It’s 8:30pm and my 3 year-old boy is finally in bed. I think.
My 5 year-old daughter is already sleeping in her room.
My day typically starts with this sweet little boy face and arms wrapped around Barney coming to our bed at about 6am. Some days he’s not totally in bed until 9pm.
I’ll save you the time of adding in your head. That’s 15-hour days. I’m lucky to get 1-1 1/2 hours kid-free at night before going to bed and starting the whole routine over.
I used to be the kind of gal that could pop out of bed at 6am and get the day going without so much as a drop of joe.
I’m still not much of a coffee drinker (I don’t handle caffeine well). However, it takes a certain amount of time to get my feet to hit the floor these days.
Why do you ask? Most of the people that have kids the same age as mine are not the same age as me.
PARDON THE INTERRUPTION
It is now 8:54pm. I had to go tend to the boy.
I won’t complain because he has a legitimate boo-boo that needed a little extra TLC and medicine.
I almost laughed out loud when I went to one of my first OB appointments with my first pregnancy and the midwife asked me if I wanted to get all the extra tests done that they normally do for women of “advanced maternal age”.
Me? Advanced maternal age? I’m only 35!
Isn’t 35 the new 25?
Isn’t 40 the new 30?
Having my first baby did not greatly impact my body. I had a normal delivery, and a year after having my daughter, I felt energetic and strong again. I was back to my “old” self.
Having my son two years later wreaked a lot of havoc. He was born via c-section.
I’m not going to start a debate about c-sections or harp on the cons of having one (mine was without doubt medically necessary). However, there was definitely a difference for me in how it affected my body.
I have many physical ailments now I didn’t have before having babies. Most of them occurred after my second delivery.
I still remember my first physical therapy session after having a c-section. The PT had me do some very simple, easy exercises on the table to strengthen my abdominal muscles.
The problem was, I couldn’t feel any abdominal muscles. Of course they were still there. However, they had become so weakened by the surgery, I could not even feel them when I did the exercises.
I grew stronger as more time passed. However, two more abdominal surgeries a couple years later further weakened my core.
This coupled with plantar fasciitis, sciatica, back pain, and knee pain means that it’s not easy to drag these bones out of bed in the morning and chase my two darlings around all day.
Do I wish I had had kids when I was younger?
Yes and no.
I was not ready to have kids ten years earlier. I was not even ready to be married ten years earlier.
In a perfect world (for me), I would have been mature enough to get married and start a family before my 30th birthday.
However, I am thankful that I began a family at a time when I was much more mature.
I do carry some extra weight around and I’m sure that doesn’t help, however I am not exactly sedentary in this life with the kids.
I also joined the YMCA recently but have only been able to average about one workout a week.
But my body is not buying that 40 is the new 30.
I don’t feel 41 in my soul. I feel young in…
PARDON THE INTERRUPTION
It’s 9:09pm. The boy got out of bed again. Boo-boo still hurting. May have to take him to the doctor tomorrow.
…so many ways.
The pressure I put on myself to have everything perfect doesn’t help. I don’t always have the energy to do everything I would like to do with the kids.
Since everybody loves lists, here is a list of how imperfect I am as a mom:
1. I don’t always have the energy to keep my house neat and tidy while keeping up with the kids all day.
2. We don’t have family devotions every day.
3. I don’t read them bedtime stories every day.
4. If my kids don’t stink, they don’t necessarily get a bath every day. (Don’t judge!) 🙂
5. I don’t always have as much patience as I would like with them.
6. They don’t eat all their food at the dining room table. (Vacuum cleaners are for that.)
7. They don’t always eat well-balanced meals.
8. We don’t do arts and crafts every day.
9. We don’t play outside every day.
10. Sometimes they watch more than the “recommended” two hours of tube time a day. (Is it wrong to say I’m thankful my older kid knows how to use the remote?)
I’ll end the list there.
I haven’t come up with a magic solution for this body that can’t always keep up with the demands of a 3 and 5 year-old.
One thing I do consistently is pray for me and for them. (And since we’re being real here, I’ll say that more than one time I have lost my patience during my prayer time and yelled at the boy who was doing something he shouldn’t be doing).
Even when I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, God’s got my back. And theirs too.
Come to think of it, if I was perfect and everything I wish I could be, why would they need Him?
One thing that overwhelms me and makes me feel humble is to remember that God picked me to be mom to two wonderful kids.
I feel undeserving of the title at times.
It’s 10:35pm now. After spending at least a half hour searching for the “perfect” image to accompany this blog post, I realize I have stayed up past my usual bedtime just to be able to write this post.
I may have a cup of joe in the morning after all.
Those of you fellow moms of “advanced maternal age”, I’d love to hear your thoughts below on what life is like, what works for you, and what makes you want to tear your hair out.
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[Image courtesy pixabay.com]