1. I’m never buying another self-help book again.
I’m only 34 years old and already I have a collection of them. Being a woman in her thirties is a very vulnerable time. On the bright side, most of us had our twenties to learn the dos and don’ts of love and life. So, you get to walk into your thirties a little more confident. It’s learning what to do with this new found wisdom that is tricky.
2. For a lot of us, our thirties is when we notice that our metabolism is not what it used to be.
So, it becomes all-to-easy for us to be harsh on ourselves when we notice weight gain. Our bodies and hormones are ever-changing, and this fact becomes very obvious at this point in our lives.
3. Many of us might find ourselves looking at babies differently.
Yes, those smelly little creatures that you once saw as “not an option” start looking more and more enticing. As women in our thirties we are not only capable of bearing children, but we are also in our prime to do so.
4. It’s easy to wake up and feel very overwhelmed with my current place in life.
The party is over! We no longer have the freedom of sleeping in, skipping classes, or eating juicy bacon after a night out of drinking. Now, we have all these responsibilities and people counting on us. Now, we start to see the repercussions of our choices and have no one to bail us out.
I never put all of these thoughts into perspective before I woke up one morning feeling depleted. I was 33 and a mother for all of 90 days when I reached out to a medical professional about postpartum anxiety. My soul was poured out to this doctor, all for him to tell me he did not think I had postpartum depression or anxiety. Rather, he said I was simply exhausted and if we had the money I should hire a night nurse to allow me to sleep. When I left the office I was calm, but it hit me when I got into my car. Then, I cried for a solid 30 minutes.
After two more months of feeling down, I reluctantly scheduled another appointment with a different doctor, and again I spilled my guts out. This one told me I could be ADHD and that I should be tested for that. She explained that since I was unable to complete the tasks on my plate, maybe I was simply distracted. (I was a new mom, was that distracting enough?) She explained how the symptoms of ADHD can sometimes feel like anxiety.
Or Just Societal Expectations?
It could be that they were both right, or I, in fact, could have been dealing with postpartum depression. I’ll never know that part. What I do know is that I never felt like I was being taken seriously. The problem with being a woman/mom/wife/friend in her thirties is that our society is trapped in a perpetual cycle of healing instead of being healed.
I wanted to write this to remind women in my peer group that I see you. I understand your struggles and I know that they are real despite everything that society tells us that our thirties should look like. This isn’t a movie where we all wake up “thirty, flirty, and thriving.” Some of us show up “older, colder, and bi-polar,” and that’s okay, too! Maybe it’s because we were raised by a tough generation of stay-at-home-moms or were constantly reminded that a mid-life crisis only happens in our 40s or 50s. Either way, your struggles are relevant no matter what age you are.
If there is one silver lining in this, it’s that we still have so much time to fix these things and become anyone or anything we want to be! After all, thirty is the new forty, right??