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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 40 ~ November 1, 2009
~ I'm Just not the Same Mom I Used to Be!

Annie is now 4
Miss Annie is now 4 years old!
Well, I've finally gone and done it-I've recently come out of the closet and come to terms with the fact that I, Cheryl Butler, am a middle-aged mother! No matter how many vats of Oil of Olay I slap under my eyes or how much firming cream I slather on my neck each night before I go to bed, there's no denying it-I'm just not a 20-something (ok-30-something) young, hot mama any longer. My forties are here and they won't be here forever . . . so time to stop thinking I can still look youthful with two earrings in each ear, ribbed-knit tank tops (sleeveless is not always pretty my friends!) and embrace the fact that it's A-Ok to own a few undergarments that boost, lift and redistribute some of my "parts" that need a little help.

I'm completely OK with this now, but back in September, I had a rude awakening when I took Annie to nursery school each day and saw the dewy faced "young mothers" flit out of their SUVs wearing jeans that buttoned with perky breasts and fresh white T-Shirts tucked inside while I staggered out of my half-a SUV with elasticized leggings and an oversized Sweatshirt covering my bumps, dimples and post-partum pounds from many moons ago. Somehow, this just didn't seem fair, but in keeping with the "older moms have more wisdom as well as more rolls" theory, I kept on trucking and was secretly thankful that although I had the most wrinkles, I had "been there, done that" enough times already that I wouldn't lose any sleep just because my child innocently picked her nose in public or chose to enjoy me reading her a Curious George book rather than listen to books on tape while driving to nursery school.

I don't know; something is just a little bit off between the new generation of moms and my 40-something crowd. Maybe I'm secretly jealous that they are so wide-eyed and bushy tailed over each and every black and purple finger painting that comes home from school each week when my first reaction is "how can I get rid of that without her catching me" or maybe it's the conversation out in the parking lot after pick up, "Are you going to the Mommy and Me Triathlon Class today?" "Who me? No, Annie's coming with me to sign up for my AARP card-I qualify in a few more years and want to make sure they have all the information they need in advance!" Sigh!

But don't you worry-you're only as young as you feel-and I've certainly got that going for me. I may not have the most taut (that's a mature woman's word!) elasticity in my neck, breasts or thighs but I do have something far more valuable-experience! That's right! I don't fret over how many play dates my kids will have before she reaches five years old, or if she can translate more than one foreign language or even discern between the taste of organic apples or store bought. I know that a mother's lips (young or old) can always make her boo boo feel better, that a mother's ears (young or old) will always be the most important in listening about her hard day at school, a mother's hands (dry or not) are always the best to hold on to when she is frightened or excited and a mother's heart (whether or not it's lying beneath a wonder bra or a tank top) is always bursting with love and pride for whatever accomplishment her child has accomplished that day!

I'm sure not the "younger" mother anymore, but time marches on, and as long as I'm here to see all mine grow up, I'm ok not being the same mother I was 16 years ago.

    ~ Cheryl

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