Switching things up a bit for today’s post and teaming up with Bri from Bri At Hart, to share all three of our perspectives on marriage, motherhood and what being in our 30s is really like.
All three of us are currently married, Bri for 7 years, Shannon for 4 years, and Allison for 7 months. We are all currently 32. However, when it comes to children, we are all in very different places. Bri has a daughter, Reagan, who is almost 3, Shannon has yet to have children and Allison is currently pregnant.
Same, but different, about sums it up.
3 Perspective on Being in Your 30s
I’ve talked a lot about being in my 30s. I’ve shared how they have been some of the best years of my life. Growing-up you always hear women (specifically) say how their 30s were some of their best years. They you really start to feel like yourself. I’m here to say the same. While I may be only 3 years in, I can only imagine it is going to get better.
To be completely honest though, my 30s have not been easy by any means.
I spent most of my 20s not having a clue what I wanted out of life or really who I even was. Sure, I thought about it, but it wasn’t something I put a lot of focus on. I guess I just figured it would all fall into place. So when I did finally turn 30, I swear there was a physical/mental shift in my body/mind. I knew it was time to sit down and really put focus on me. Figure out who I am and what I want out of this life.
I got married when I was 28. Marriage was another thing I never put a lot of focus on. It never seemed that important to me. When we finally did get married though, I figured nothing would change. Brandon and I had been together for so long, lived together for more than several years at that point, so I thought to myself “how much could this really change?
Just like that physical/mental shift I experienced entering into my 30s, when Brandon and I got married, there was that same sort of shift. We were no longer just boyfriend and girlfriend. We were officially husband and wife. This meant we had to figure out what we were doing whether we liked it or not. We’ve been married 4 years now and we are still learning how to navigate arguments like adults. How to talk to each other in a way that gets our point across while not sending the other into defense mode. As well as how to deal with the past while planning for the future and how to keep that spark alive after so many years.
When people say marriage is work, they are not lying.
However, just as I am learning to enjoy all the self-discovery that comes with turning 30, I am learning to love, slow down and enjoy where we are at this point in our relationship.
When it comes to having kids, Brandon and I haven’t made that plunge yet.
Again, kids are something I’ve been completely unsure about since we started to really consider having them. I used to always want to make sure I’m financially stable before having kids. Or that I “knew” it was time. Now though, I want to make sure Brandon and I are in a place where raising kids will be a team effort. A point where I know Brandon and I are strong enough to do what needs to be done together.
We both want a family. I can’t wait for the day I get to see Brandon as a father. While at times I feel behind because we don’t yet have kids, I know when the time is right for Brandon and I, we will have them.
All this to say, life in my 30s has been pretty great. I’m learning so much about myself, learning to appreciate where I am at and be grateful for it. As well as continuing to learn about my relationship with Brandon. It’s a journey for sure and while it can be tiring and scary, it’s actually pretty great!
One of my best childhood friend’s grandmother has always said that age 33 was one of her favorite years. Nana is now 90, but she remembers age 33 happily. She has always said she felt good and was really happy with where she was in life at that age. Nana is wise and built a great life for herself and her family, so her saying that is one of those things that I’ve held onto and remembered as I “grew up.” Almost as if I’ve been waiting to get to this magical, happy age.
Now that I’m 8 months away from being 33 years old, I get it. I don’t know if it was kind of a self fulfilling prophecy or just pure coincidence, but I’d say that at this current state in life feels…nice. It feels stable, refreshing, exciting.
I don’t have too much to complain about at my current state in life.
Sure, I have plans and goals to be elsewhere career wise in the future. However, right now I have a set up where I have a job that I’m experienced in doing and isn’t very stressful. Additionally, I’ve made several strategic moves to create a setup for myself to where I have the flexibility to work from home for that company. That is something that I didn’t have in my 20s. This ideal setup took time to earn, ask for, negotiate and prove to be doable.
As with a lot of reasons people are happier in their 30s than their 20’s (in my opinion), I’ve just had more time to experience what I don’t like, think about how to change it, and work toward those changes. For me, my 20’s were stressful. The 20’s can be a time of instability with finances, relationships, jobs, where you live and much more. That’s why I say that being in my 30s now feels stable and refreshing. A lot of those instabilities have morphed into securities with time and effort.
Outside of my career, I also feel stability with family life.
My daughter, Raegan, is almost 3. We have not experienced any “terrible twos” or “threenager” frustrations at this point. Admittedly, my husband and I always caveat this with the fact that our perspective may be a little off because of the fact that our daughter was a very colicky baby. I’ll save the details for another post, but that first 18 months of having her was extremely difficult. That’s always hard to say and of course I love her more than anything, but I didn’t feel like myself for a long time. That difficult phase and those feelings are now gone. Raegan is thriving and is such a happy, spunky, active kid. And I now feel great again physically, emotionally and it seems we all have a great “flow” as far as behaviors, routines and activities.
As far as marriage goes, Andrew and I had our 7th year anniversary this past March. We’ve had our fair share of big, serious problems and fights at this point in our marriage. What’s different now than it was, say 5 years ago, is that now we (mostly) know how to navigate these problems. We’ve spent a lot of time (and money…we’re big fans of therapy…) learning about how to communicate with each other and meet each other’s needs. Now when we have a big argument, it’s less of ultimatums and “i’m packing up my stuff and driving to my parents” and more of “let’s figure this out calmly, here’s how I’m feeling…”
I mentioned earlier that this time in life is also exciting.
When we’re younger, I feel like we envision our 30s as being “grown up” in a way that you’ll have established your forever job and home and that not much will change after that point aside from getting older. This makes me smile a little now that I’m 32. I’m just getting started and feel like there is SOOO much life ahead of me. I’ve started a business venture that I’m so excited to see evolve, I have personal and professional goals and big dreams for our family to travel and build a dream home. It’s EXCITING stuff!
I’m writing this all out on a Saturday morning, sipping my coffee in my office as my daughter sleeps in and my husband is in the kitchen catching up on some work. It feels refreshing, stable, exciting. I’m reminding myself to take it all in and cherish this phase in life. There will be changes, good and bad, I’m sure of it. But I’ve built a sort of confidence and trust in myself, I’d say over the last 10ish years, that I have the ability and the skills to navigate life and make changes for myself and my family for the better.
If I had to choose a theme song for my life right now, it would be “Steady As We Go” by Dave Matthews Band. It’s a good feeling, this phase in life, my friends and I hope you have those good feelings as well. If not, know that you CAN have them. That it’s possible and that you can make your life EXACTLY what you want it to be.
I feel like society puts so much pressure on age. We are programmed as young children to have a plan right after high school- go to college, get married, buy a house, have kids and make sure you have a successful career all before your 30s. I hate that timeline! I’ve never felt “old enough” for any of these responsibilities and to be honest, I still don’t. I knew that my 20’s were going to be filled with mistakes, struggles and figuring out life as an adult. Thankfully, my parents never put the stress of the timeline on my siblings or I when we were kids. Still, somehow society seeps this timeline into our brain like a little ticking time clock.
I’ve never stressed about my age or the ideal timeline.
I’ve always let what is going to happen, happen. If it’s meant to be, it will be. That’s been my motto (subconsciously and consciously) for my whole adult life. Turning 30 didn’t freak me out. I didn’t feel pressure. I didn’t feel like I was unfulfilled in life because all the boxes weren’t checked off my list. The last 2 years of my 30’s have been great because I’ve just naturally let my life progress into what it is now. I didn’t feel pressure to get married to Matt after 15 years of dating, I wanted to get married because it felt right. I didn’t feel pressure to get pregnant, we just very casually looked at each other one day and said “Why not?! We aren’t getting any younger”.
Matt and I have been married for 7 months and it feels like nothing has changed. We’ve grown together and have been “married” for so many years that officially getting married just made us stronger and more bonded. Are we 100% ready for a baby? Maybe, maybe not but I know we’ll figure it out and be just fine.
My 30’s have been great but not because of the timeline that has or hasn’t occurred. My 30’s have been great because I feel confident with who I am and the choices I make. I feel wiser, more knowledgeable and more balanced. I put the time and energy into relationships that I really cherish. Also I put energy into things that I enjoy doing and energy into growing the way I want to versus the way I should be for my age.