Saturday was my birthday. Despite my desire to be 29 (again), I'm actually 37: firmly on the road towards 40 and leaving my carefree twenties even further behind. Here's what turning 37 means to me:
1. I'm getting older, even if I don't feel it. One
rather alarming aspect of having kids is that they force you
to confront your own aging. My baby will turn one in about a
month's time...so that means I must also be a year older. How did that happen? I've noticed an alarming trend: now, when I pick up a People magazine, I have no idea who most of the celebrities are. And
from what I hear, it just gets worse, to the point where you can't follow popular music or keep up with the toys or
electronics your kids want. Rather a discouraging prospect for a "29-year-old."
2. I could have more kids, but I most likely won't. Everyone says, "Wait until your littlest one is walking, and you'll want another baby." Possibly...but right now, I just don't see it. Let's face it: I'm no spring chicken anymore. And I'm not sure I want to bring any more babies into a world where Snooki is talking about having another kid. However, there's a bittersweetness in knowing that this is it for us: my family is complete.
3. I'm not going to have any real "me" time or personal space for a long time. Young children are needy—really needy. I can't remember the last time I sat down for dinner and ate a full meal without getting up twenty times to respond to requests for ketchup/milk/utensils or to stop the baby from destroying something. And there's no concept of privacy in our house. I've been told that when your kids get older, it's possible to go away for a weekend or take a trip without them. I eagerly await that day.
4. I'm going to continually struggle to find work/life balance. I am both anticipating and dreading going back to work. On the
one hand, I'll get to do many exciting things. Wear pants with zippers!
Drink a coffee with no one climbing into my lap! Talk to other grownups! On the other hand, I'll have to leave my little spider monkey to
fend for herself in daycare. We're both probably going to cry. And I am
not looking forward to juggling the daily routine of mealtimes, sleep times and daycare
pickups and drop-offs with two kids. It's not going to be easy. But here's the thing...
5. I'll figure it out. Don't tell anyone, but I've basically been making up this parenting thing as I go along. Maybe the wisdom and experience of my 37 years will help me to get better at it. Or maybe I'll just keep muddling through.
Either way, here's hoping for another 37 years to practice.