**This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.**
Twenty years ago if you asked me if I wanted to have kids the obnoxiously loud answer would have been **** no! Which is why it’s so crazy to think that now at the age of 45 I’m the mother of two daughters. Having children was something I never set my sights on. I never baby sat kids and the thought of having any meant “there goes all the fun”. Even when my husband and I met I wasn’t thinking about kids either then when I hit 28 the baby bug hit me bad! It was like some sort alien creature entered my body…and the rest is history! haha
Today my daughters are 16 and almost 9. I have no idea where in the heck the time went but I would seriously like for it to slow the heck down. My husband and I always joke about how it was a lot easier having our first daughter because we were younger. That 7 year difference ain’t no joke! We recently started talking about how our oldest daughter is going to be heading off to college soon and that being in our late 40s is so different from how we viewed 40s when it came to our parents and even thinking about our grandparents!
There used to be a time where you worked “for the man”, retired at 65 and then just sat around the house doing nothing. Well times have definitely changed and now I work for a non-profit, blog on the side and my husband is self-employed! Now when I look at getting older I look at the endless possibilities of living life to the fullest and enjoying that time with family and friends.
AARP’s initiative is to disrupt the beliefs that a lot of us have about aging. The mindset should not be about what you haven’t done or what you’re too old to do but encouraging others you to shift your attitude about growing old into a positive one. Had a chat with the hubby about the following questions to see how he feels about how things have changed over the last 16 years as parents. And parenting our 2 girls will keep anyone young!
How has your relationship with each other and with your children evolved over time?
We both feel that its changed a lot! In the past year we have to remember to make time for ourselves and our relationship and realize its ok to put some of our needs first. Those date nights were far and few and now that the girls are older there’s none of that guilt of well we need to spend every waking hour making sure we spend it with them. Heck they benefit from time away from us just as much as we do.
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 would have to tell ourselves that its ok to make mistakes and there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. And what we need to tell our future selves is that our kids are going to make mistakes and we can’t be there to fix everything.
How can your children benefit from your life experience? What have you learned as you grow that you want to instill in your children?
They can benefit by learning that you may have one goal set in mind but life has a way of switching things up for you. Whether that be good or bad, those experiences help you figure out which path is the best for you. I went to college for one thing and ended up doing something completely different than what I had in mind. We want to install in our children to also have a side hustle. There’s is nothing like having more than one skill to help set you apart and keep you prepared for whatever life tries to throw at you!
How do you want your children to think about aging as they grow into adults?
We want our kids to know that age means nothing. My mother is almost in her mid 70s and does more traveling and activities than me! We all know that ageism is alive and well but our girls get to see their parents doing things that we probably made fun of our parents for doing. I’ve wanted to learn ASL and Spanish and this shows them that your age doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new skill. And my husband loves writing songs and is learning how to produce music. All things that society says you should do when you’re younger but we’re making sure our girls know that aging doesn’t halt having new passions and learning new skills.
How do you plan to disrupt aging and change your perception as a parent?