On Turning 34…

34 Years blooming old. How the heck did that happen already?

Is it normal to pick an age that we’d quite like to stay at forever? For me, it was 27. So much so that when I turned 28, I unknowingly told anyone who asked that following year, that I was still 27 and now I totally feel like a skipped a year. No one wants to lose one of your precious twenties now do we? And now I’m 34. Thirty-blooming-four. Next year I’ll be mid-way through my thirties and creeping ever closer to the big sodding 40. Enough said about that the better for now.

Twenty-seven for me was the year of the unknown and possibility. We were just starting out our life together and although I felt like a grown up at the time, I hadn’t seen anything yet. The last few years have flown past in a blur and it’s only now that I’m starting to take stock. We’ve achieved pretty much everything and more than we ever hoped for and yet for some reason, I feel as if I should always be doing something else.

They, (men…Ok, my Husband) say that women me, are never satisfied. We are always aspiring for more and having access into other peoples lives so much, doesn’t help the whole comparison issue. We are constantly in danger of overlooking all the wonderful things we have achieved because we’re too busy looking into other peoples’ worlds for aspiration which can inevitably make us feel crappier about ourselves.

As my birthday approached, instead of focusing on all the wonderful things we had achieved over the past year, I focused on the negative. By my thirty-fourth birthday, I wanted to have lost at least two stone. To have stopped biting my nails. To have figured out how to juggle the babies like the cool, calm Mumma I always wanted to become. I wanted to have started washing my hair more than once every other week, (slight exaggeration, but it feels that bad sometimes!) I thought I’d be back on top of my blog game. Have my ‘business‘ up and running and be well on my way to being my own boss. I thought the old me and the new me would have merged in complete harmony by now. I wanted to have everything under control and have my life back in some sort of ‘I’ve got this Mumma’ manner.

But I haven’t done any of that.

I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m juggling the rest of my life with as much panache as a drunk octopus with insomnia and a nervous disposition.

In other words, I’m not the thirty-four-year-old I thought I would be by now.

Despite the fact that I’m keeping two babies alive, running on sod all sleep, working, recovering and settling in after a huge house renovation, I still feel as if I’m failing in most areas. I think motherhood has just left me feeling a little lost.

It doesn’t help that I spend a lot of time on social media. As amazing as these platforms are in supporting women, they are also a window into a torturous world of comparison and self-loathing.

Even at our most content, why are we always chasing something else?

Not a day goes by where I don’t scroll past a post and compare myself.

Why don’t I look like that after having my second baby? How does she keep her home looking so immaculate? How comes we aren’t out somewhere fun and exciting with the family? Why does everyone else appear to be bossing it and getting shit done? Comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous rabbit hole. Particularly in the exhausted lonely feeding hours or at 4pm in the afternoon when you feel at your most knackered, surrounded by what appears to resemble a looting spree through Mothercare.

So as I enter my thirty-fourth year, I want to stop chasing. I want to encourage contentment in my life, just like the old me did, the twenty-seven-year-old version of me. She was ambitious, but she also knew how very blooming lucky she was…and still is. She would be slapping this version of me right around the chops, reminding me that life is too short for comparison.  All I need to do is to find a little time for myself again. To recharge and to take stock. To step away and appreciate all the amazingly wonderful things that surround me at thirty-four.

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