I’m 36. I just finished reading an article from a woman that is 45 to the 30 something mothers of young children. I read that article and I have read many more like it. They are wonderful and most of the time spot on. What you don’t here about much is the 30 somethings will grown or almost grown kids.
I had my oldest a month after I turned 18. So if you can do math he is now 18. And graduated and going to college(in town here, but still). Then I have a 13 and 12 year old. I’m not done parenting by any stretch but it’s definitely a vastly different world than having toddlers or infants. My sister, who will be 35 in July had a 10 y/o, a 3y/o, and a 6 month old. We are at completely seperate ends of the parenting cycle.
While there’s nothing wrong with that I do often feel alone. In a world where people are waiting later and later to have children. I had mine early. My daughter will graduate when I am 42. While it’s exciting to think my husband and I will finally be able to do more together without anyone else. It isn’t something that I know anything about.
I have always been a mother. I have never been an adult person without children. And while kids growing up and moving out of has different so many emotions balled up together. For me it just kind of makes me paralyzed. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to act. I don’t even know how to think without kids being involved. Every decision that’s made includes them.
I am that 45 year old woman looking at people my own age and saying. You WILL miss this. It WILL get better. It will change and the things driving you mad right now will change into being terrified of your kids making decisions for themselves. I know so many things about kids. About how they act and the things they do. And I try to share as much as I can. I see the mother with three kids in the back of her van and feel compelled to say “you’re gonna make it. It will be ok.”
Not that any of this is wrong or bad but it’s very different. I also have a step daughter who is grown with her own kids. Not to many people my age know what it’s like to try to love and help someone who is already adult with their own children. So I know things. I know that your children will make decisions that break your heart. I know that parenting a grown up is vastly different and requires a lot of thought and consciousness of what you say and do. I know that teenagers will get mad at you, and stay mad at you no matter how much you do for them. I know that sometimes you have to make very difficult choices in order to protect your child from him or her self. And I know that as you start to realize you are getting your life back. You carry around in the pit of your stomach a fear and worry that never completely goes away.
I’m 36. I don’t have a lot of people my age that can relate because they all have young children. I am 36 and know things that Mommas in their 40’s know. I am 36 and my sister, who’s 18 months younger than me, can’t really relate to anything that is happening in my life right now. I’m 36 and I feel like I have already lived a lifetime. A lifetime of love and of laughter. A lifetime of pain and anguish. A lifetime of trying to help teach and guide my children into being the people that they should be. A lifetime of putting myself in the back burner to the point that I woke up one day and there was no you left for me to use that back burner. So it’s my time or our time. And I don’t know what to do with it. Because I still have 2 that have several years to go I still don’t know the feeling of not having someone know where I am or what I am doing. But they are old enough that I can do things without them. And that means that there is more time for me. I find myself wondering what that means. I don’t really know what to do with my time. For the most part every minute or of everyday has been full of others wants and needs. I wasn’t able to sit and watch a movie because someone always needed something. Or they were fighting or any number of other things. When you start being a Mom before your ever really an adult you don’t get to decide what you want to do. You don’t get to do things and not worry about someone else. You can’t just decide to pick up and go somewhere or do something. I didn’t go to my first real concert until I was late 20’s. Not because I didn’t have someone to watch my kids but because they are my kids. And while all parents need a break from time to time I never felt right asking others to watch my kids on a regular basis.
So here I sit at 36. With the knowledge of people much older than me and people around me that don’t necessarily believe me when I tell them things. I have already been through the years where I thought I was a bad Mom, ALL THE TIME!!!! I have come out in the other side and as I watched my son walk across that stage this year and get his high school diploma. I knew that I did good. I knew that if I never do anything else I made an actual real impact on his life. I knew then that it doesn’t matter how old you are. Or how you choose to raise your kids. It’s the love and life lessons you help them learn that ultimately leave an imprint on everything that they do. Ya I started young. Yes, there were those who I’m sure believed I would fail. At raising my son. At staying married. At being the person I need to be for my step daughter. But I have done ALL those things. They aren’t in the future they are RIGHT NOW!! And I get to be proud and I get to let a little bit of that fear go because I know that if the only thing they ever learned from me is love. That’s enough. So even though I’m 36 and once again hitting a milestone long before this around me. I KNOW that I have something to give. And I know that I have living proof that I made a difference.
So to the 30 something moms. Please know that there will be a day when you too can say “I made a difference”. When you can say the love my children learned came from me. When you too will know that while it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, it’s also the very best thing you have done. And that is true for everyone of us that chooses our kids and puts in the time it takes to love them. And to teach them that if they know nothing else they know their mother loves them.
Thanks for reading. Be blessed! And kiss those babies!!