Tales From an {Almost} Middle-Aged Mama

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middle-agedMiddle-aged. We all have images in our head of what that looks like or feels like. For some reason, I always associated that age period with a Cathy cartoon, but in actuality, she was likely only 30 – ACK! Now I have just turned 40, a whole decade older than that cartoon I thought of as oldish. I am approaching this middle-aged season in my life, and truthfully, it really isn’t something to be depressed about. However, here are just a few ways that I’ve started to earn my stripes as a newcomer to this golden season. 

Being One of the Oldest Moms in the Room

Having had my first child at age 30, I have always been a pretty average-aged mom with my peers. Not the youngest, but certainly not the oldest. Just recently, I attended a wine night with some local mom friends. In a casual conversation about our ages, I realized I was one of the three oldest mamas there. Not going to lie – it was a weird moment for me. After always being “the youngest” my whole life (littlest sister with a December birthday), I finally get a taste of being the oldest! On the plus side, those younger moms sure know how to have a good time. This middle-aged mama stayed out well into the early morning and paid for it dearly the next day.  

Being Too Old for an Event

We all spent most of our child and teen years waiting for the magical age where we could earn our freedom. At times, we may have even tried to pass for older to get into places we shouldn’t be (never me, of course!). The other day I was looking into planning a night at the Metropolitan Opera House, and I stumbled upon their Fridays Under 40 nights. I got excited; the events sound amazing. Then I quickly realized I didn’t qualify. And to add salt to my wound, it also stated, “Box office staff reserves the right to ask for ID.” Imagine being carded and asked to leave because you are too old?!

Middle-aged Spread

Since having my second child, things in my middle region didn’t bounce back as easily as I would have liked them to. After dealing with major back issues following his birth, I never quite got my pre-baby body back. As the later thirties turned into the big 4-0, battling the middle-aged spread seems like an impossible task. The middle-aged spread is real – I googled it – so cut yourself some slack, older mommies. 

Mid-life Reflection

One of my favorite books in my early twenties was The Quarter-life Crisis. At that age, I really did some soul searching; it was at that point that I went to pursue my master’s in Special Education. Not that I am currently going through a mid-life crisis (or at least I don’t think I am), but I am at just the right age of my children’s life to do major life reflecting. I have begun to revisit layers of my life that were put on the back burner. Elements like acting and music bring me joy; these are the moments that allow me to be just Shannon, not L or B’s mom. So call me middle-aged! Like a fine wine, we older moms are just getting better with age.

Hey, middle-aged mamas, tell us how you have earned your stripes. 

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Shannon has lived in Fairfield County, CT for most of her life and currently lives in Monroe. She has a daughter L (September, 2008) and a son B (May, 2012). Shannon balances being a wife and mom with working 186 days out of the year as a special education teacher. Thank goodness for vacations, summer break, and snow days! You can be sure that she fills those days with as many amazing activities and outings that she can think of to make up for the time that she is at work. In a distant life, way before babies, Shannon was an aspiring actress and musician. You can sometimes still find her leading sing-a-longs with her guitar at the kids’ playgroups or at her daughter’s school.

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