{Spread the Love} Loving Myself At Any Age

My birthday is coming up. This year will be the 3rd anniversary of my 29th birthday. Translated – I’m turning 31. Last year, celebrating the big 3-0 was a little tough to swallow. It would have been easier had I been able to enjoy a glass of wine or two to numb the pain, but alas, I was 14 weeks pregnant at that time.

I’ve had a year to adjust to the new prefix on my age and I have to say, my thirties are so much better than my twenties. Have you seen that eCard that says “I’m 30 but I still feel like I’m 20… Until I hang out with 20 year olds. Then I’m like no, never mind, I’m 30”? That so describes me. Sometimes I wistfully think back to my early twenties and get a little sad, but then I look around at my life now, and I know I wouldn’t trade my thirties for anything.

katieloveMy 30th year was good to me, my husband and I moved into our new house and of course, welcomed an adorable little boy. Those two things alone made it an eventful and exciting year full of picking out everything from new furniture to new baby items. As well as learning all sorts of new things, like the distinct difference between a hungry cry and a tired cry.

But the biggest thing turning 30 has brought me is a sense of peace. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and no longer feel the need to try to be what I think I should be. I’m ok just being who I am. Maybe that has something to do with finally being a mother, but I think part of it comes with age.

30 used to seem so old to me – I remember when my mom turned 30 and that was ancient to me at that time. Buzzfeed is now full of “You’re a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s if” – you know you’re old when you talk about Lisa Frank to someone fresh out of college and they look at you like you have three heads. I find myself saying “You’re probably too young to remember…” more often than I’d like to admit and the fact that kids born in 1993 can now legally buy alcohol makes my heart hurt a little.

But I’m OK with it. Finally.

I’m embracing my 30’s and everything it brings with them. From those new lines that are forming under my eyes, to the fact that the skin on my neck feels just a tad softer and looser than it used to, I’m OK with it all. In fact, I am loving myself. Because those slowly forming lines on my face tell the story of a mom who doesn’t mind getting up at 2 am to feed her baby, because he is now the center of her life instead of her friends.

And 30 isn’t all about a changing body; I’m also welcoming the financial security that age brings along with it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not retiring tomorrow, but it’s nice not counting down the days until the next paycheck like I did in my 20’s. Sometimes the grown-up purchases aren’t as fun as my purchases used to be, but c’est la vie.

I am not sure getting older will ever get any easier. Especially now that I get older, that means my baby is getting older as well. But I’m learning to embrace the new while appreciating the past. Age truly is just a number and the higher my number climbs, the more I love myself.

Katie Ripke
Katie is a mama of two rambunctious, sweet, cuddly and highly energetic boys. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she briefly left the area to attend college at the University of Northern Iowa, had a brief stint living in Chicago before settling down in Lisbon with her husband Bryan. Katie has been in the marketing field for over 10 years and is currently a marketing manager for an area health care organization. When she is not balancing life as a working mom, Katie enjoys binging on Netflix/Hulu, learning about all things boy and squeezing in a workout from time to time. Her current addictions include coffee, LaCroix, and cookies.



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