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Essay About Having a Midlife Mom Crisis

I'm Having a Midlife Mom Crisis — Here's How I'm Dealing

Oh. My. God. How did this happen? More importantly, when did this happen? When did I become so old? With my birthday just one month away, it's finally hitting me: I'm about to be in my mid-30s. The striking realization that my 20s (and even early 30s, for that matter) are gone is hitting me hard and sending me into serious crisis mode.

Sometimes I can skate through the week without thinking about my age or the fact that I now have three kids and a minivan. I love my kids, but I swear that car mocks me every time I open the garage door. In those instances, I remind myself that she's a temporary mode of transportation who will be traded in as soon as the twins are old enough to get themselves in and out of their own car seats. That's at least three years away, at which point I will be in my late-30s, probably filled with the urge to trade her in for a little red sports car.

Looking like a slob just adds insult to injury when you're cruising around town blasting '90s pop in a Toyota Sienna.
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Looking like a slob just adds insult to injury when you're cruising around town blasting '90s pop in a Toyota Sienna. I've upped my attendance at Orangetheory, which has helped me shed the baby weight, so I guess that's a start. But my style, if you can even call it that, is a real problem. I was blessed with great skin, so makeup was never really my thing. But now I'm too old to get that fresh-faced look without some serious store-bought help. Thanks to life with a toddler and 6-month-old twins, I look tired. Not even knowing where to start when it comes to buying makeup, I went to the mall and let a young girl in the beauty department go to town on my face. It was as close to natural as I was going to get, so I purchased everything that she put on me, including the dark pink lipstick that I'm still afraid of. I hope she works on commission.

The makeup was simple, but the clothes? Not so much. I spent the past year in a combination of maternity clothes, leggings, and nursing tops, which don't exactly scream style maven. But who am I kidding? Even before kids, I wasn't exactly known for my outfit choices. I love comfort, so leggings and yoga pants are my jam. (Seriously, I was living in them before they were cool.) Now, I'd like to go on dates with my husband in something other than black leggings and tank tops, so I'm ready to go shopping. The only problem is that I have no idea where to go.

Shopping prekids was easy. I was still working, so I had a closet full of business casual clothes that I regularly updated. But I've been a stay-at-home mom for four years now, and my closet is just sad. I've tried those subscription services where they send you a box of clothes once a month, but after receiving the same boring color palette and overpriced, paper-thin tops four months in a row, I canceled it. Once upon a time, Abercrombie & Fitch was the place to shop (and work). I'm not sure if that's still the case (is that store even still open?!), but even if it is, I'm fairly confident that I'm too old to even walk through its doors. So if you're a stylist and stay-at-home 30-somethings is your specialty, send help!

Before you think I'm complaining too much, I'm well aware that there are so many wonderful aspects of this stage of my life. I have three beautiful, healthy, and happy little girls whom I get to stay home with and raise. Last Summer, our family settled into our forever home in a quiet, suburban cul-de-sac, and it feels good to know that we've established a solid foundation for our kids. But on those days when I look in the mirror and realize that the gray hairs are coming in faster than I can pluck them out, or get way too excited about grown-up things like new area rugs and vacuum cleaners, it's probably best that I stay away from car dealerships and shopping malls. Or, at the very least, leave my debit card at home.

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