The 40 Year Old Mother

I can tell you I never in my life dreamed of being a new mother at 40. 

The assumption was always there, though never stated verbally, that kids would be the natural progression once I finished hair dressing school, university, travelled around the world, or just got my shit together!

Getting my shit together took longer than I thought.

I dilly-dallied in my 20’s.  Changed my mind a lot about what I wanted to do.  I was never like that in high school.  I always had a bit of a plan – travel, go to school, be a journalist but then I met one guy, and then another, and another, and somehow I spent my 20’s in a long-term, monogamous, relationship with 5 different guys and forgot about everything else.

My sole focus became making a relationship work as though a relationship would fix what ailed me.

They were all great guys to be sure. But they were not THE guy. But really how do you meet THE guy when you don’t even know what you want out of life yet. I mean really. What was I thinking? Guys don’t make the girl.  Only the girl can make the girl.

I let the idea of love get in the way of finding my way.

Turning 30 was a renewal of sorts.  I was so excited about the prospect of turning 30 and I relished the idea of finally being in an age bracket where you are REALLY considered an adult.  Because let’s be honest, no one really considers people in their 20’s adults.  We just humour them.

30 came and I made the executive decision to no longer let boys or love rule my life.  I made choices for me based solely on what I wanted.  In fact, I took my dream job of being a flight attendant all the way to the east coast where a positioned waited for me in the lovely little city of Halifax.  I was beginning again. On my terms. 

4 months before I was scheduled to move, I met a man.  A lovely, shy, quiet, determined, driven, funny, witty, handsome man.  The minute I looked into his eyes I knew I was in trouble.  It seemed after all as if love was getting in the way again.

But I forged ahead.  Packed my belongings, signed the transfer papers and put my car on a train bound for the Maritimes.

It didn’t last.  The job I mean.  I got laid off and the lovely, driven, handsome man was waiting for me with arms wide open.  Once I again I found myself packing my belongings, signing “leave of absence papers”, and putting my car on a train bound for the Prairies. 

I haven’t looked back since.

2 1/2 years later we were married.  6 months after we were tied the knot, we started trying to have a family.  Nothing happened.  12 months later still nothing.  So, we met with professionals in the art of baby making.  Still nothing.

Enter the land of International Adoption…here I could write a book about our journey through this mystical realm of uncertainty.  But instead I will leave it at  this – we started an adoption journey when I was 35.  “They” told us it would take approximately 12 months to complete…it took 4 years instead.

That is how I became the “The 40 Year Old Mother!”

Now, after 40 years of navigating life on my own I find myself  parenting a toddler. 

Let’s just say a person becomes set in their ways right about 31 or 32.  A 2-year-old will send that comfortable life spiralling!

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How did I get here?

It’s a question I ask myself all the time.

How is it I am about to turn 40?

Where did time go? 

What have I done with my life?

I look back over the last 20 years and it seems like  just yesterday I was a 2o-year-old girl facing her uncertain future with hopes and dreams of a life filled with adventure and excitement.

Well, I have definitely had a bit of both.  Throw some disappointment, sadness, happiness, silliness and heartbreak into the mix and you have my life to date.

Now, here I stand, on the precipice of turning 40.

Somehow I think the real adventure is just about to begin.

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