Dear Crissy

32 going on 50

I wake up in the middle of the night with a single thought.

I’m not sure how I’ve never done the math in my head before, or why this realization is hovering over me like a little black rain cloud on this particular night, but there it is.

I will be 50 years old when Kara graduates high school.

When I have this thought, and really consider it, the air is completely sucked out of my body. How is that possible? I count up the years again in my mind.

It isn’t that I view 50 as over-the-hill. I know plenty of women over 50 who are beautiful and vivacious, I just can’t see myself as one of them right now. Honestly, the thought that I will be 50 when Kara is only 18 absolutely terrifies me.

Me in 2005

I’ve been thinking a lot about age and my own mortality lately. I feel as if I’ve aged more this year than in the past 5 years combined, and I am seeing changes that feel like they came overnight.

I feel better mentally and emotionally that I’ve ever felt in my life, and I attribute all of that to age, experience, and maturity. I like where I am. I feel grounded and happy, but it still hurts more than a little to look in the mirror and see one day that the texture of my skin is changing.

Before I had children, I was anchorless. I lived, laughed, loved, and thought little about getting older. It didn’t matter.

Me in 2012

I feel like when I gave birth to my babies, my ties to this world were strengthened by a million. I am anchored to my life, this earth, and to them. I don’t ever want to get old, and I don’t ever want to die, because I don’t ever want to be separated from them.

Yes, I guess I’m having separation anxiety about death — something I can’t control, and something I can only HOPE happens later instead of sooner.

Life is so uncertain. I know. I do.

I am getting accustomed to the changes I see in the mirror, and trying to wrap my head around the idea of being older, but there is a little girl inside me that just wants to scream in defiance.

Do you consider your own mortality more since becoming a parent?

    39 Comments on “32 going on 50”

  1. i find myself doing the same thing. i have three kids ill go when sam graduates ill be 43 wen anthony ill b 46. then my olivia ill b 52.. it kills me. then i realize my husband will b 60 wen our youngest graduates hs so then im good.

  2. Children keep you young. When Kara turns 18 you will be ready for her to go to college. When I turn 50 I was like NOW I am ready to let my hair down, but life had other plans. Now I am raising my 4 grandchildren by myself and I look younger than my friends.

  3. your page and pictures are beautiful! I have had that thought myself. My son is 5 and i am 30 so its not exactly the same match up as what you have going on but its still a thought. when i had him i was 25 by the time he gets to that i will be 50, and who wants to grow old no matter how well we do it. I think we all would love to just stay in this moment sometimes you know pick an age and just stay there lol. my grandmother has done just that she has been 21 since b4 i was born lol. keep up the good work and beautiful pictures!

  4. Crissy – I feel your pain. I am so afraid of the time I leave my children and never see them again. It’s really something I try not to think about since it really does send me in to an anxiety attack of sorts. I will be 46 this month and have an 8 year old and 4 1/2 year old twins…

    Although the one thing I love about getting older is the maturity that comes with it. I feel so much more comfortable about who I am now more then ever. I wear barely any make-up any more (a little cream-to-powder foundation, eye liner and blush) which is so beneficial since I have no time! Plus, I am much more into doing whats healthy for me, my body and my skin.

    Every once in a while my oldest will bring up something about me and my mortality, which makes her very upset. So once I calm her down I have to go calm my thoughts down again!

  5. I think a spa day is in order! :) To be honest, I’m 33 and going to be 34 this August. Hubby and I do not have any children YET. We’ve enjoyed the past 6 years of married life together, just us. However, he’s 9 yrs older than me and I just keep thinking I’ll be 34 or *gasp* 35 when I have my first little one, or maybe even older, who knows. We haven’t “tried” yet, up until now we wanted to travel and do some things as a duo since we dated for such a short period of time. I don’t regret it but part of me had always wanted to be a young mom. My mother had my little brother when she was 37 so I know even having 2 children should be fine for me if I keep them close in age. I’ve also done the math and it’s a little scary.

    Look at it this way though…a few decades ago, 40 seemed so old to many people and now I feel like 50 and in some cases 60 is the new 40. Women look better everyday, taking better care of themselves and eating well. Today it’s so common for women to have children later in life that when your precious girl graduates you’ll be in good company, many mamas will be older than you, I guarantee!

    Be kind to yourself, put your kiddos first as I know you already do BUT don’t forget to take care of you too!

  6. Crissy, I have 6 children, ages 12 to 31. When I was a younger mom I had plenty of energy and less patience…when I had my last two kids at an older age this seems to have been reversed. I worried before about scrapes and booboos with my kids. Money (or lack thereof). Getting enough sleep and trying to keep up perfect appearances of what I THOUGHT should include being SuperMom. As I got older I did start to worry about different things…like age and having the energy and time for each child. To wonder if in 18 years I can possibly make them understand how very MUCH I love them…before they sprout those wings and leave. I learned to let go of so much pretense and that silly competition moms have with other moms ABOUT their kids. Like when they roll, crawl, walk, talk, learn their ABC’s etc. Like WHO cares when they walk across that stage at graduation what happened when they were 6 months old. So funny we do that to ourselves. I stopped worrying about the stretch marks on my body…I EARNED every one and am proud I was allowed to grow each of my children under my heart. I dont’ worry about dying, I have been sick for 10 years and it has shown me the face of my limited existence, but I do think about being alone in a house (with my husband of course) after having 6 kids is daunting. When my youngest graduates as turn 57, (yeah, you can say it… Holy freakin’ WOW!), I will have had over 38 years of active parenting behind me. I have seen my older kids grow away and find their blessings out there…and you’d think I’d have that whole thing down, but with each child leaving is a new stream of tears. I was thinking how there was NO way I could handle it…and then the grandkids started coming full force. God has a way of tempering our end of life with new joys! They too are are part of you…those trademark eyes or that smart aleck temperament that you can be proud of passing on for generations. The fear is not in leaving maybe, but leaving those in pain behind or possibly not being remembered the way you REALLY want to be? That’s why photos are so important to me. A photo is a timeless imprint. I saw the post about you not being in many photos. Use your timer, I wish I had. Enjoy your sweeties, because age is really only a number. Get past that and the rest will take care of itself:)

    • Eileen, what a wonderful and thoughtful comment. I’ll bet you are a fantastic mom, I know you seem like a great woman.

      Happy Mother’s Day :)

  7. I have always thought that you were one of the prettiest bloggers that I follow, Crissy. That will follow you as you even as you age. And I really think that it is very normal to think about our mortality when we have young children… not to worry- just enjoy the time that you have with them … and remember that when you are old you get to be a Grandma (and send them home)!!! : )

  8. They say 34 is the age women feel sexiest. I’m 34, and I agree with you. Now that I have children, I can never imagine a life without them. I want to be here with them forever. I feel so much more comfortable in my skin now that I’m in my 30s.

  9. i haven’t even accomplished half of what you did and today I turned 31

  10. I could really, really relate to your post. I think that after having children, I am more afraid to die, I am not that adventurous anymore (in terms of riding a big rollercoaster). And yes, I do feel older and can see the major changes in my face and body. This makes me feel a little down sometimes and all I could do is sigh, and accept. Acceptance, I do this everyday.

  11. I can so relate to this. I am terrified at the thought of dying before my daughter is grown up. I turned 33 this year and have noticed how much less energy I seem to have. I notice it in my husband, too. And my face??? Uggh! Time has definitely taken a toll on it.

  12. this is something i think of constantly. i’m on the other end of the spectrum though–i’m only 5 years older than you and my daughter is graduating high school *next year*. this is crazy to me and although she’s my pride & joy, i wish i would’ve waited longer to have kids. with each passing birthday of hers, not only is she becoming an adult, i’m also getting old and biologically could be a grandmother at any second! luckily she has plans to finish college but it’s still a HUGE mind trip for me. i’m highly uncomfortable with getting older and obviously i have no control over that but i still think about it. if anything, i’m happy my daughter will remember me best as i am now but this subject will always remain in the back of my mind. apologies if i sound too depressing. haha

  13. This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Ever since I was a teenager, really. I catch myself thinking about what it will be like when I die and I go into a mini panic attack. It’s worse now with kids and it worsens every single time I hear about a mother or father or child dying. It gets exponentially worse as I get older and I’m only 28. You are not alone in this fear. Trust me.

  14. Definitely. I was 19 when I had Zach, and it’s only been 1 year. I feel like I’m running out of time to spend with him, even though I’m only 20 years old! Becoming a parent definitely makes me consider my own mortality- all the time now. I guess it’s because now, I have something to live for.

  15. I am so with you! I was 22 when I had my first and 31 when I had my second. When I think about how old I will be (and how old my hubby will be although I won’t give away his age) when these kids grow up it’s scary. With my older son I feel like I’m too young to have a kid as old as him and that will be such a young grandma but with my older I feel like I will be ancient when he graduates and starts his family. It is truly interesting how children change your perception of so many thing – including age!

  16. I thought I was the only one who thought like this. One time, I had this overwhelming mortality thought that one day my husband and I wouldn’t wake up and my daughter would be crying in her crib for days. How disturbing! But I just pray to God to take these awful thoughts away.

    • Mandi,

      I have so worried about the same thing. What if something happens to my husband and I and our daughter is left to fend for herself. Or what if something happens to me while I’m at home during the day with my daughter and she has to fend for herself til my husband gets home. It makes me feel saner to know I’m not the only one that’s had thoughts like this.

  17. It is something I also think about but it’s nothing that really keeps me up at night. I try not to worry about what I cannot control. I should also be about 50 when my youngest graduates high school and yes, it’s a little scary to think about. Life does go by fast so we must enjoy every single second. The good, the bad and the ugly. Love your posts by the way.

  18. Let me just start off by saying that I think you are absolutely beautiful… :-)

    I’ve thought about that too, when my daughter graduates highschool I too will be on the brink of 50. But I look at my mother and realize that life and age is what you make of it, I think my bigger fear is that I’ll outlive my children, so I try not to think about it at all. Live and enjoy each day and give them all that you can, your best… The rest, well you just never know.


  19. Time flies. I look in the mirror and say “When did I get old and fat??” LOL

  20. I too have had these kinds of feelings, its scary at times. I may be getting older but I don`t feel my age as for dying I know its part of life but uhh I don`t like it lol. Glad I`m not the only one that thinks of these things.

  21. I do. I have been a mom for 18 years and just recently I realized how quick this time has gone by. It actually depresses me at times

  22. As an over 50 person I couldn’t wait to comment on this. Relax and take 1 day at a time and enjoy them with your children rather then living with negative and anxious thoughts. Some of my finest moments and memorable experiences have been after 50. You are getting way ahead of yourself!! By the time the kids get out of high school you will be looking for some quiet time. Enjoy each stage of their development, nurture)them well and life will progress very nicely!! =)

  23. “anchorless” – I remember those days! I always knew (because everyone would tell) how much life changes when you have kids, but I didn’t realize how incredibly different it would be until I had them and there it was starring me in the face, and lately there are those little moments that are more like a punch to the gut. Not just in the day to day things, but what you’re talking about, and you’ve said it beautifully. I so feel you.

  24. It’s funny because I think about age all the time myself. But it’s BECAUSE all of YOU GUYS keep having BABIES. Haha. I’ve got my psuedo niece just now starting to walk. And so many friends with toddlers and new babies. I’m 32 and single. And I think, “Holy crap, I am not even married yet, I’ll be 45 before I end up having kids!” I think about the health risks and the challenges. But I mean, I’ve always been a late bloomer. And anchorless myself too. I remember having a doctor once laugh at me saying “Women are having children in their 50’s, you’ll be just fine.” Age…it’s a strange creeping vine. I’ve started to get grays on my temples (my grandma and dad both had the black hair, and went gray early), and faint lines on my forehead where wrinkles will be. It’s a strange thing for sure.

    • ahhh DEVIN! It can happen a lot quicker than you think – you never know, but yeah, women are absolutely having kids well into their 40’s and even 50’s!

      You would love being a mom. I can’t wait to point and laugh when you have a screaming fit-thrower keeping you up all night after mine have passed that phase, hahaha. :)

  25. My husband is 19 years older than me….and its never been an issue in the past but now I find myself extremely concerned about that….Hes turning 47 soon… Our son is 8 1/2 months old and my husband is very good at keeping up with him but Im concerned about his age now…. Will he be around to see him graduate..get married….and meet his grandchildren??? Will my son get to grow up with his father around with him doing everything with him that his 3 older brothers and older sister got to do with their father when they were kids…. My husband is an awesome father not only to our son to to his other kids and it would be heart breaking if our boy didnt get him as long as most people get to have their parents around (long into adulthood)….This is just one of the things that keeps me awake at night…plus of course the rest of the normal doubts every mother has lol

    • Katie, ah – motherhood does really bring out our insecurities and deepest fears, doesn’t it? Thanks for commenting, you are not alone in your worries!

  26. Oh Crissy! I am 47 and my “baby” is 5! I will be 50 when he’s in 2nd grade!!!! He went to preschool this year and the other kids had grandmas my age, but you know…so what! He is 5, his sister is 10 (people asked me if I was HER grandma when I had her at 37), their brother is 20 (notice that the baby is half his sister’s age and she is half her older brother’s (5,10,20)! HOW COOL IS THAT?) and the oldest is 23. I am a stay at home mom and I wish I was better at it, but I know my kids know they are loved and to see the little ones and the big ones all laugh and play together, brings me joy that indescribable!! Anyway, my 53 year old sister has terminal brain cancer, so yes, I think about dying quite a lot and it scares me, but what scares me more is, with or without me, my kids are growing up in a country that is falling apart. Where less than half pull their own weight and that where freedom once reigned, there is ever growing socialism and a republic that is largely apathetic and just waiting for the government to step in and take care of them.

    My point is, I guess, that there is so much to worry about that we can waste precious time worrying and that time could have, and should have, been spent enjoying the moments with our children and our families. I struggle everyday not to worry about the things I cant control (that is advice from the therapist I see since my sister was diagnosed) and to enjoy each day for what it is. You are still so very young. Don’t waste your time worrying because before you know it, time will have passed anyway and you will be wishing you hadnt! Enjoy every minute!!!

    • There really are a LOT of bigger issues to worry about in this crazy world, that is so true. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Linda!

  27. I do the same thing some nights! I will be 51 when my son graduates from high school! I had a health scare about 2 years ago, and it really made me think about things in depth, and clean up my act. I definitely want to be around when he graduates, so these days I eat healthier, and try to work out at least once a day. It’s all because I’ve also laid awake at night and done the math for my sons future and I want to be there for as much of it as possible! I can totally relate!

    • Linette, you have the right idea, and I should focus my energy on being as healthy as possible instead of just worrying.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  28. Yup. It’s crazy how REAL life (and death) when you suddenly become in charge of the well-being of other people. Holy cow, I’ll be 55 when my youngest is 18. Reality suddenly became even more real… eek.

  29. This made me cry a little, because I feel the same way.
    I worry all the time about dying and not being there for my baby.

    I also worry bout dying before my mom. She’s older. She’s getting ill now. Other than my stepdad (who is also older had has health/physical problems) I’m all that’s here to care for her.

    I think though, worrying is good. It shows you care and you want only what’s best for your children (or family)…and it’s clear mommy is what’s best for a child and your family.

    It is a bit of a relief to know I’m not the only one worried about that.

  30. I’ll be 43 this year. I have 2 daughters, ages 23 and 11. Of course I think about my mortaility, I am not getting any younger. THEN I think. why sit around being afraid of getting old? EVERYONE gets old, we all die. It’s reality. Instead of trying to convince myself I am not getting old by having surgeries and wearing thick, heavy makeup like some women my age do, I wear my age with pride. No surgery, no botox, and no makeup. What people see is the REAL me. And I can’t tell you how many people tell me that I look YOUR age because of it. Embrace it, be proud of the wisdom and strength you have accumulated along the way. Vanity only adds undue stress, and also makes many women unapproachable.

    • Believe me, I barely have the time to put on any makeup at all, and I would never consider surgery or even botox. Just not my thing.

      I guess it’s still just a little sad to me to see the changes that seem to have popped up overnight like a patch of weeds, but, I am sure I will get used to (and love) my changes.

      Thanks for commenting Lori! :)

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