This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
Age has never really bothered me, birthday after birthday my girlfriends freak out about the age on the cake but for me it is just a number. I am not sure why I am different than most women but I am happy at any age and ready to see what each year brings. Jeremy and I have been married for nearly 15 years – WOW that went fast – and through those 15 years we have gone from young twenty-somethings to almost 40 years old with two kids and careers.
How To Disrupt Aging As A Parent
Every year brought new lessons, new traditions, new struggles and new memories and I think that is why that creeping number on my cake brings me a bit of joy too. I think Jeremy can agree with me that jumping into the world of parenting has certainly changed the way we look at aging and how we parent as we age.
I love this initiative from AARP about disrupting aging, which you can click here to learn more about. This program is encouraging people to change their attitudes, mindset and behaviors towards growing older. Bringing the positive to life even as you age! Time to enjoy those numbers on the cake this year. Do as the kids say “living your best life!”
A Goal For Aging
My parents became parents when they were a bit older, this could be another reason why age doesn’t seem to bother me. After having Jude my parents jumped at the opportunity to retire and become our childcare for Jude. Jude is 8 now and my parents still watch our kids every weekday for us. We all have retirement and aging goals but after seeing my parents, even at 70 years old, enjoying days at the museum, park and zoo with my crazy kids I am set on making sure I can do the same for Jude and Teagan when they have children.
With age comes experience and in my parents case, energy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that the minute we drive away from their home in the evening they hit the couch for some rest. But I know that the experiences that they have with their grandchildren are disputing aging…just because they are in their 70s does not mean they have to act it, instead, they hang out with our kids.
As I said, I believe that Jeremy and I have a new view on aging now that we have been parents for over 8 years. Obviously not experts in the parenting world but these experiences in the last 8 years have us living our best life even as we get older.
I am excited to share a little insight into our thoughts on aging and parenting. If you are interested, please share your answers in the comments on this post too. Would love to read how others are looking at aging through a parenting lens.
Let’s Discuss Aging
What has surprised you about your relationship with your partner over time?
We both feel like while we have changed our parenting styles over the years our most important focus is always on raising our children to be successful adults. When the kids were younger we forgot the importance of simple things like date nights. Now that they are a bit older we find ourselves more eager to go on dates and find that time together. We will always be parents…but that does not mean our life has to only be focused on parenting. After 15 years and 2 children we both want to continue to enjoy the partner we married and do the things we enjoyed doing before being called mom and dad!
How do you want your children to think about aging as they grow into adults?
We want our kids to see us as people that want to experience life to the fullest. Seems like the days go so quickly, we want Jude and Teagan to be ready to ride this wave of life and enjoy it but also have goals of being successful adults. But mostly, we want them to be thankful for those numbers on their cakes every year. And that number means nothing, just because you might be getting older does not mean you stop doing what makes you happy and healthy. We both also agree that we want our kids to remember to continue to learn even as they age.
Knowing what you know now about parenting, what might you want to tell your younger selves? And what might you tell your future self?
We both LOVE these questions! So fun!! We would tell our younger selves to go to the movies, go on vacation, read until 2am, sleep in until noon and eat fancy meals. Parenting changes everything and it is funny what you miss after those little ones come into your world. Also, we would tell ourselves to give each other grace and it is okay to make mistakes and learn from all of those mistakes. Like I said before, part of growing older is having lessons and experiences and growing from those.
For our future selves. Be ready to have fun with those grandchildren. Be ready for challenges but enjoy those field trips to the zoo and afternoons reading books with the grandkids. We also want to tell our future selves to be ready for Jude and Teagan to finally realize that we actually knew/know what we are talking about. One day they will be ready to hear our advice and until then…hold on for the bumpy ride.
Time to rethink the negative stories we tell ourselves about aging, crush those crazy stereotypes, and keep the conversation going. Soon, those aging worries will be out the window.
I am glad I waited until I was 34 to have Zander. Ed was 41. We were married for 10 years and got to travel, establish our careers and really get to know each other before we brought a child into the picture. Some of my friends from high school ask me if I regret waiting to have a kid. No, I don’t regret it. I can’t imagine making some of the decisions a parent has to make at a younger age. I don’t pretend to know all the right decisions when it comes to parenting but as I get older I do think I make wiser decisions because of experiences I have had or situations I have seen our friends experience. Just as I do, I want Ed and Zander to embrace life and the time we have together. We will never get the years back that have whisked by since Zander was born. We have made lots of wonderful memories and I look forward to the many more we will continue to make as the number on the cake continues to rise for all of us.
I love this post!! It is so balanced. I am glad we were young when we started our family. We learned a lot from each other and grew with our children and now we can still travel and enjoy our children and grandchildren. Both ends of the spectrum are good. There will be good days and challenging days. But you said it best… look forward to the future, enjoy watching them grow and be prepared for the bumpy ride. At the end you’ll be holding the hand of your best friend watching your grandchildren laugh and loving every minute that got you there! Thank you for posting this!