These days, my clothing choices are all about comfort and practicality. Just as I want jeans with more coverage and roomy pockets (gotta put extra tissues and snacks somewhere!), high waist ‘mom jeans’ and combat boots are in style, and it’s a great time to be a 30-something mom. I may have had to Google ‘what is a VSCO girl’ but that doesn’t make me old; it makes me an original. You feel me 90’s girls?!
In my 20’s, I won a battle against cancer, graduated college, got married, traveled the world, moved cities, ran marathons, competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting, and did a lot of personal growth. As my twenties breezed by, the ‘time to start a family’ timeline kept getting pushed back because we just weren’t ‘ready’ (pro tip–you’re never ‘ready’; just have to dive in.) There were too many things I wanted to do first. So, I became a mom in my 30’s and being a 30-something first-time mom is actually really cool. While I could do without the increasing amount of gray hair, I’ll take the confidence that comes with waiting to start a family.
Here’s why being a 30-something mom is actually the best.
I’m more confident the older I get
The younger me suffered from analysis paralysis. If any situation could be over-analyzed, I was there for it. Whether it was a big life event or just ordering at a restaurant. Yes, sometimes I put an excruciating amount of thought into that. I would agonize over small and large decisions because I wanted to make the ‘right’ one.
I was also a pro at second-guessing myself. But today, I don’t waste time with that and prefer action to analysis. The best way to make things happen is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and adjust along the way if needed.
I also dumped my imposter syndrome. I don’t have time to fiddle around the sidelines while letting opportunities slip by. If there’s something I decide to go after, I do. This confidence improves my life in many ways, and probably the most impactful is my parenting. I’m thoughtful and intentional about my parenting, and I don’t second-guess my parenting choices. I know I make the best decisions for my daughter and our family, and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it.
I’m more comfortable in my own skin
In my teens and twenties, I always felt like there was something I needed to change or conquer, some kind of physical feat to accomplish. I think part of this is that I genuinely love physical activity, and part is that I was trying to overcome a history of body image issues (I talk more about this on my podcast).
I was always actively trying to do something– run a longer distance, run faster, increase muscle mass, get leaner, get stronger–there was always something to chase. If you look far enough back in my Instagram feed, you’ll see the evolution of my mindset–from gym shark to mama shark (do-do-do-do).
Now, I’m content just as I am. I’m happy to just be. While I’m not actively pursuing a fitness goal, I still lift weights and stay active in other ways that bring me joy. Besides, I don’t have the time and energy it requires to invest in a physical goal as I did in my teens and twenties. I’m glad I did that when I did, because I learned so much about myself and had fun doing it. Now, my goal is to get movement in the ways that bring me joy so I can have a strong, healthy body to enjoy my life and family for a long time, while also teaching my daughter how to respect her own body. I find that simple goal to be quite freeing. And actually, it makes me feel like a superhero.
This is my season and I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be
My twenties were full of adventures. My husband and I traveled the world together. We’ve been to six continents and have seen and experienced amazing things. While I wish my biological clock could turn back a few years as we continue to try for baby number 2, I wouldn’t trade these experiences. Besides, if things had been any other way, I wouldn’t have my wonderful daughter, and I can’t imagine life without her. I’ve done a lot of cool things in my life so far, and that makes me feel comfortable about the season of life I am in now. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Being a mom is the greatest adventure of all!
I have nothing to prove
I’m noticing I don’t care as much about other people’s opinions. I have found comfort and confidence in myself. I am at ease with where I am in my life, and I am chasing my dreams because I want to, not because I want to impress anyone.
The same goes for motherhood. Being a first-time mom is hard, and that transition can be really jarring. It’s easy to feel inadequate if you compare yourself to staged ‘Instagram moms’ or try to force your new life to fit what it was prior to having a baby. But once you accept that priorities change, the pressure is relieved. Feeling comfortable with myself and my priorities means I focus on those without distraction. Priorities change, and I’m comfortable with my current ones.
So to all the 30-something mamas, I hope you, too, find confidence in your life experiences and know that this decade is your best one yet!