Today I’m starting a new weekly writing theme – Tuesdays I will focus on writing about some “truth” in which I have come to feel confident. It is important to realize that I don’t often feel confident in truths. I am a skeptic at heart – a questioner of most conclusions. So, these will certainly not be Truths (truths with a capital “t”), but only small “t” truths that I have come to believe for myself.
Being an older mom is tough. First of all, the energy of a 5 year old and the energy of a 45 year old are not at all compatible. Now, I understand that the energy of a 5 year old is not really matched by any adult’s energy levels, so 25 year old moms are also exhausted. I think the difference is in the recovery. A 25 year old bounces back. Having a 5 year old is kind of like drinking too much – you have days where you control your intake, drink plenty of water, eat enough food to soak up the alcohol and all feels great. Sure, you’re a little tired the next day, but you feel fine overall. Then, there are those nights where you are ill-prepared, didn’t eat dinner, can’t find a glass of anything but liquor to parch your thirst and you overdo it. The next day is hell. But, at 25, it is really only part of the next day. Maybe, for a REALLY bad night, it takes the whole day, but you’re feeling fine by the next night. When you’re 45, it could be a week before you feel right again. There just isn’t that resiliency you once had. And, that, my childless friends, is what it is like having a preschooler. And the bad thing is, you can’t just quit your 5 year old cold turkey and stay home alone for weeks on end to make yourself feel better. Nope. They are there. Every. Single. Morning. Greeting you with that crazy hair and requesting breakfast. Sigh…
But, there is more to it than that. OIder moms are like the tweens of the adult set. We don’t really have anything in common with the 20-something mom set (other than we have a children), but we do not want to be grouped in with the grandmas because it is slightly insulting. I say slightly because some of the grandmas I know are actually chronologically younger than I am. But, that isn’t what I see when someone asks if my daughter is my granddaughter or asks if I qualify for the senior discount (seriously retail workers, I will ASK for the damned senior discount if I qualify, you don’t need to remind me that I look old enough to qualify). I see MY mom. I feel like I look 65 and I should be headed for retirement and a bingo game. And I realize that I often look old and haggard because I just don’t take the time to care for myself – no makeup, hair pulled back in a really poor attempt at a pony tail that highlights the gray streaks in it, and too much time in the sun giving me age spots visible to all. But, sometimes I’m just too hungover (see the first paragraph) to put myself together and be presentable. Anyways, its hard to find a cohort group that I can relate to on a regular basis.
I am hoping that once Bean starts school I might find some more moms to hang with whom I have things in common. If not my age, then other things. Being tired (maybe moms of multiple children), not looking great, interested in TV watching more than going out on the town, and not looking to be impressed by someone’s house and/or organizational/cleaning skills. But, until then, I’m stuck here in old mom land. And sometimes that is a slightly lonely place. I have my 5 year old to keep me company though and she doesn’t seem to care if I do my makeup, clean the house perfectly or get my hair colored. She unconditionally loves me and for now, that is good enough for me.
That, friends, is my Tuesday Truth. What about you – are you a young mom, middle-aged mom, an old mom or no mom at all? Do you have struggles fitting in or finding your people? I’d love to hear how others deal with this.