Welcome, Mamma Crew, to another chaotic, exciting, but always beautiful day of an older mom like you!
Doesn’t life just seem to run away with you some days? I was thinking about it today. You know this is our sixteenth year of marriage, my husband and I. And some days, some months, some weeks, it seems like we’re just going through emotions, and I wondered… Don’t we love each other anymore? But it’s ridiculous! I do know that we love each other. We’re always there for each other, and we’re always supporting each other. But our everyday life really gets in the way.
I mean, my husband is so busy. He’s an entrepreneur. He’s constantly worried about what the staff is doing, the status of projects, things getting done, products, and logistics of shipping products. You name it. It feels like a 24/7 job. And anytime he takes his eye off the price? Something goes wrong.
But he’s not the only one, you know. I’m just as guilty of not participating in the romance of our marriage. We have four kids. We have three teenage girls. Just like my husband, I take my eye off the price for one minute and… Homework doesn’t get done. Reading doesn’t get done. Chores don’t get done. Something doesn’t get done. And of course, there’s all the hormonal drama that goes on with them and their friends. They keep me on my toes.
I also have a five-year-old. Last night, I heard gurgling, and all of a sudden, I went to his bedroom, and his nose was bleeding. And you think the kid woke up? No. No! He slept right through it. I literally had to lift him, clean him up, put pressure on his nose, and go through the whole shebang, and the kid was still sleeping. And before you ask, what was my husband doing? Well, he was working. That’s just the way it is.
And frankly, we have tried what other people suggest. You know, date night. We have tried it. But what really happens at date night? We talk about the kids. We talk about the business. And right now that we’re all stuck indoors, well, that we’re spending a lot of time indoors because of the pandemic, we talk about vaccines and the craziness that’s going on in this world. And I think, what happened to gazing into each other’s eyes, holding to each other’s hands? Life happened. Right? Life happened.
And even right now that the pandemic is taking place, it’s made me realize how fast life goes. There’s a pandemic, and we’re still going a hundred miles an hour. It just feels like a little relief that the kids don’t have as many activities or aren’t going out as much. If not for their sake, for our sake. It helps us keep just a little sane.
But there are days when I look at my husband, and I go, Why did I marry you? I don’t remember why I married you. Yeah, you have a nice butt. Yeah, you have nice blue eyes. But why did I marry you? What drew me to you? What made me think you’re the one? And I looked at him and genuinely, I don’t know. And the thing is, I’m sure there are days that he feels the same way. I really am. I’m the first one to admit that I’m a difficult woman. I’m so difficult that sometimes I drive myself crazy. So, if the man feels like he can’t deal with me on any given day or month, I don’t blame the guy.
We don’t share a lot of interest either. You know, my husband loves to watch the news, I really could care less. I love to read; my husband doesn’t enjoy reading. I really enjoy documentaries; my husband enjoys stupid movies about spies and robberies, that kind of crap. He loves to golf; I enjoy golfing, but I have four kids. Somebody has to stay with them. Otherwise, they’re going to burn the house down.
As I go down the list, I don’t know why did we even got married? It’s not that I can wake up in the morning and say he’s a stranger because he’s not. He has never been a stranger. I think it bothers him that sometimes I know how he feels better than he knows. No, it’s not like that.
And you know what’s funny? We share the same values. We have the same goals. We’ve been married for sixteen years, and I’ve had a lot of health problems. I think I’ve had about six or seven surgeries since we’ve been married. I’ve been in the hospital so many times, and some of them have been real close calls. He stood by me all this time. And he’s been pursuing his entrepreneurial dreamers and his crazy projects. There have been feast and famine times, and I’ve stood by him through that.
So, what is it? Why does it feel so bland? Were we wrong to get married? I mean, we did meet on Eharmony. And I hear a lot of people asking, do Eharmony marriages last? Well, mine has lasted sixteen years. And the thing is, that despite the blandness that we’ve been going through. I can’t imagine my life without him. You know, I can’t imagine him not being there, not waking up in the morning, being annoyed because he’s still sleeping, and I have to get these kids up and going. I can’t imagine not harassing him every day because he doesn’t make the bed even though that’s the one thing that he’s supposed to do in this house, and he still doesn’t do it.
And I can’t imagine him not rubbing my feet at night. I cannot imagine him not telling me what happened during his day, what he is apprehensive about, or what he is excited about. I can’t imagine him not bugging me about some new product that I think, ugh, whatever. But he’s so excited that I become infected by his excitement. Although never to the level, he would hope that I would be excited, but I’m excited. I’m excited that he’s excited!
And that led me to wonder, is it me? Because, you know, there are days when I look at myself, and I think, “Am I still sexy?” I’m fifty-four years old. I have surgery scars from seven, eight surgeries. I mean, I don’t even keep track anymore. I have so many scars. And frankly, most days, I don’t know what to do with all this curly hair that’s just crazy! And I don’t have forty-five minutes to blow dry it into nice, luscious waves. And there are days when I don’t feel like putting on makeup. Who cares? No one’s going to see me anyhow, okay. Yes, I see myself, and it brings me a little down that I’m not at my best. But I’m dealing with four kids who never want to get up in the morning, and it doesn’t matter if the morning means seven o’clock or it means noon. They just never want to get up! And of course, once they have awoken, they never want to go to bed!
So, maybe it’s just me. Right? I’m the bland one. Or perhaps it’s just that questioning yourself is part of the love in middle age. I mean, we have so much going on at this stage in our lives. And, things are changing in unexpected ways. I mean, I was the healthiest human being until I turned thirty-eight. I had to have the first surgery, the partial bowel resection. And since then, it’s been a downslope. I mean, it’s not fun, and I keep getting weird diseases, weird syndromes, weird tumors. So, health has been changing. I’m slowing down. And for the first time, my husband admits he’s slowing down too.
And our body is changing. My husband has always been a big guy, sometimes bigger than others. And I’ve fluctuated in weight too, since my first surgery. I had been everything from a hundred and twenty-five pounds to a hundred and ninety pounds, depending on the medication and the circumstances. And now, my knees are busted.
So, how do you even begin to deal with that? How do you put yourself together? How do you keep feeling sexy when your body is changing, and it seems like your body’s turning against you? I mean, I’m getting gray hairs on my eyebrows! I didn’t even know that could happen. Or maybe I did, and I just never thought it was related to me. I don’t know. You know there are days when I go to the hairdresser, and I see more white than I see brown anymore. And of course, when I try to say to the hairdresser, “You know, maybe it’s just time to go gray.”
He’ll tell me, “Well, you don’t have enough gray to look good in gray.”
I’m like, great. Great! So, I’m not gray enough, but I’m too gray.
So, yes, there are some times when I looked at my husband, and I think to myself, “I love you, but I have no idea why I love you. I just love you.” What are we going to do with the rest of our lives together? I’m only fifty-four years old, with a little luck, I live to be in my eighties. What am I going to do with you all this time?
And really, what do empty nesters do for fun? Is it fun to be an empty nester? I don’t know. I really don’t know because I can’t imagine it. And maybe I don’t let myself imagine it because imagining myself as an empty nester means letting go of my children. And I think to myself, only a year ago, I was thinking I have five more years with the girls, just five. Five, five, five more years! That’s it!
What are we supposed to do now that I think I only have four and a half years left to go? And yes, I know you’re going to say you have a five-year-old who’s going to be what? Nine and a half, ten years old when the girls leave. But the girls consume so much of our lives right now. They really do consume so much time.
It’s going to be interesting here because we’re planning our return to the Caribbean. Okay. We’re not taking the kids. The kids are going to be staying with a family member. I don’t want them traveling in this pandemic. I want to do it myself first, see if I feel safe, see if I feel that the kids will be safe. If they will handle having the masks on for that long, especially in a flight. However, a flight from Orlando to the Caribbean is not that bad. It’s just two and a half hours. But you know there’s that one hour getting there early for the check-in, and the kids always get hungry, and typically they snack a lot on the planes. So, am I going to feel safe? Am I going to feel comfortable enough to take them?
But in the meantime, my husband and I are going to our home in the Caribbean. We’re going to be there for two weeks. Two weeks without our kids, and we’ve never been away that long. Ever! (Not both parents.) And I’m beginning to look at it as an opportunity to reconnect.
I mean, we have tried in the past to go away for at least an extended weekend, but it didn’t work because the kids were going to have an upper GI, and they were supposed to have it when we returned. And the whole time that I was out, all I kept thinking was, “Oh. This is the first time they will be under anesthesia, and I don’t know how I feel about this. And I’m so nervous, and I resisted this for years, but here we are today. We have to do it. Are they going to be okay? How are they going to handle this?” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So, I didn’t really enjoy our trip, even though it was a beautiful trip to San Antonio. Of course, my husband didn’t enjoy it as much because I was paranoid about the kids.
But now, I’m going to be leaving the kids with somebody I absolutely trust, one hundred percent. And we’re gonna be gone for two weeks. And then on our return, we’re going to quarantine for seven days, have our test before we expose our girls and my boy to us.
So, is this going to be an opportunity to reconnect? To figure out why do Eharmony marriages last? I guess. And what is love going to be like in middle age? How are we going to handle that emptiness of our large Caribbean home? Because trust me, it’s going to be so weird to go back to that humongous monstrosity of a house and be there alone with my husband without the kids. The kids that bring our homes’ to life.
How is it going to feel to be a family without the kids being home? And I have to tell you. I used to joke about this with my college students. By the time my kids are off to college, I’ll be ready to go to The Villages in Florida (there’s a free advertisement for The Villages.) I’ll be ready to go to a retirement home. I’ll be ready to be old. But now I realized, guess what? I’m not going to be that old. I’m going to be fifty-eight and a half. My husband is not going to be that old. We’re still going to have time to share, and it makes me nervous.
It makes me nervous, wondering what it’s going to be like. I can’t imagine life without the kids being at home. It sounds ludicrous because they’re not part of my life for thirty-eight years, and I had a wonderful, fulfilling life before they came. So much of our actions last fourteen and a half years have been about the kids—all about the kids.
But hey, I suppose that all marriages go through some bland periods. And like many marriages that I’ve seen, despite going through the humdrum and the blahs, we do still know that we love each other. And just the tiny, tiny little bit part of us is looking forward to the girls going off to college. And maybe that’s what the teenage years are about. Them driving us crazy, so we can let go just a little bit every year. And maybe, letting go of Bug will not be as hard because we’ll have experience having let go of the three girls by then. Right? And by the time he goes, we’ll have reconnected as a couple because I’m sure it’s different going from four kids to just one kid being at home. At least, I hope so.
So, you know how lonely it can be to be an older mom and to be a middle-aged mom, so please take a minute to share a link to our podcast, blog, or YouTube show with your friends. If you have time, you could share it on all three social media places. For links and resources, please visit our website.
If you share an imperfect journey to motherhood, welcome to the Mamma Crew. Till next time! Embrace the joys of imperfection. Toodles!
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