As we “mature,” our mindsets, more than our bodies if we’re lucky, change to keep up with the various stages of life. The way I define success and good-parenting today is way different than the rigid box that contained all my textbook ideas ten years ago. Nothing, no doctorate or MD, can ever replace experiential learning. And I realize, with each passing year, I grow more relaxed about parenting, more philosophical in my approach to family life and all this seems to reflect positively in my children and marriage. Despite being resolutely young-at-heart and active, sometimes I stand outside of myself and laugh at what I’ve become; because my thinking has officially evolved to that of a (somewhat) proper forty-year-old woman.
Ten tell-tale signs you’ve entered middle-age:
1. You consider your day a success after moving your bowels.
2. Your first thoughts upon awaking each morning are to remember to give your husband his prostate medication. (Ok, mine doesn’t take any----yet. But I do remind myself to dole out the stash of multi-vitamins upon awakening. So it’s pretty much the same thing.)
3. You realize that despite claims otherwise, and your former newbie-mom-better-judgment, your overriding seasoned-mother opinion insists that Cinnamon Toast Waffles is a healthy breakfast option.
4. The elation you feel upon finding that once-misplaced 20% off coupon before making a planned purchase is comparable only to the absolute joy experienced on your wedding day.
5. You find yourself sitting for pedicures three times a week because you’re too cheap to invest in a real massage.
6. You call your kids’ friends “dear” and use the word “kid” when referring to anyone under 35.
7. An evening outing to Starbucks with your spouse passes for “date night.”
8. To make your life easier, you put your kids to bed and wake them in the morning by enticing them with promises of Cheetos and Fruit Roll-ups packed into their lunchboxes.
9. Hands-down, your favorite time of day is after you’ve nestled snugly into bed with a good (hardcover) book and cup of chamomile tea at your side.
10. Realizing your baby-making days are long-gone, you try to convince your youngest child, an almost-four-year-old girl, to return to diapers and reconsider breastfeeding.