Today is my birthday. I am 31 years old. I originally wrote I was celebrating the fourth anniversary of my 27th birthday, but then I realized I had no problems admitting my real age.
I have never really let age affect me. When all my other friends were worried about turning 30, I looked at my mom who greets every new year with a warm hug and a mug of cocoa rather than a crucifix and garlic. She looks at getting older as a privilege rather than a punishment. (She is a grief counselor. Maybe it’s stemmed from her profession??)
Anyhow, I will admit I had a couple moments of trepidation last year when the big 3-0 was looming on the horizon, but I brushed it off, pulled on my big girl panties, and got my mug of cocoa ready. Hell, I even threw in fuzzy slippers and a bathrobe!
One year ago I was 5 months pregnant and feeling great. I was married to my best friend and had a pretty good job. This year, not much as changed. Well, actually everything has changed but not so as you’d notice. I’m still married to my best friend and have a good job, but now we have a beautiful baby boy. He and Jeff are the light of my life.
I am proud of my age. I’m proud of my 31 years of experience. Every year (especially these days with an infant around) I gain more and more knowledge. I have learned several things in the past year I will take with me forever:
-No amount of worrying or preparing will make childbirth go any differently than fate determines. If you are destined for pain, you will feel pain…until the epidural kicks in. If it’s in your cards to throw up in the middle of childbirth, well, then, you’ll throw up. Don’t worry. If your husband’s anything like mine he’ll say you looked cute doing it. (Isn’t he the best?)
-Babies are hard work. No seriously. Let me write that down again. Babies. Are. Hard. Work. Newborns especially. For the first three months, just resign yourself to the fact that you will not sleep, eat, shower, or do anything else like you used to. Everything is a race against the clock. Get it done before the baby wakes up. If you’re lucky, you might get a whole shower in!
-It gets easier. I suffered from moderate depression in my first couple weeks after I had Jake. I had to keep telling myself “It gets easier. It gets easier.” I knew it had to. Around three months, everything shifted. Jake was…different. I really don’t know how to explain it except to say he changed. He was more predictable (or maybe we just learned his schedule), he was more content, he was easier to be around. One of my baby books says babies are born one trimester too early. This would make sense to me!
-Not getting your oil changed in your car can (and probably will) result in your engine pooping out on you before it’s time. Then, you will be forced to spend $$$$ on an engine for a car you planned to sell within a year. Note to self: must get oil changed! I’m going to really like having a new car that reminds you it’s time.
-Don’t sweat the small things. This is still a work in progress for me. It probably will be for a long time. I have been told I overreact and am dramatic about things. (Nahhhh…..me?) I know I do. I am wound up so tightly sometimes the littlest thing can cause me to snap unnecessarily. I am working on relaxing, slowing down and seeing the bigger picture. I’m not perfect and learning this is not going to be quick, but it’s probably my most valuable piece of wisdom I have gained in the past 12 months.
I have a niece starting college next week. Turning 31 has made me think of her and realize she is about to get hit in the face with the knowledge stick. I hope she takes it all in, makes mistakes, experiences triumphs, and learns from everything. I’m so excited for her. Good luck, Riley!!!
I know this post has been all over the place (blame it on me getting up at 3:00a this morning to go unload a truck at work), so thanks for bearing with me. All that being said, I’m going to go watch a movie in bed. (Read: sleep with a movie playing in the background.)
Have a wonderful day, everyone!