being 40+ or REACT… to 41-12-7

This is the last year my children are in the same school…

or…

How we make decisions without really thinking ahead…

I never really saw myself with children, in fact, I saw myself surrounded by pets mostly, of course, I never really saw myself married either, and here I am: married for 15 years and with two children…

I don’t know if the trend started with my generation or if it was just me, but I did not marry young, although if you had asked me about 10 years ago, how old I was when I got married, I’d have said, “very young, I was 25″…and how old were you when you had your first child? “I was at the perfect age for having children: 27…”

fast forward, today, I am 41, my eldest is graduating from elementary school and my youngest is starting second grade….and if you didn’t catch it before, I am forty one…

not my best moment when I decided to have children at the ripe old age of 27

At 31, I only had Sofía and with no plans to have another child, I was bearly making it through with her…I had started my 30s and still nothing to show for… but a heavy heart full of frustration and a huge identity/existential crisis. My inner voice, the negative one, constantly repeated, “look at yourself, in your 30s, no spring chicken, just sitting here and listening to your daughter play the same movie over and over again, although you have your own self-pity movie going on here as well…”

I was sure I did not want to go through this again…as soon as Sofía started elementary school, I’d begin searching for my own life… but, where had I left it?

A year later I was pregnant with my second child, sofía was 5, I was 32…

what the…? who the…? when did that happen?

Pablo was born one month before my 33rd birthday…

Negative inner voice, “Excuse me, weren’t you going to look for your life? I think you found life, but not your own!”

Here I was, 33, a huge baby BOY, of all things, a boy and HUGE… I forgot about everything, existential/identity crisis, the search for my life…and everything else… I fell into an automated mode where all I could manage was: Sofía and Pablo, not me, not my home, not my husband… I lived in a functional-coma state, you know, no thinking, no wanting, no feeling, NO FEELING…any change in my daily routine would completely paralyze me…

33-5-0

As I started to wake up, about two years later, I started feeling stuff again. I felt sad, extremely sad, terribly tired and the frustration crept back tugging by the hand its two friends, the CRISIS sisters: Existential and Identity…

35-7-2

I forced the situation and enrolled Pablo in school, Sofía was doing great and I went back to teaching…for 6 months, till Pablo got really sick, and life came to a complete stand still. I was back home taking care of my baby boy and trying to potty train him. Did you know that it is one of the most difficult tasks for a MOTHER to get done: POTTY TRAINING A BOY!!!

HOW? no husband at home…Pablo resisted with all his might, no special underwear or stickers, prizes, NOTHING WORKED

36-8-3

Potty-trained Pablo went back to school, Sofía preparing for her 1st Comunion, ME, going with the flow, life still lost, very tired and had lost most sensibility in my heart…

I have no recollection of anything up to the day I’m closing the door to my house and leaving for Mexico City…then it goes blurry again, and here I’m ever so thankful that I started writing this blog otherwise I wouldn’t be sure I did anything else but sit in my car in undescribable traffic jams for two years…

SUMMER 40-11-6

I find my life, it was waiting here, in my house… and I notice something, my children, their greyish skin tone was not there anymore, they were glowing, I was glowing…and not just because of the three digit weather that greeted us upon our arrival to our hometown…they had also left a bit of their soul here…

“Yay, Life, my dear life, I finally found you, how are you?” ” Well, I’ll be 41 in a few months so I’m glad you’re here and I’m glad your happy to have found me again, though I am not the life you left more than 10 years ago, I have changed a lot, you’ll slowly notice. It’s so good to see that you have kept up with your children, I hope you have taken advantage of your youthful 30s because we are far from that time, that age, that natural energy you supposedly had…

“What do you mean? I still have that natural energy…” “Sure you do…anyway, there’s much for you to realize and discover, but first start unpacking, your husband wants the garage empty of all those boxes before the summer’s over…

41-12-7

The garage is still have full of packed boxes…my daughter’s graduation is in two days, but before that she’s got parties to go to, things to buy, needs and wants… Pablo’s 1st grade also ends in two days and he’s got plans as well… Me, I am enjoying seeing them grow, I have mellowed, I am not fighting with myself…no natural energy, then I slow down…

I was so angry at myself for much too long for having wasted my children’s early years drowned in this functional-comatosed state until I noticed that THE BEST WAS YET TO COME

Now, although I try not to dwell on it, but as I retrace my steps, I have considered that I could have probably been a better mom if I had had my children earlier, maybe I could not have avoided the horrible emotional slumps, but at least I would be younger now…I would have found life with a bit more natural energy to get back to living it fully and skip and jump at the same pace as my children and not watch them from the bench…

However, I have also discovered that my children, and not my ego, is my most important incentive to get up and be the best I can be… watching them skip and jump has, for the first time in a very long time, made me yearn for the energy I once burned through sadness and frustration…

Will I be able to get at least a bit back?

My children have noticed my changing body, hair, skin and have not lost faith in me…

They have seen me AGE but don’t see me OLD…

Sofía is starting Jr. High next fall…Pablo will start second grade…Me, I’m in no hurry anymore, I’ve got a bit of time left to achieve my goals, I found my life again and that, in itself, is already a dream come true…

41-12-7

image from GLAMORGANWALKS.COM, numbers OURS

41-12-7…

What a strange number, I chose it without knowing…

Does anyone think about THEIR NUMBERS when they are planning to start a family? What are the ideal numbers?

hugs people!!

milestone image

graduation cap

8 responses to “being 40+ or REACT… to 41-12-7

  1. Now I had not thought of that!! I had always attributed “thinking young” (because there are days when I don’t feel young no matter what) to my daily contact with my highschool students…but you are so right Karen, my children keep me up to date and on my toes…of course, my dear friend, you are an enlightened one and your lovely self emanates youth… Oh, I follow such wonderful people and I am so blessed that they follow me back, you always teach me something my friend🙂 thank you

  2. I started having children even older than you. I know what you mean about trying to keep up with them. Mostly though, I am glad that I had children at an older age because it keeps me young. I’ll be 51 this August and my kids are 14-10. I suspect I would feel even older if my kids didn’t keep me thinking younger thoughts.🙂

  3. Oh Lord, we certainly are on the same rollercoaster… I’m here if you feel you need to vent… Functional Coma Central… Take care and breathe deeply, you will either have a clearer view or become so dizzy that you’ll HAVE TO sit down for a bit… Virtual hug sister!

  4. Stu, you are so perceptive…I think/feel I have forgiven myself but you have read something here that speaks contrary to this? Tell me… The time I didn’t use to enjoy my children also represents time I ignored ME, I focused on not focusing… It’s weird, I remember and I thank God I am here and my children are with me and I have decided to enjoy them NOW… But I am not letting go of the past, right? Give me your two cents, my friend…🙂

  5. Forgive yourself. Oh, you have already. Have you? Have you really? Forgive yourself. Now’s the time to make up for ANY time you think you lost. Every day is a new opportunity to start afresh. Start differently. Start over. Continue as you were. Start again. Every day. Every day. I know you can and I know you will because I know you have.🙂

  6. Oh yes, totally, feeling that the time is right for both of you is the perfect indicator… the thing is that, I never planned it, suddenly the “picture” of my husband and I seemed incomplete (for everyone around, I did not notice it) so we went ahead…however, i have mostly done it by myself (except for money matters, he’s the one taking care of that) and now, that I’m 41, it is a bit exasperating having young children and not being able to keep up with them… I had no idea 40 was such a turning point, so I’m mostly shocked at my reaction/approach to all this which makes me wonder what if i had had them younger? of course, we’ll never know🙂 and YES, at 41 I still feel young for many things but not so much for others… my best advice to you and hubby: take REALLY good care of yourselves, your health, your mind, I imagine (as most people do) you already have exercise as part of your daily routine, THAT is my biggest mistake, huge mistake:/ … my sister married a man 10 years her senior, they have a three year old daughter and thinking about how old he’ll be when she graduates from University gives him insomnia, jajajaaaaa, we even thought about numbers when we got sofía a dog, OK, she’s 8, the dog will live 10-12 years, she’ll most likely be 20 when it passes, she’ll understand, she won’t suffer that much (we are over-thinkers, party-pooper kind of folks) … please receive a big hug and all my best wishes to both of you…

  7. Sometimes I feel like I’m behind. . . my husband and I just turned 32 (or he will next week) and we don’t have any kids yet and we’ve been married for 10 years. We just haven’t been ready, first with the military life and then both of us going back to college at such a late age… but then I think about it and realize that we’re still young (41 is still YOUNG!) , we have time.
    I don’t think that there’s a right time or age to start a family. I think it happens when it happens, and that’s the right time🙂

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