Wednesday, 6 April 2011

On Turning Thirty

I turn thirty this week, and I'm actually quite excited about it.  Since Iwan's birthday is the day before mine, I spent my birthday last year in a hot and crowded maternity ward trying to come to grips with both breastfeeding and hormones that made me dissolve into tears when I realized I'd forgotten to pack a specific pair of pajama bottoms.  So I'm looking forward to celebrating a little differently this year.

I was discussing turning thirty with my husband yesterday, and he asked "when you were little, what did you want your life to be like by the time you were thirty?"  I will say, one of the many reasons I love G so much is because he asks me questions like this.  He challenges me to consider my life from other angles, often revealing a new perspective, for which I am (usually) grateful.  When I had thought about turning thirty it was always through the lens of the present, I had never considered what my past self would make of the life I'm leading today.

The present me puts a lot of pressure on myself about the future.  The present me also holds a certain degree of guilt for being a stay at home mom.  I know that sounds kind of ridiculous, since you always hear about working moms feeling guilty, but it's the truth.  While I love that I have the opportunity to be home with my children, there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't think about the time and money that has been invested in my education, the career goals I set for myself, and this drive I've always had to achieve, achieve, achieve!

But when G asked me this question, all I could think of is that when I was a little girl I mostly wanted to be a mommy when I grew up.  Actually, when asked "what do you want to be when you grow up" I usually answered with " a mommy/pediatrician/actress/astronaut."  I think at one point my goal was to start some sort of commune where everybody would have to live like it was 1850, and I would be the doctor/mayor/mommy.  But that was when I was on a huge Laura Ingalls Wilder kick.  So, yeah, I've always had pretty big dreams, but being a mother has always been a huge part of those dreams.  G's question reminded me of this and put a smile on my face.

I needed that little reminder that we are not defined exclusively by what we do right now.  I much prefer the idea that who I am is a crazy concoction of the dreams of the past, the reality of the present, and the hopes of the future.  It's all swirled up, and probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's me and it's pretty good.

In the first 30 years of my life I've worn lots of different hats, and I'll probably wear even more in the next 30. But that's the neat thing about hats, they can be interchanged, packed away, brought back out and dusted off.  You can try on new ones to see what suits, and what's just not a good look. Right now my favorite look is "mommy", and I know that's going to be a staple for the rest of my life.  I'm pretty sure there are going to be loads of embellishments added over the years.  I mean, thanks to my freakishly large head, my hats are custom made, baby.


  1. Happy Birthday! I can remember staring down 30. But it was a great decade. It's the new 20, you know.

  2. You'll never run out of hats. Part of the excitement of life is finding new ones. Happy Birthday to you and Iwan!!