Being a mom in your 30s isn’t easy. Parenting may be one of the most common life experiences, but that doesn’t mean it’s straightforward. This is particularly true for moms in their 30s and 40s. At this age, you face a set of particular challenges when parenting your children.
1. Your energy is dwindling but the demands are increasing.
During your teens and twenties, you may have been able to hold down a full-time job whilst partying at weekends and staying up late on weeknights. Now, in your thirties, you can no longer dance all night and would probably rather spend the evening relaxing after a long day at work. Unfortunately, when you have a child, you don’t get a break. This means that just when your natural energy levels are starting to drop, you have more demands than ever in the form of a baby.
2. The expectations are immense.
As an established adult, people expect you to not only perform well in your job and keep a relationship together but also to master the art of parenting with ease. You may be struggling to maintain your position on the career ladder whilst keeping your partner happy and getting up in the night to tend to your baby, only to have other people imply that this state of affairs is entirely natural and normal. Rest assured that you are not the only one suffering under the weight of great expectations.
3. Your parents still interfere.
Although you have been an adult for years, your parents may still offer their unsolicited input at every opportunity when it comes to childrearing. From what to feed your child to how they should be dressed in the winter, your parents may tell you that they know best because they’ve been there and seen it all when it comes to bringing up babies. Even though their advice may be well-intentioned, it can still be highly irritating to feel undermined at every step. Try not to lose confidence in your parenting abilities.
4. You are expected to be independent, even though you may need help.
Now that you are in your thirties, you are an independent adult who is perfectly capable of sorting out your own life. However, this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t use a little bit of help from time to time. People often forget that being a parent is an extremely tough job. When you are juggling multiple responsibilities alongside bringing up a baby (jobs, pets, community service, etc.), you may long for the day someone asks whether or not you are really managing.
5. Your kids grow up faster than you imagined!
You may have chosen to delay parenthood until your thirties, imagining that it would give you a chance to settle down in your career or buy the best home possible. It can be quite shocking the first time you realize how fast time flies when you are raising your kids. Life seems to happen at lightning speed. Children grow at such a rapid rate that they can leave you feeling disoriented! For example, it is surprising just how often you have to buy yet more new clothes as they outgrow that outfit you only bought a few weeks ago.
6. You struggle to balance time with your kids and time with your parents.
As you enter your thirties, your parents will probably be entering their senior years. You become conscious of the fact that they are getting older, and you may begin to wonder how you will manage without them. These feelings are most likely to surface for the first time when one of your parents has an accident or health scare. You may vow to spend more time with them, but also struggle to balance this with the time you spend with your own children.
7. You are not alone.
If you recognize yourself in the list above, know that you are not alone. Many 30-something moms feel the same way. If you have any friends in the same position, consider talking to them about your problems. They will probably be able to sympathize and lend support. Alternatively, contact your local community center and find out whether there are any parenting support groups you could join.