Do you know how many skin creams there are out there that claim to correct your skin tone? A shitload. Seriously, it’s crazy. And do you know how I know this? Because I have something called melasma. It’s basically some crazy thing that happens to your skin as a result of certain hormones from pregnancy and/or birth control. So basically, this crap appeared on my skin during my first pregnancy, 6 years ago, and hasn’t gone away since. (Another thing that changed during that pregnancy and never went back to “normal” is my freaking shoe size. But, anyway…) As a youngster, I always assumed that anti-wrinkle cream would be my big beauty challenge in my late 30s. Nobody mentioned melasma. But, whatever. I’ll figure it out…I hope. And in the mean time, thank God for good concealer.
While melasma is super annoying, as is a more sensitive digestive system, a slower metabolism and a tighter lower back, I must say that 36 feels….good. Many days it actually feels great. In fact, it seems that most of the contributing factors to my not feeling “great” every day is the fact that I’ve been pregnant twice and currently care for those 2 sweet kiddos nearly 24/7. I’m not so sure that I can even blame a “bad” day on my age. If you’ve had a baby, raised a baby, cared for your own children or run a country, you understand what I mean. The parenting thing will kick your ass faster than any birthday will, for sure.
And funny enough, I’m really much healthier than I was at 26. 10 years ago I had a husband (still have him), no children, was a smoker, ate bad food A LOT and took paxil for panic and anxiety disorder. Sure, it could’ve been worse, but I was most certainly some version of Hot Mess back then. It wasn’t until my husband and I decided we might want to be parents after all (because for years we were all, We just wanna do what we want!) that I took the steps to get myself off of the paxil and onto the treadmill. Just the thought of parenthood inspired me to get healthier. And as you can imagine, after our son was born, I was even more inspired to be healthy. I lost the baby weight, and then some, learned way more about food than I was ever taught in school and became a runner. We bought a treadmill during that first pregnancy because I knew it would come in handy while caring for a baby at home. The thought of leaving the house for a workout simply seemed like an obstacle to me. And Lord knows we don’t need any extra obstacles when it comes to exercise, right?
Our 30s is when many of us truly grow up and get our shit together. I feel like I officially became a grown-up at the age of 30. I’m not sure if it was the number or the fact that I was 30 when I was pregnant with my first kiddo, but something about being 30 made me feel like an adult. I’ve always been generally responsible (with the exception of a 2-3 year time frame around the age of 20), but by 30 I was feeling more confident and secure in my opinions, my choices, myself.
At 36 I can run for miles, dance the night away, hold both of my kiddos at the same time and even do a few push-ups. I can also get away with ripped jeans (oh, yes I can) at the store while giving a friendly Bless-Your-Heart Smile to the 22 year old gal I overhear complaining about how BORED she is. What does bored mean, again?
I’m not one of those people that wants to go back to childhood. There’s a reason we grow older. Maybe us control freaks just don’t make good kids with all of the parental control and whatnot. Plus it wasn’t that wonderful all the time, anyway.
Yes, 36 can be tough. Our bodies are capable, but definitely not getting any younger. Hormones are, like, a thing, for sure. Many of us are still raising babies or even just now having babies. We want to work and make money. We want to be there for our children and our partners. And we want to think, You look fucking hot, at least once per week when we look in the mirror. Those things don’t always happen the way we plan, of course. And sometimes you may feel like things are straight up falling apart. But even when its tough, its still good…sometimes even great.