• Kylie van Gelder

3 Things I've Learned from Being a 42-year-old Mom of 2 Young Kids

I’m not in my twenties anymore


We’ve all heard the stories about how tough it is to raise kids. It takes a village is the phrase that pops into my head and I couldn’t agree more. Yet, I still didn’t understand the enormous impact my little ones would have on my life until they arrived.

As a 42-year-old mama of two miracle babies, Cayden age 5 and Ella age 4, I’ve learned so much more than I ever thought possible.

1 — Having kids in your late thirties/early forties is nothing shy of fantastically exhausting Let’s just start by saying I’m not in my twenties anymore. My needed recovery time with lack of sleep has increased significantly. I remember when I was in my twenties, I could go out on a Saturday night, party all night and be fine by noon on Sunday.

Now if I have more than 2 glasses of wine on a Saturday, I don’t recover until Tuesday.

The same thing happens when one of my kids gets sick and is up all night. It takes more time to in the morning to find my kitchen — which is practically at the bottom of my stairs.

Exhaustion is a tough cookie to deal with when you have hyper little munchkins running around in circles. In her article below, Ellen Burford wrote about just how tiring being a mom can be. And it is!

One Tired mama I love being a mom, but sometimes I wish I could clock out. I’m tired. Not really tired if being a mom, but tired of…medium.com

We never actually get to take a break.

Yet, it’s also fantastic! These tiny wonders bring in so much joy and intense love that as a mom, you can’t help but want to gobble them up. Well, most of the time anyway.

This is the best remedy for recharging my battery. No matter how tired I am, they have this amazing way of filling me up simply by laughing.

2 — I can use my life experience to enrich their lives Between the ages 20 and 36 I moved nine times and lived in four different countries. Needless to say, I traveled a lot — for vacation, for work, to live and to explore.

I learned that we all have our own version of normal — our own reality and perception of the world.

Yet, I remained selfish, bitter and felt somewhat entitled in my twenties and even early thirties. It took several tragedies to slowly flip my self-perception and significantly shift my belief system for the better.

These tragedies happened when my husband and I were struggling with infertility and loss. We lost five babies along the way before our two miracles arrived.

The slap in the face was needed. It was a huge wake up call to how magical life really is. Without these experiences, I couldn’t possibly pass on what I’ve learned about the world and the need to value who we are as individuals.

The experience of loss made me more open to learning about myself, my own feelings and emotions. I learned I was a perfectionist — constantly trying to achieve an impossible standard.

I started understanding the value of hard work when you do it for something you love, rather than out of a sense of safety and security.

These new beliefs are exactly what I want for the foundation of my kids’ internal wiring. I want them to be open and adventurous. To know they are valued and loved. To take risks outside of their norm. To learn life isn’t only about sitting around waiting for things to happen.

You have to go out there, connect, live, love, fail and get back up and learn from your mistakes.

Had I been younger, I’m not sure I could have passed this down to them. At least not from my low level of maturity back in the day. I needed all the experiences that came in my 20s, 30s and even now in my early 40s.

3 — My kids make me a better person Tying into the last section, it’s really because of my kids — here and lost — that I was propelled into seeing life as more than someone else is to blame.

I was forced to take a good look at myself. My beliefs, both good and bad. To reassess what’s important to me. To gather all those experiences and make a decision to work on becoming a better person.

Life, the Universe, God, whatever you want to call it, has a funny and perhaps not so funny way of telling us we can do better. I think the trick is being open to hearing it. Ok, thanks I heard you loud and clear. I sucked before and I can do better.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle

Everything to do with all of my children is why I’m on a path to improving my life. At the same time it also improves theirs. Isn’t this all we want for our kids, to show them how great life can be?

It’s important for them to learn they are a priority too. For them to look at themselves and see the value they have to offer. For them to discover fun through play and expressing their weirdness and individuality. To not shy away from life, but to grab hold of it and run with it.

It’s only through them that I am learning this myself. They make me a better person and for that I’ll forever be grateful.

 

As exhausting as having kids can be, there are no greater gifts than the ones we learn from them. As a 42-year-old mom of my little beans, I am happy to say they continue to teach me about who I am and want to be, and the meaning of love and life.


If you want to hear more from a 40 plus year-old mom on a mission to improve her life and that of her kids, check out the article below from Melissa Marietta.


I Refuse to Fat Shame My Daughters I agree to teach them to love themselves and to be body positivemedium.com

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