It was recently my birthday, and I completely jinxed it. I announced to the world, it wasn’t going to be great. I’m usually pretty happy about birthdays, but let’s be frank, 37 is not a pretty number.
It’s a stretch to refer to yourself as mid-thirties, but it’s not the fancy age of 40 either. It’s a kind of no-mans land of age. Anyway, I woke up and not long afterwards, I trod in poo. I’m not sure of the source; I didn’t have the energy to investigate the ‘matter’, but poo all the same. As you can imagine, the day then played out not dissimilar to Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. However, now that I’m out the other side and can laugh about my forgettable, yet unforgettable birthday, I realised a few things.
Sometimes ‘okay’ has to be enough
Everywhere I look at the moment, I see pressure. Mums being pressured to be better parents, better wives, better cooks, better lovers, better looking.
It makes me want to scream from the rooftops, ‘sometimes ‘okay’ is enough’. It’s okay if your child’s homework wasn’t done perfectly; they had a crack and handed it in on time. Congratulations.
Sometimes you end up wearing the same jeans and t-shirt all week. It’s okay; at least you brushed your hair before you walked out the door. It’s time to stop being so tough on ourselves.
You can’t be everything to everyone
At the heart of me is a yes girl. You need someone to babysit, yes. You need a cake for the stall, I’ll bake you two. You need your job done by tomorrow morning, yes siree. Give me a request and yes, yes, yes. However, as I’m getting older, I’ve realised I need to say no sometimes. Otherwise, my husband and children find themselves in the company of a very different mum. My children affectionately refer to her as ‘dragon mummy’. My eldest recently announced, ‘we haven’t seen dragon mummy for ages, it’s great!’ It was then I realised I was onto something by saying ‘no’ sometimes.
Guilt is a wasted emotion
Once I got into the habit of using the occasional ‘no’, I did notice a rise in guilt. Which is really a huge waste of energy, using up all that emotion on guilt. Much better to practice the emotions of love, confidence, contentment, courage, curiosity, joy and excitement!
So when those old feelings of guilt come creeping into my mind, I shoo them away, and replace them with new thoughts.
Thoughts about what fun things I could do with the kids on the weekend, or how happy my clients are with all the great work we do for them.
As it turns out, the ripe ole age of 37, aint so bad after all. Inner happiness, calm and contentment are much more beautiful than coveting Jennifer Aniston’s flat stomach, or the latest must-haves from the fashion pages.
And if you ask your children, they probably already think you’re pretty damn beautiful, just for being their mum.
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Did you struggle with turning a certain age? What age was it?