I've been doing a lot of thinking about parenting and being 40 this month. Probably because I am turning 41 in a few weeks and the twins have been really testing my parenting skills the last few months so those topics have been at the forefront of my mind!
When I had Miss Teen in my early 20's I could never have imagined that I would also be a Mum to 3 yr olds at 40. I've learnt quite a few life lessons along the way and a few harsh realities have also hit me on the behind (which is also a lot bigger nowadays I might add)
Before I turn the big 41 (which actually feels like only a few steps from 50 by the way) I thought I would share a few of the differences I have noted being a parent in my 40's to when I was a parent in my 20's.
These are the things I have noticed in my life…your experience is possibly a lot different but as I'm not privy to your personal details (which would obviously be a lot more exciting than mine I'm sure…) you'll have to settle for me talking about myself…yes, again!
Here's 10 things I have noticed being a parent at 40…
- For some reason the ground seems a lot further away when I am getting down to play now.
- My knees now make an alarming noise when I get up from playing on that same ground.
- Upon hearing the age gap of my kids people will gasp and say “Wow, that's a big gap, how are you coping with small ones again?” Every.Single.Time.
- Having 2 year olds in the back seat while you are trying to give your teen a driving lesson is a VERY stressful experience and obviously not one to be repeated!
- I have had to get a lot better at switching between parenting experiences and still sounding like I care…one minute there is a scraped knee, the other a broken romance. Best to not mix up the empathy levels there…I speak from experience and apparently a Dora bandaid will not also fix a sad teenage heart.
- I look at younger parents stressing about what their children are touching or eating and smile serenely…been there and have a 17 year old still alive so know it doesn't matter that much really 😉
- Feel like I SHOULD care about my appearance more but actually too tired.
- Also, am very, very tired.
- Also feel wiser…probably not…but I FEEL it and that is what counts surely.
- I now understand that if there is a choice between quiet child free time and an early night I will choose quiet time and a late night as I know it is the only time I will get to actually hear my own thoughts and go to the toilet by myself in the next 24 hours.
- I thought I would have a better social life at 40. I thought I might have more energy and that 9pm wouldn't be a late night. Go figure.
- Am tired ALL.THE.TIME
- Am a little peeved at the grey hairs that keep appearing since the twins were born….obviously their doing.
- Have a lot more patience…no sorry…meant to say less patience….I know older parents always say they have more but I seem to have missed that little skill unfortunately.
- Am more confident in my parenting abilities most days and know that doing my best is OK.
- Am less confident in my parenting skills because I am old, have grey hair, less patience and creak when I move.
- Find it near impossible to enjoy any sort of intimacy with the love of my love because I am either exhausted after getting the twins to sleep or waiting in vain for the teen to actually go to sleep.
- I now understand that ‘time to myself' is not going to happen until all kids have passed the age of 18….not 10 as previously expected. Go figure.
- I can actually get away with not shaving for a month if I dress wisely. This saves valuable shower time which is now a highly coveted activity.
- I am proud of myself for being a Mum to a teen and twin 3 yr olds at nearly 41 and still having my sanity intact. I am managing, they are all thriving, there is much love in my life. Did I mention I was tired though?