So there’s the Quarter-Life Crisis and the Mid-Life Crisis and I guess I am somewhere in the middle.
In my mind I am still 23 years old and not really all that mature. In reality I am hovering around the 40-year-range (a lady NEVER reveals her age, you know).
I have a couple of mortgages, a couple of businesses, a husband and a kid. I am the epitome of the “responsible adult.” Yet sometimes I wonder who I am and how the heck did I get here so quickly. I mean, I’m still only 23 on the inside, right?
Anyone else out there know what I’m talking about? This is my identity crisis. I sometimes feel like I am not old enough or mature enough or, heck, responsible enough for all of the commitments in my life. Inside I am still a recent college graduate, uncertain what the future holds and off to travel the world with nothing but a backpack. I sometimes wonder how I went from there to where I am now.
Yes, I do realize that 20 years have passed but honestly sometimes I don’t know how or when. I feel like I turned around and, while I was so busy chasing goals and dreams, those years flashed by. Is that weird? Probably. I am a bit weird.
My challenge is this: I have a toddler. She expects me to know everything. I don’t. I make stuff up as I go. Is that wrong? Probably. Her big question lately is where was she before she was born. Heavy stuff for a three-year-old. “You didn’t exist” seemed like a harsh response. So I told her she was a thought in mommy’s mind and a feeling in mommy’s heart. I thought that was a pretty clever answer. Nope. “But WHERE was I, Mommy?” she asked. How do you explain to your toddler that you had a whole life on your own before she was born?
So I have started sharing stories of Mommy’s life before kids (don’t worry, only the G-rated ones). It is both wonderful and hilarious to watch her try to process the concept that I had a life “before” her. As she learns about her mom as an actual person, I get to relive childhood through her. It’s a win-win.
So, while it seems my carefree footloose and fancy-free days are over, I am enjoying this new chapter of life as I get to see the world through the eyes of a three-year-old again. She continually reminds me just how much I have grown and how far I have come in this life. I am grateful.
Carey Bradshaw, Author (& Nursing Aficionado)
Carey Bradshaw is a working mom just trying to balance it all. She runs Hooter Holster by Carey Bradshaw and Creative Butter. In her (scant) free time, besides perfecting her hands-free pumping bras, she loves yoga, reading, volunteering with All for Animals, and just being outside in the sunshine. Carey lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and business partner, George, their volunteer therapy dog, Buttercup, and their rambunctious and lovable toddler.