At the beginning of this month I celebrated my 36th birthday. I’m pretty sure when you can’t really remember your age, that puts you in the category of ‘old’, not helped by the fact my five year old asked ‘why the skin on my arms wobbles’ this evening.
So I’m halfway to 72; a good age for sure and seeing as no one really knows when their time’s up, it’s probably safe to say I’m entering middle age territory.
So what does it mean to reach this milestone? Well, things have certainly changed in the last ten years or so and there are some things you appreciate in this stage of life that you’d never have dreamt possible a decade ago…
It seems trimming your prize dahlias isn’t just for Grandads anymore. Appreciating your small spot of green space is something you certainly grow into at this time of life. Outdoor living, garden trinkets, growing your own veg and ones progressing wisteria is all the rage when you’re thirty something.
You can include in this category garden centres, royal park gardens and public display gardens… the hangouts of many a middle aged parent and beyond.
PAYDAY | Taking on the #allotment was possibly one of the craziest decisions to date, and I’m not going to lie it’s been bloody hard work. But this is what it’s all about, and it suddenly seems to have been worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Feeling pretty proud, and even the old dudes down there seem to have been impressed with our ‘beginners luck’. . . . . . . . #instagarden #coolmumclub #thismamaloves #instanature #allotment #growyourown #thegoodlife #imadethese #ukparentbloggers #pinklinker #happylittlebuttons #rockingmummylife #rememberingthesedays #littlefierceones #littleloves #photosinbetween #gardenersworld #gardening
We’ve even taken it a step further this summer with the addition of our allotment. Not exactly how I’d been planning to spend my rare child free moments, but it’s surprisingly cathartic all the same. Plus Alan, Geoff and all the old boys up there love that our family has reduced the average age by two generations.
Never have I appreciated eating a humble carrot quite so much.
A quiet life
Don’t get me wrong I love a good old knees up as much as the next person, but it’s safe to say two nights out in a row is an absolute no no. Middle age has brought on the JOMO (That’s joy of missing out) and I am all for a day time social event (preferably out enjoying that lovely outdoor living furniture set) so I can still be home in my PJs with a takeaway and trash TV on a Saturday night.
SATURDAY NIGHTS BE LIKE | Mild hangover, The voice kids, Chinese en route, kids in bed, bit of a pamper and time to get these toes summer ready! SAHM feet tan lines coming on a treat eh? . . . . . . . #coolmumclub #thismamaloves #pinklinker #rockingmummylife #toes #snaphappybritmums #rememberingthesedays #happylittlebuttons #ukparentbloggers #ukblogger #mblogger @aveenouk @flexitol_ #feet #pamper #bblogger #ad #
I love going out out, but in middle age there’s a whole lot of love for staying in in.
It may have taken my 36 years BUT I think I have finally realised that as much as I love a cold glass of sav blanc, it is not a drink to take you through an entire night out. Equally Tequila makes me sick. And shots in general are never a good idea when you are facing a long day of entertaining small children tomorrow. Note, I’ve learnt the rules, that doesn’t mean I always abide by them…
ABOUT LAST NIGHT | Current mood: is it bedtime yet? Funny night out for drinks with some great Mum pals and their OHs last night… featuring dancing to old school garage in a dodgy club at 1am, kebab shop bants and the all important comedy cab journey home… fun times. Bad head. #coolmumclub #thismamaloves #pinklinker #ukparentbloggers #snaphappybritmums #happylittlebuttons #outout #thehangover #hangoverswithkids #isitbedtimeyet #neverdrinkingagain #saturdaynight #friends #funtimes #uniteinmotherhood #mumfriends #mummyfriends #supermums #mumtribe #tribalchat #nightoff #nokids
Some of you may shudder at the thought of going out in flats, but having spent my twenties stacking it after a few too many glasses of white wine and tequila chasers, I now know that my feet like to be in flat shoes. The heels get a very rare outing but on your bog standard meal and drinks night out, involving any walking AT ALL then it’s comfort over style every day of the week.
SUMMER EVENINGS | If only every summer evening involved a G&T overlooking the gardens of a country Manor House. Back to reality this week with soggy school runs, toddler gym and picking up rice from the kitchen floor. Can’t complain though, Saturdays date night was worth waiting for! Today’s blog post is a round up of my latest fashion faves from @jdwfashion as shown in this shot… NB. G&T + fit bloke = models own . . . . . . . . . #coolmumclub #fblogger #inspiremyinstagram #thesearethedays #photosinbetween #theeverydayproject #kent #jdwilliams #newpost #linkinbio #pinklinker #thismamaloves #tribalchat #lionessmama #rockingmummylife #perfectandproud #instadaily #instagood
In my twenties, like most of us, any invitation of ANY sort was answered with “when are we going!” prior to “How much will it cost?”. Savings shmavings, life was for the here and now and provided there was 7p super noodles in the cupboard, all was well. These days no holiday, weekend, purchase or decision comes without a full on assessment of cost vs benefit and a significant amount of post purchase guilt should the investment be vaguely non-essential.
So many of us went through some steep learning curves in our twenties; dodgy loans, overdrafts and credit cards. The temptation of having it all (and paying it for the rest of your life) was such an easy trap to fall into when you just had to go on that holiday, have those shoes or see that band. But, it’s not sustainable, as we all realised and spent a long time recovering from those mistakes.
As student loans are signed off, credit cards are reserved for emergencies only, the change to parenthood with mouths to feed, clothe and house is a stark wake up call. All of a sudden every penny could be better spent building for their future, and come to mention it, yours, as retirement suddenly seems a bit more of a reality.
There was a time when I’d rather be dead than be seen walking into a discount supermarket, or quite frankly, even hold one of their carrier bags. These days I’ll rave about my Aldi bargains to anyone who stands still long enough.
I do not want to spend money on nappies to be weed and pooed in. Fact. My family eat me out of house and home. Fact. I am a bargain grocery LOVER and PROUD of it! Fact!
Whilst I can appreciate an Aldi nappy or loaf of 50:50 bread any day of the week, I also know the difference in brands that offer me high quality worth forking out a little more for. Heinz baked beans. Dyson vacuum cleaners. Microscooter scooters. Apple phones. When it comes to certain things, by this time of life you know what you like and sometimes, you like what you know and there’s not going to be any changing that.
Awareness of mortality
With youth fading away, the fearless immortal versions of ourselves do too. It seems that the older we get, and with more life experience, the scarier things in life feel all too much a possibility. As a twenty year old I’d think nothing of jumping in a car and driving to an unknown destination half way around the country, wheras these days I’m a nervous driver anywhere out of my postcode and after dark. I don’t do bridges and every other drivers moves make me a little nervous.
With the morning’s news bringing far all too often tales of terror and sadness, any family trip or excursion comes with some kind of mental risk assessment of where to hide from flying bullets or how you’d evacuate the family safely from any number of freak occurrences. It feels a little irrational, but yet sadly all too real for some poor folk.
All of a sudden it feels so important to be exercising and eating the right foods; drinking more water and less booze. Not just for a smaller waistline but for a healthier future for ourselves and our families. Gone are the days of bingeing on junk food to ease those hangovers…
A decent meal
Back in the day, eating was cheating and along with those McDonalds hangover binges and 7p noodles, my staple diet involved batch lots of tuna pasta that would last a week. A posh meal out would involve a Nandos or if we were really going for it, a Pizza Express.
By your mid thirties your tastebuds have (hopefully) matured from the burger and chips days (well, now and again doesn’t hurt right?) but the weekly meal plan looks thankfully a lot more wholesome, involves a LOAD more fruit and veg, and a much higher grocery bill to boot.
DINNER FOR ONE Knocked up this #buddahbowl as seen on @aldiuk #specialbuys mag (thanks for the Inspo!) whilst the kids wolf down something far less adventurous and Mr G nurses a bowl of bran flakes (recovering from a Vom bug). Hoping some of these 11 (yes 11) veggies and friends keep those bugs at bay! #food #foodie #fitfam #ukparentbloggers #coolmumclub #ig_food #sweetpotato #january #undoingchristmas
On a special occasion, it’s less about the boozing on an empty stomach and more about the drinks to accompany your meal whilst filling your stomach. High end restaurants, rustic organic food halls or even trendy street food digs; it’s all a foodies heaven and sure to be spamming up your insta-feed with incredible food-snaps. #Guilty.
Unlike those fast days of our teens and twenties, when we wanted it all and wanted it now, life has slowed down. For those of us who have been lucky to wind up with a loving family of their own, it’s a constant wonder how you managed to land on your feet.
The news of far flung lands suddenly feels excruciatingly painful to see, as starving children and families with nothing no longer seem like strangers on a screen – how can the divide be so great, based on where you were fortunate enough or unfortunate enough to be born.
And then there is those all around us – the ones who have been there for us to lean on on the bumpy ride. The friends and family who have weathered lifes storms with you, the ones who are always there to count on when you’re in need. And, as you get through another sleepless night, an uneaten meal or a hellish tantrum, you realise what your own parents went through to get you to where you are today.
Life Goals & priorities
It seems all around us, the thirty somethings are taking stock of what they want to do – setting up their own businesses, taking on training to get them where they want to be, or even hitting pause on their careers altogether until they have it all figured. Many of those careers we fell into in the beginning just aren’t cutting it in the life satisfaction scales and the time is now to put that right.
The beauty of mid life is that it is a time like no other – we are young enough to still follow our dreams, and old enough to know better. Seizing the glory days of our young families whilst reflecting on the generations above us growing older before our eyes. The time is now, and don’t we know it.
Once upon a time, the clock was only ever ticking down to 5pm on a Friday. These days there isn’t a minute of the day which isn’t allocated to some task, which just makes those clock hands whizz round faster and faster each day.
Time with family, time with friends, time exploring and time chilling – it all feels so much more precious than it did a decade ago, as it falls between our fingers like grains of sand.
Because, let’s face it the twenty something me would have opted for every option behind the bar APART FROM a gin and tonic? Yep, she has definitely changed! Hendricks and Fever tree anyone?! Cheers!