My birthday was Tuesday. I am now 42 years old–and the “geriatric” mother of a newborn.
I understand that 42 is just hours older than the 41 years I was the day before my birthday. But 42 is a little jarring for me. Two years ago when I turned 40, my older cousin told me that the 40’s have been the best years of her life. She has teenagers, though, not a newborn. And maybe my status as a new mother is not the reason for how old I feel, but regardless, right now I feel old.
I probably shouldn’t, though. I can see so many blessings in having had my children later in life. But I’ll admit that I’ve been highly discontent with certain aspects of my life for a while. Although babies bring so much happiness and joy, they also bring all sorts of discontent. They result in sleep deficits, decreased cash flow, arguments with spouses, and jealousy in older siblings. Individually, these things are stressful. Collectively, they can make life feel unbearable in certain moments.
All of that said, the night before my birthday, I had a dream that I was living in a small house on a piece of property that’s been owned for over a century by my family. I wasn’t married. I had no kids. I was very upset when I woke up.
Real talk: My house an absolute mess right now. I’m sorting photos, children’s art, baby keepsakes, and wedding paraphernalia into various greeting card organizers and photo and keepsake boxes, and so these items are strewn all over my living room. We’re working on catching up on homeschooling we got behind on when the oldest child was sick, so books and worksheets cover the dining room table. I haven’t done much cleaning since my oldest child became ill. And then there’s the fact that I currently feel as though I have a parking garage life, one in which I continuously do the same tasks like feed my newborn and other kids, change diapers, unload and reload the dishwasher, and do another round of laundry.
But I wouldn’t trade this crazy life for the spontaneity and butterflies of dating, for my organized but childless former life, or for my former career in the professional world. And while I miss my extended family a thousand miles away, I wouldn’t want to have to leave my current rural wooded paradise to return to the urban jungle my hometown has become.
Life is pretty great here. I focus a lot on what I don’t have (a paid-off student loan, for example) or haven’t done (I have pregnancy pounds that need to go), but oh, how my cup runs over.
On this eve of November, a month when so many people begin counting their blessings so publicly on Facebook, I’m definitely counting mine.
Just thoughts from a geriatric mother. 😉