Let me see here, what was I doing in my 20s…oh, yes, I was going out six days a week, working through a hangover and then catching the hair of the dog. I danced on bars and crowd surfed at the HFS Festival. Had a few lap dances from some lovely strippers that impressed me in their platform heels. Stayed up until the sun rose and watched that bright ball of day creep in from a roof I probably wasn’t supposed to be on. Flirted with cops and bartenders, and even kissed a girl (or two) because it was silly. Jumped on stage and pretended to play the bongos when my friend’s band was playing. Dated several good boys and a few bad to keep things interesting. Set off bottle rocks from a rooftop deck. Went out braless because the tatas were still at a proud salute.
Thank you, 20s. Really, you were awesome. I was poor after that decade, but every penny was spent towards tasting life in a way I wanted to.
I’m getting off track! I met my husband when I was 28 years old and I am pretty sure his life mirrored mine in many ways, though men tend to do things differently so I can’t be sure. We married less than two years after meeting and then struggled to conceive. After a few sad stories I was able to get pregnant and had my first baby at 35 years-old. When my second child was born we questioned if we wanted a third. There were a few factors we considered, my age was one of them. People close to me (including my parents) would say “I was a little too old” to still be having babies. Why chance fate when we already had two healthy children, especially with the risks of having children later in life?
Recently I received some pushy views from a stranger who insisted that woman should have children when they are younger. I’m sure the stranger did not know my age or inner thoughts, but I thought their comment was—off pudding and it really bothered me to the point where I was tossing the conversation around in my head still the next day.
How could I explain that I’ve always seen three children in my future? Even when I tried so hard to convince myself that two would complete our family, my heart cried for three. Now I have three it’s total chaos all the time. I won’t go into why it’s hard; instead, I want to go into why it’s right for me even if sometimes I feel like the oldest mom at the library.
Financially we are more stable in our 40s than we ever were previously. We are better at budgeting and not overspending on fruitless things. We know when to say no to things our kids don’t need and yes to things they do. Vacations, clothing, trips to an event, joining a pool; we can afford that, within reason of course.
I don’t want an empty house mid-life. If I had children in my 20s, then my house and my days would be too quiet well before I retire. Some of you snuff, “a job would fill your day.” Yes, but not like a human would. Not like a little person that amazes me every day.
What about the holidays? Would the children come home when they are grown and left the nest? You might think, “yes of course!” Though that’s not certain. Adults spread their wings and fly. I can’t even imagine where my kids will land when they are grown. I hope it’s close to me, but that will be up to them.
I still do silly things and stay up late, but not at the same level as all those years ago. One of the reasons might be because everyone is so busy with family activities, it’s nearly impossible to get people together. I actually enjoy the baseball games and all the activities we sign up for. It keeps me social and engaged, not to mention it’s fun to see the kids excited and getting into something.
I’m just overall better prepared and more mature at this stage of my life than I ever was before. Things are apparent even on chaotic days. I now think about all this time I have ahead of me, and that I have time to get to where I want. When I was younger, the thirst for RIGHT NOW consumed me. It’s cool, I’ll get there. My kids aren’t holding me back from doing what I want to do in life. I am doing the things I want to do because of them and with them.
My twenties weren’t all sugar-coated lemon drops of course. I had some hard times, that’s life. My forties are no different, and I’m sure that’s just script for life at every age. I know one thing is for sure. I had my kids right when I was supposed to. I’m sure you did too.
I was 41 when I had my son. I always thought I wanted either one or three kids, never two. since I waited so long I stuck with one (no regrets there!) My mantra has always been women can have it all, they just can’t have it all at once. I had a wonderful 21 year military career. I was able to do all the travel and deployments with no guilt or worries. And now I get to be a stay at home mom, with no trying to juggle two big (often conflicting) priorities of a career and parenthood. I know I have a third phase of life ahead and no idea what I want to do with it yet but I am excited about it. You have to make the choices that are right for you and right for the moment. Enjoy your life!
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