So this week I turned 39.
I’m 39 with a one-year-old .
In my head I’m convinced I’m a teen mum- society frowning on the combination of my youth and responsibility, but in reality the eye creases tell it how it is. Yes- I’m an ‘older mum’ (for more on this read my post ‘Don’t you want kids?..)
It’s got me thinking about the pros and cons of having a baby on the brink of my fourth decade…
Will she help me enviably (or embarassingly!) be ‘down with the kids’ again? I was watching The Brits feeling all of my 39 years not knowing who anybody was and only a handful of the songs. That was never like me. At one time I could tell you the artist, song, and even the time of year it was released having listened to it on repeat on Radio 1 and associating the songs with certain nights out and other fun times. Not any more. Now my staple is BBC Radio Merseyside or news programmes (and, ok, a littIe reality TV…) but I’m sure Harriet will make me listen to Radio 1 while we’re driving or she’ll be singing in her room to the latest boy band or dancing to something cooler, so perhaps all’s not lost for me yet…
It may be a little morbid but I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry that I might not be here for Harriet’s key moments- graduation, marriage and children (if that’s what she wants for herself of course). I’m so lucky that my parents and parents-in-law have had the chance to have those experiences and I’ve not had my memories tainted by them not being there. It’s easy to overthink; I fully appreciate that I or anybody could be run over tomorrow by the proverbial bus, and if I can’t be there for Harriet I’m hopeful it will give her strength and resilience for whatever else life throws at her.
I worry I won’t have the energy to deal with Harriet as she gets older, needs costumes for theme days at school and wants ferrying to parties and activities. Even now I’m falling asleep in front of the TV when I actually get to sit down before 9pm (see my last blog post). I imagine being able to function on little sleep is a merit of being a more youthful mum. Back in my early 20s I was up at 4am to read the news on local radio, went out that night and didn’t get to bed til pretty much the same time I got up 24 hours before! The thought of that now is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.
One advantage of being older is that I feel I have a lot more perspective on what’s important- what matters and what doesn’t. Yes, Harriet will make mistakes; it’s part of growing up and learning, but I have sufficient wisdom and life scars, coupled with patience and assertiveness, for her to hopefully learn from me while furrowing her own path.
Wow. Some of this is a bit deep. I’ll just return to the birthday Prosecco… in my pyjamas, before I fall asleep obviously!