Doomsday – A Week Away?

One week from today, I will be hitting a milestone – the big 3-0.  To say I am dreading it would be a huge understatement.  It’s not that I feel old – at times I do, but mostly I enjoy being older because in some ways, my early 20’s really sucked.  After working out the growing pains of my early 20’s and figuring out how and where to settle our family for the rest of our lives, my late 20’s went really well.  But there are a few things about turning 30 that have me feeling a little depressed lately…

This first thing is really not a big deal, just food for thought, really – I read an article about a year ago about fashion ettiquette, and apparently ettiquette says I can no longer wear my hair in pigtails.  They say 30 is too old for this.  I haven’t worn my hair in pigtails since I was about 6 years old, but it’s the principle of it now being inappropriate because I’m too old.  What if I wake up one day wanting to wear my hair in pigtails all of a sudden?  Not really a catastrophe, but again, it’s just the principle – something I CAN’T do…  Maybe I should wear my hair in pigtails ON my 30th birthday…

My biggest qualm about turning 30 is that I feel too old for a career.  Over the past year and especially in the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ll never be nor do because it’s too late…  So I guess this is it – I am officially locked into the Mommy career path, sigh.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, some people thrive on it.  I’m just not one of them.  While I truly appreciate being able to stay home and watch my kids grow without having to take some low-paying horrible job, I will also greedily admit that sometimes it’s not enough.  Sometimes, I think about maybe taking a minimum wage job, just to be able to contribute, just to be able to have a logical conversation with adults during the day.  Most of my daily conversations now revolve around poop, Barney, Hannah Montana or what was stuffed into the toilet.  When a person is in their 20’s, I always figured that was the time for establishing one’s career path, but my 20’s are gone, so I guess this is it.  Some days, I’m ok with it.  Some days I don’t even have time to really think about it.  But other days, I think about how I want to do something much more productive and lucrative, make a mark on the world while having fun and feeling like a contributing citizen…  I know, there are lots of people (especially stay-at-home-moms!) who say that raising happy, healthy, successful children IS the most productive and rewarding job out there…  But that’s easier said than done.  First, I don’t yet know if my efforts will be fruitful – what if the kids don’t turn out so well?  And second, and I hate to say this, but I will anyway – some days it just doesn’t seem like enough…  I want to be creating something, doing something, making money – I lack that immediate sense of accomplishment in my life, and I am a person who thrives on immediate payoff for effort.  Third, there’s always the thought in the back of my head – what am I going to do with myself when the kids are grown and in school?  I will be in my mid-thirties at the youngest, and since I didn’t use my 20’s to develop career skills for myself, where will that leave me when my days are no longer filled with changing diapers, preparing meals, cleaning up spills and mishaps, and chasing after kids?  Lately I’ve been dwelling on all the careers I’ve let it get too late to pursue, but there’s also the terrifying thought  – suppose I actually had some free time for myself…  WHAT ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO DO WITH IT?  I never have any free time, so I don’t even know what I would do if I got some, and that for some reason, is terrifying!

I’m sure the pregnancy is adding to some of the anxiety I’m feeling about hitting the big 3-0.  After all, I’m due, well, actually, scheduled to give birth only 5 days after I turn 30.  And like I said, most days I can look at my 4 beautiful children and think, wow, creating them is a lot to accomplish by the age of 30…  But what about the dark days when all 4 are acting up at the same time, and I just can’t feel pleasure nor reward in the career path I’ve chosen?  And most of all, what career is just going to suddenly pop out of the woodwork for me once the kids have grown and aren’t so needy?

Can’t I just turn 29 again?

6 thoughts on “Doomsday – A Week Away?”

  1. For me, every year continues to be better than the previous one. So, I cannot wait until I am 40 — imagine how great life will be then!! Although I do miss how I used to be able to eat anything and not show it… Ahhh. The early 20s…

    It is sad that your early 20s were so bad… My memories of your early 20s are the best. We got married, had our first baby, went to the ACM awards, gave away some hearses — lots of amazing stuff! Aside from my dad’s passing, I only remember wonderful times.

    Your late 20s were great also. And the best part, if you think about it, is that your agreeing that your late 20s went really well — and that is when you officially became a full-time mommy.

    In your early 20s which you seem to not have enjoyed you only had one kid, now you have 3 and things are going really well. Maybe the mommy career path is not so bad! 🙂

    When the kids are out of the house you will be stuck with me. 🙂 But we always have a fabulous time together. We get along better than any other two people I have ever met! I soooo look forward to when the kids move out. I love having them, but I look forward to when it is just you and I versus the world again.

    So chin up sweety! You’re suffering from the “grass is greener” syndrome. You live a very blessed life; we have a family and a lifestyle like nobody else I know. The other side of the fence is full of women wishing they could spend more time with their children. Wishing they could be mommy, not employee. I know cannot wait until I can retire (shooting for the next 2 years!) and be with you guys all the time!!

    So don’t wish for 29 again… Age with me and enjoy the amazing journey life has to offer us. Even with all the incredible experiences we’ve had and moments we’ve shared,, the best is yet to come. We’re still in the infancy of our life together. We need to cherrish the good things in our lives and enjoy the gifts we’ve been blessed with every day.

  2. Well said, C. You two really are the greatest couple I have had the pleasure of knowing. Although I did have the 3-0 anxiety, but, eh.

  3. C, you kinda missed the point… For one thing, I AM appreciative, that has nothing to do with wanting a career.
    Your long comment is from the mouth of someone who is very successful at his career AND being a parent – in fact, you get all the benefits of having a career, making money and getting to enjoy the fruits of your creativity, plus the kids even prefer you over me; it’s an extra job during the day just to keep them away from your work space, so what would you know about not feeling useful? And I would LOVE to spend all my time with you, that would be my goal, but it’s just not logical – someone has to work. If I had my choice, I wouldn’t have a career, I would be with you! But when you’re working, I need something to do because doing nothing but waiting for you to finish working gets depressing!
    The early 20’s being horrible had nothing to do with you – but rather circumstances happening in our lives, you know that – you were the rock that got me thru it… so now that you’ve taken everything the wrong way, you should know that I felt the blog was for venting, but now I feel censored!

  4. Ah,something I can actually relate to. In my early thirties, my last little girl was born, my wife turned 30 a year after her birth. That feeling of wanting a career was very strong in her, even though she loved staying home with the girls. The desire for a career was (how shall I say this?) consuming her thoughts.

    In society today, and 16 years ago, a stay at home mom is a rare thing indeed. As a mom you don’t get to have that adult interaction on a daily basis, and that, of course, can make someone bonkers. My wife was no exception. But, she didn’t want to leave the kids either. It took a while, but she actually found her career for a few years. She worked in a pet shop. It wasn’t the customers and that interaction that gave her pleasure, it was dealing with the wide variety of animals. She dug into the needs of dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, birds, fish, snakes, lizards, and more exotic pets like sugar gliders, and chinchillas. For a few years she was in bliss. The money wasn’t the best, but the rewards were exceptional.

    Unfortunately, this does not take care of your situation. You want and need to take care of your children (and husband), but at the same time you want to do something different for you. A feeling of contribution? A feeling of worth? Just making your way in this world? All valid feelings, especially during another of Societies’ milestones. My suggestion, well this is were I step in it… Take a step back on your 30th. If you want, delay the celebration of it until after your newest has arrived. Sometime when you can get out and be yourself. Be that with your friends or family, or just your husband, get to a point when you can be you, and not the 30 year old, or not the ‘pregnant lady’. Take a look at what you have, and revel in that. Too often we forget what we have when looking at what we don’t have. Not that your dreams aren’t important as well.

    Now I’ve almost written as much in reply as you wrote in your blog post. You should know I think the world of you, your family, and of course your husband. That little group of yours help in my life regeneration. I am blessed to know all of you.

    Oh, yes take it from someone who will be hitting 50 on my next b-day, 30 is easy. But then again, you’re a woman, you can be 29 as long as you like, I think that’s a rule.

  5. JustJ – Working at a pet store actually sounds like a great idea (what I really wish is that we had a zoo closer – then I would volunteer there all the time) – but I have hangups when it comes time to do certain tasks, like sell someone cute little critters they will be using to feed snakes, etc.
    Good advice though – I truly DO appreciate what I have, that’s not the problem, I just feel lost when it comes time to think about what I’m going to do when the kids don’t need me as much – it’s kind of a lonely, depressing feeling, and I need to not let it consume me as much… Maybe gas will be cheaper by then and I can volunteer at the zoo, you never know 🙂
    Thanks for your well-wishes and for taking the time to write so much!

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