Monday, June 08, 2009

Kicked out of the Young Club

I'm not sure how it happened. One minute I was a mommy with a bunch of little tykes. I regularly read parenting magazines and books and could tell you exactly at what age each of my kids got every tooth, when they sat, scooted, crawled, and had their first tastes of different foods. I lived and breathed the baby years.

Those years are gone, yes, but I'm still a mommy, right?

Okay, fine. I do throw my head back and cackle with glee when I push my grocery cart past the diaper aisle. No more of those. Bwa-hahahaha!

But apparently, I'm not really a mom anymore.

See, I signed up at a site that links to giveaways and deals for moms. (Note that it's not for "mommies." MOMS.) Right up my alley, right? I'm a mom. (I've got the strewn backpacks, mountains of laundry, and stretch marks to prove it.)

But then I started getting their e-mails.

Um, I have no need for a stroller anymore, thanks. Same goes for hair bands (you know, the kind bald baby girls wear)? Last time I bought those was probably 8 years ago. Onesies? Rattles? Baby quilts? Baby girl dresses? Infant car seats?

Are you kidding me? Since when does "baby years" mean "mother"? Giveaways for moms should also include stuff like poster boards in bulk for last-minute school reports, a gas card for all the taxi driving we do and maybe even a gift certificate to buy shoes so I can get a pair that both fit my son's honkin feet and the clothing budget. And a spa certificate.

Then I got kicked out of another club.

In my continual efforts to be frugal, I signed up at yet another site that links to bargains every day. But then I noticed on the site in big, bold letters that they cater to women in their twenties.

I didn't care at first. After all, my twenties weren't that long ago . . . I didn't think.

But then I did think.

And, um, I'm leaning toward 40. The target audience of that site was being potty-trained when I graduated high school. Ahem.

It's getting downright depressing, this age thing. On some surveys I've had to fill out lately, I'm in the next age bracket. You know, if you're 18-23 check this box, 24-29, check this one 30-34, that one.

I'm in the NEXT BOX. The one that says 35-40. That sounds so much older than 30-34. Or is it just me?

I had no problem turning 30. I was actually quite happy about it, because it felt like I might get a bit of validation. I look so stinking young for my age (stupid, baby-fat face) that people don't always take me seriously. I thought that maybe have that 3 in front of my age would help.

But now . . . being on the other side of my thirties, where you round UP to 40? Hmm. Not enjoying that so much.

Especially when it means I don't belong in the mommy club on one site and most certainly don't belong on the 20-something site.

Another sign I'm getting old? I don't recognize half the popular band names that are out right now. The Today show's summer concert series? American Idol guest stars? I don't know more than half of them. (Gaga who?)

That's pretty much the touchstone right there: not knowing the current music. Yep. What can I say? I'm a member of Generation X. That used to be a hip term. Now that X means all the things I used to be.

What a truly odd sensation.

On the other hand, I'm at a great stage. My kids are more fun now than they've ever been, and I can do things now writing-wise I couldn't before simply because my life doesn't revolve around nap times, feeding times, and pooping times. Oh, and I get to sleep through the night on a regular basis.

There's also the fact that I can look back at all the things I've learned since I was 20.

And you know, I don't think I'd want to go back there. 20 wasn't as bad as junior high, granted (few things could be worse than 8th grade), but today I know more about who I am and what life's about than I did 15 years ago.

I guess this aging thing isn't so bad. I just hope I look as gorgeous at 65 as my mom does now.

Now that I could totally handle.


Josi said...

I hear ya! Being at the illustrious mid-thirty mark myself it's strange being in a kind of no-mans land of mother hood--and I prickle at the comments that tend toward the little years being harder. They were, in a sense, but there's new and overwhelming obstacles now that, while not making me pine for the old days, makes me wish I had more control of them than I do now. I'm with you, though, I don't mind getting older, it just surprises me sometimes what that really needs.

Jenny P. said...

Okay, so... I'm still in my twenties. 28 to be exact.. but because I have four kids, one of whom is a whopping big 8 years old, people always assume I am older than I am. On my 24th birthday, someone said to me, "I wouldn't put you a day over 30."


I'm looking forward to getting older because I think my kids will be so much fun, and less maintenance than they are now. Though I do love the baby/toddler stage.

Oh, and I thought I was the only one that said 'honkin'. :)

Rebecca Irvine said...

This may be the beginning of the part of your life where you start appreciating that baby face! I wish I had one. This year I turn 39. Yikes!

Jan said...

I am feeling sad now. I was kicked out of your club along time ago. Ugh. It gets better in so many ways though. You have so much to look forward too. Except menopause. I finally did find some great nutritional support for that though. I will tell you all about it in 15 years. And you will look gorgeous. :)

Michele Holmes said...

Sign me up for the posterboard, please! We must have gone through 25 pieces last school year---and a lot of gas as I drove around late at night, trying to find an open store for those last minute project supplies.

Annette, you'll always be beautiful and young-looking. How you feel is a matter of perspective. From someone already at 40---and who still needs those strollers and onesies---I can tell you it's just a number. Turning forty was really not a big deal at all. In many ways I still feel as if I'm in my twenties . . . except for the fact that I have an 18 year-old high school graduate.
Is there a club for me? Completely insane woman with children of every age???

Heather Moore said...

My husband called me 40 the other day. I said, "WHAT? I'm not even close to 40. I still have 2 good years left!"

I had the same feeling last week at book group. All of the ladies had their "oldest" child about the same age as my "youngest" child :-)

Erin said...

Great post! I saw someone at the park today who had an Aggie shirt on, so I asked, "Are you from Logan?" She said, "Yes, Smithfield actually." I said excitedly, "Oh, I graduated from Sky View in 1994!" She replied, "Oh, I graduated in 2005."

Oh yeah, I'm getting old. I keep forgetting that, and then something comes along and reminds me.

wenderful said...

Amen! I do not want to be in the baby club anymore anyhow. I don't do diapers, or bottles, or binkies, or cribs, or high chairs, or naps, or bibs. I don't miss any of that. I occasionally miss the babies. But that's temporary. My kids are much more fun and I get much more sleep than I used to. I'm happy to be in the comfortable Mom age bracket. Once I hit the big 4-0 though, I might change my mind. :)

Jami said...

I'm SO looking forward the grandmommy club. I want the spoil them and give them back job. The mommy club is exhausting!

4-0 didn't bother me neither did 4-1. But 4-2 has made me realize that 5-0 is moving towards me. Arg!

Melanie Jacobson said...

I like being 34. 35 looming on the horizon is the first age that's given me pause. But in general, I don't mind aging. I know such cool old people that I'd love to join their ranks. You know...eventually.

Unknown said...

I hear ya!I'd be kicked out too! It would be fun to start a site that gave away free stuff to soccer moms like me & you. my oldest is 11 youngest is 4. I might have to look into that.

Wonder Woman said...

Just today I was talking with SIL about how nice it is that our kids are older. They play well together and keep each other entertained, they sleep through the night, no more bottles, outings aren't so chaotic......our oldest children aren't even 5!!

And my mom turns 50 (gah!) this year. I desperately hope I look as good as her at that age.

Sher said...

Getting old sucks, doesn't it? 30 didn't bug me too much, but 31? It seems the moment I hit that mark, everything started sagging, I have more wrinkles, and I started gaining unexplained weight.
I'm also at that weird stage where I can't decide if I'm young enough to have one more baby, or too old, and should just call it quits with my three, independent, potty trained, sleeping through the night monkeys. Oh, and all three will be in school next year.
At least you look young!!

Lara Neves said...

I'll be 35 in August and I'm dreading it. People are still pretty shocked when they find out my age (mostly because I am sort of still in the baby stage since I got married a few weeks before I turned 25) but I am starting to really feel it. Great post.

Janelle said...

I liked this post a lot.

I guess I'm getting older, but I'm not done having kids so I'll be that middle age lady with a kid in nursery looking super exhausted.

I already gave up hair bows and matching socks. Is there room to be more laid back as I get older?

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I'm like Heather- at playgroup on Fridays, my youngest is the same age as the other women's oldest.

You know, I will hit 40 this July and I'm not dreading it. I want to hope I'm finally going to get my crap together in this next decade. :-)

Kaylynn said...

I'm hoping when I turn 40 there will be that same validation as 30. I too look young for my age, and I have young kids. People always think I'm a decade younger than I actually am. So 40 might actually give me that validation. (Anyways that's what I keep telling myself, although I am scared to death to turn 40!) Great post!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I find each new decade to be better than the last, and I'm just hoping the trend continues!

Anonymous said...

Just think, out of this culture you still might be in the baby years. I have many friends from high school just starting their families. I try not to giggle about having all my children fully potty-trained, and for a while. Still, those babies are pretty darn cute...

Jenna said...

Love this! I have noticed that thing about "mommy" clubs, with all the baby stuff. Man, knowing what we know now, does having a baby make you a MOM? Honey, you're just getting started! BABY is the easy phase!

Oh well, the real moms win the race, and the race isn't about having stylish babies and toddlers in the trendiest clothes and accessories.

An Ordinary Mom said...

This post is a masterpiece!

The funny thing is I am 33 and I don't feel it at all. But I have to keep reminding myself that I graduated from high school in 1994. Wow ... that seems like eons ago. Maybe I will start to feel my age more when I own a house and when I feel wiser ;) !!

Jennie said...

A wise friend once told me there's not much difference between being a parent of a two-year-old or of an eighteen-year-old. They both only know one word "no" and they're each determined to declare their independence. Every stage has it's bonuses and down sides. There's diapers and there's pacing the floor at two o'clock in the morning wondering if you should call the police. Just enjoy every stage along the way and secretly enjoy the chance remark such I got the other day, "you look way too young to be working in the temple." Actually I'm one of the youngest there and it's a fun change from being one of the "older moms."

Mikki said...

Yeah, I was not too thrilled at turning 37 this year. I've been fine all the way up til now.
I don't think I'd mind so much if I didn't FEEL like I was getting old too. I need to make some changes so I feel better, then I won't mind being this age.

Chas Hathaway said...

What's the old saying? "Age is a state of mind over matter - if you don't mind it, it doesn't matter."

But what about those of us who are increasing in matter and decreasing in mind?

I guess we all end up matter (as in dirt) over mind and body anyway. May as well enjoy it while we're here!

I'm always being told I look so young for my age. I guess that should be a compliment, but it can also be interpretted, "Wow, for your face, you sure are old!"


- Chas

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about the lookin' as good as your mom because let's face it Annette, you're smokin'. You know, I know it, half the planet knows it. (Especially thanks to blogger!)


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