I remember, way, way back, when my mother announced she was pregnant with my baby brother. I was mortified. I was nine years old and my mother was old. Way too old to be having babies. She was 35! My friends all thought it was “cool” that I was going to be ten years old with a new brother or sister at home. I thought it was scandalous. Because nine year old girls are dramatic. I know because I currently have one at home. But more more about my little drama queen later.
Without diving too deep into the trials and tribulations of my life (hey we all have them), I will tell you that being a mother was never high on my priority list. I loved kids. I was a nanny for a period in my life. I adored my baby brother (scandal and all). I was even a Sunday school teacher for several years. But I just never felt that desire to have any of my own. I never felt that clock ticking – until I did. I was about 36 years old when I came to the realization that maybe I could be a mother. And at that age, once that notion struck me, I knew I needed to get on that. So, I got married in July of 2009 and was pregnant by September. I was 38 when my baby girl was born.
Let’s fast forward to present day. I am now a 47 year old single mom of a 9 year old daughter. She is by far the best thing that ever happened to me and if you are in room together with us and can’t feel the love oozing from us then there is something wrong with you. Her and I have the relationship that I never had with my own mother. It’s the sort of thing I saw with my friends growing up and never quite understood. Now I do. It is awesome. But it most certainly is not all rainbows and butterflies.
We’ve had a lot of changes in our home in the past little while, what with the pending divorce and all. And as challenging as these things can be it really has just made us stronger. Both as individuals and together as a team. But we are both trying to navigate other changes, and it’s made things, well, interesting! At 47 I am smack dab in the middle of perimenopause. And my darling 9 year old has hit that confusing prepubescent stage in her life. It is a lot.
The similarities between our life changes are actually kind of funny. We both have sore boobs. Her’s because they are growing (guys I took her bra shopping two weeks ago!) and mine, well I don’t know WTF they hurt all the time. They sure as hell aren’t growing. We can both turn on the tears like a tap. I have never in my life cried watching TV shows or movies and now I’m that girl who weeps if a puppy looks sad in a movie. And don’t get me started on what the loss of Iron Man did to me. And my girl, OMG, I swear right now she enjoys making herself sad. She will dig back months into her young life and dwell on that time that girl looked at her funny and suddenly – devastation. And if we are going to talk about devastation we have to talk about pimples. Because that is exactly what had my girl in tears last night. A tiny little pimple on her face. Something I haven’t had to deal with in years, but thank you perimenopause for gifting me with that. The highs and lows in our home right now are pretty typical of a pair of hormonal females. We can shoot daggers at each other with our eyes and then five minutes later we are locked in a fierce hug professing our undying love for one another. Besides the raging hormones going on inside, we are both having to adapt to our changing bodies and the impact that has on our own sense of self. She has now entered that stage where she examines herself in the mirror at various angles and, from time to time, tells me (again with tears) that she thinks she’s fat. Of course she’s not. She’s perfect and healthy and beautiful in every way. And, even though I am primarily pretty at ease with my own body (one of the blessings of getting older), I do have my moments where I curse my metabolism for slowing down and making me work what feels like a million times harder to stay in shape. I swear at this point in my life I can eat a single potato chip and gain five pounds.
There’s a lot the same. But there are also a whole host of things my 47 year old self is experiencing that my girl is not. Like the night sweats. The insomnia. The brain fog. The extra week (sometimes more) of cramps I get well ahead of my period. And, speaking of periods, OMG, that’s all I’m going to say about that. And did I mention the brain fog? Combine all of this with the trials an tribulations of going though a divorce, raising a kid and attempting to date at this stage in my life – well my hands are definitely full!
There’s still so much yet to come. Nine years old is just the very tip of the hormonal iceberg and I’ve got years of menopausal crap to still get though. But I love my little partner in crime so the two of us will make our way through it all, the good and the bad, and get through this hormonal house of horror together.