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7 Brutal Truths About Being A 30-Something Mom

7 Brutal Truths About Being A 30-Something Mom

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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