Tomorrow I turn 39 and it occurred to me that I have spent all of my thirties trying to procreate, and not in the fun way.
We tried the expensive, emotionally exhausting way. Obviously, as you can see, we succeeded. YAY! What you can’t see are battle wounds, the failed cycles, the emptied bank accounts, the lost babies, the scars that this decade of infertility-related adventures left.
You can’t see how our journey has shaped us as a couple, showing us just how strong we really are together. You can, however, see the grey hairs coming in, the extra pounds that have crept on, the creases beginning to deepen on our faces. I prefer to think of them as laugh lines because through it all, Dan still manages to crack me up. Turns out Lloyd is pretty funny too. Jury is still out on Mabel and Walter, but something tells me there will be many more laugh lines created in the future.
So, what now? I have no freaking clue.
My mother informed me last week that “40 is just around the corner and I should probably invest in a good eye cream.”
Her pep talks aren’t what they used to be.
To be fair, she only said that after I informed her of the fact that I don’t wash my face often. Admittedly, I don’t even own face cream. I wear sunscreen on my face, my heart on my sleeve, and my newest accessory is a baby on each hip. At night, I brush and floss my teeth and pass out.
It might be time to think about this whole self-care business. Although, to be honest, I’m so busy keeping everyone else alive, I just don’t have the time. Or maybe I don’t care enough to make the time. Hmm.
My phone beeped as I wandered the aisles of Target searching for the ingredients for my latest Instapot adventure; a text reminding me that I was the soccer snack mom for Lloyd’s team that weekend. Looking down past the phone and to my feet, it suddenly dawned on me that I haven’t had a pedicure since the twins were born. I haven’t been to the gym since before I was pregnant with them. But I’ve been to Target for what feels like every damn day. I’ve been pinning healthy meals and fun foods for the twins to try, and taking Lloyd to soccer, and planning birthday parties and crazy crafts, and fighting lightsaber battles. I was up and in line at 7 a.m. Saturday morning to sign Lloyd up for swim classes this summer.
I am Momming it so hard right now. I got this.
I’m not always succeeding. I’m not the most put-together mom. I’m not the fittest. I’m certainly not the youngest. I’m never the most appropriate. I call halftime at the soccer game “intermission” and accidentally refer to practice as “rehearsal.” I tell jokes that may be a little too colorful and refer to my own son as a mini Chris Farley. But I’m learning on the job.
MOM. For all the blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into earning this coveted title, I feel like this is my EGOT moment. I’d like to thank the little people…well, I warned you about the inappropriate humor.
Bottom line, I’m here. It’s the role of a lifetime. I’m MOM. It’s not always pretty. It’s certainly not glamorous. I drink way too much coffee and don’t ever get enough sleep. But I’m relishing in (almost) every moment.
39 is here. I’m going to embrace it. I’m going to laugh loudly and cuddle these kids tightly. I’m going to kiss my husband often and savor our secret date nights where we stay up playing board games instead of sleeping, despite our exhaustion. I’m going to celebrate this messy, chaotic, marvelous life we’ve built together. And I’m going to try to love myself unconditionally, the way I love my family. No matter how old, fat or tired I feel.
To celebrate, I’ve booked myself a pedicure for my birthday. And who knows, if the mood strikes me, I might even wash my face tonight.