We focus so heavily on our children’s birthdays and how fast they are growing up and getting older. Newsflash…that means we are getting older too! As my husband is about to turn 40 and I am only a few short years away, I have been focusing more and more on what it really means to be getting older. In our twenties, my husband and I always talked about what 40 would look like. When you are 21, 40 might as well be 70. Not sure how it creeped up so quickly, but it’s knocking at our door and won’t seem to get the hint as we pretend no one is home. My twenties really do seem like ages ago and were filled with self discovery, having fun, new expriences, my wedding and living life to the fullest. My 30’s have consisted of new beginnings, experiencing a love that I never knew existed when my children were born, being selfless, and feeling empowered. What will my 40’s bring? Am I okay with turning 40? It’s just a number right? Do I look 40? What will I look like when I am 50, 60, 70? How would I get these thoughts and questions that were swirling around in my head to go away?
I have never been scared to get older and because I always looked younger than my age, never minded my birthdays that have come and gone. Getting older was never a thought that I tried to erase from my mind because when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get married and raise a family. As much as I would love to be a mother to babies and toddlers forever, at some point, everyone has to grow and move forward with their lives. It’s not that 40 scares me because I am excited to see what the next 10 years bring. It’s just hard realizing that a number you thought was so far away, is actually right around the corner. I know there will always be life events to celebrate, such as my children’s Bar Mitzvahs, graduations, weddings, grandchildren, etc. Okay, I my heart just skipped a beat when I wrote grandchildren. Me, a grandparent? WHAT??? Now that scares me!
What sparked me to write this article is not the fear of turning 40, but the way I am starting to feel and see myself when I look in the mirror. Did you know that up until probably a few months ago, I never ever napped when my kids napped? I had always been told to do so (like every other new mom) but laughed because it never seemed possible. Aside from the fact I am not a great sleeper and am never going to be one of those people who hits the pillow and dozes off (a.k.a. my hubby), I always had something else to do. Whether it was laundry, dishes, bills to pay, a shower to take, lunch to eat or working on my business, who had time for a nap? After the third child, I realized those things could wait, because as I found out, a mother who is tired and worn out is of no use to anyone. I’m not sure if I can correlate my recent naps with getting older or if it has to do with being wiser three children later. Unfortunately I think it’s the former. Some days these naps are literally 10 minutes and others, an hour, but when I wake up, I feel refreshed and ready to finish my day.
Sometimes upon waking, I do often get confused as to what time of day it is, if my kids are sleeping or at school, if I missed school pick up, and where the hell I am. One time I woke up at 2PM and I thought it was 2AM, wondering why it was so light outside thinking, “Yes, I have four more hours to sleep until we all have to get up for school”. The sound of “Mommy” brought me back to reality. Now my husband says there is only room for one napper in our family and jokes my nap time will intrude on his lifelong napping habit. He is one of those people that can fall asleep anywhere at any moment, which has always annoyed me because I am jealous and envious of his sleeping talents. I told him I am getting old and my body simply cannot function anymore on little sleep. Between my new naps and my new obsession with finding the best anti-aging cream, you would think I was turning 70.
A few years back, a friend of mine was telling me about this amazing face cream she found and at the time, I wondered why she was even using wrinkle cream. She still looked like she was in her 20’s to me and I never saw one wrinkle on her face. When she said we are almost 40 and it’s important we prevent instead of correct, I realized I better get on board and start funding the anti-aging industry. (Did you know the value of the global anti-aging products market is set to reach $291.9-billion by 2015, according to a new report by global industry analysts?) When I really stopped to take a look in the mirror, I was terrified at the person looking back at me. When did this happen? I was born with bags under my eyes but three kids later and very little sleep has not helped at all. How could I stop time and remain young looking forever? I started with random over the counter face creams that I would slather on before bedtime. In a few weeks, my face felt smoother, younger and more alive. Was it the placebo affect? Who cared? It made me feel like I was doing something good and healthy for my skin. I exchanged my everyday makeup for one with SPF and anti-wrinkle powers, and every morning as it greeted me when I opened my cabinet, it was a reminder that life is moving way too quickly.
Some friends of mine are using Botox and other injectables for the face and I say more power to them! It’s nice to know I am not alone in my quest and there are other women and moms trying to preserve themselves and slow down time. As women, we often judge each other, but at the end of the day, we all struggle with the same things. I love that my friends feel comfortable enough to share their beauty secrets with me and discussing their aging fears. It shows that everyone has the power to make themselves feel beautiful, whether that means Botox, face creams, surgery, facials, or simply loving and embracing your wrinkles and the stories and history behind them.
Some of you may have read on Facebook that I recently ordered Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty products. I had seen the infomercial dozens of times and barely paid attention until the day I realized I better start paying attention. I am definitely an infomercial sucker and had to call and place my order. Many people commented that they too thought about ordering and were so curious if the product delivers on what it promises. I couldn’t believe I was ordering an anti-aging product from television! I had to remind myself that 40 is around the corner and Cindy said it was the best kept beauty secret so it had to work, right? I am the kind of person that if I see a sign that says, ‘World’s best burgers’, I truly believe it, because the sign says so. In other words, I am gullible. So many women have been asking me about the products I received, so I decided to create a video to answer all of your questions and share my opinion of whether or not it’s worth the money.
Regardless if these creams really work, it makes me feel good that I am taking care of my skin. I am feeding my body with healthy green shakes everyday, and staying fit by going to the gym multiple times a week, so it only makes sense to put in the same care and energy into the reflection I see in my mirror. As mothers, we put ourselves last and when we do something for ourselves, it shows. A mother who feels good about herself is more confident and happy, and it definitely has an effect on how we approach motherhood. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, our children can sense it. When I wake up exhausted from five hours sleep because I just had to finish an episode of The Real Housewives util midnight (even though it was on my DVR), it does no one any good. I am cranky, less patient and less motivated. I will say though that the quiet and peacefulness in my house at night,when no one is up but me, is so glorious, it’s hard to shut down and close my eyes.
As my 20th hight school reunion approaches, I am happy to say I feel good about showing up, although with social media, there won’t really be any surprises. We all know what costumes our kids wore for Halloween, are way too aware of what the other ate for breakfast and are familiar with what career paths we all chose (I admit it, I am guilty of posting all of the above). To be honest, I think all of my old friends and classmates look amazing and not at all what I thought almost 40 would look like. Hollywood has women obsessed with how we look and how we can look better. We need to start on the inside and find out if we are truly happy. Are we where we thought we would be at this stage in our lives? Have we reached our goals we set for ourselves in our 20s? If not, why not? Once we feel secure and confident in who we are as mothers, wives, sisters, friends and women, it will show on the outside.
Do I think all these products work? Perhaps they give us back a few years but we will all get old eventually and it would look very strange at 90 to look like we are 40. Old age brings years of wisdom, mistakes we turned into life lessons, love, children, family and memories that will last a lifetime and beyond. What I say to 40 is “BRING IT ON!” I have so many things to be thankful for and a wrinkle or 10, isn’t going to change that.
Let’s stick together as women and share our fears we have about getting older. As we all know and have witnessed, especially through our children, life is moving faster and faster as we are getting older and older. While it’s important to feel and look our best (whatever that definition may mean for you), let’s not spend too much time trying to turn back time, but rather focus on what is ahead! Here’s to growing older gracefully, whatever that really means!
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD™