youngest is 3. People exclaim about how amazing I look AFTER they discover this information. Let the power of low expectations work for you.