And while I assumed that after living almost half a lifetime and having a child would make me feel more mature, more "adult" than ever, it's actually not how I feel at all. Since having my daughter, I feel more vulnerable to the world, more curious about it and more amazed (and horrified) by it.I feel stupid a lot of the time, and I'm kind of enjoying my newfound stupidity that has come with my experience of motherhood in my 40s. All my daughter's firsts - first kite, first fireworks, first butterfly - feel like mine, too. I have no idea if I would have felt the same way had I had a child 10 or more years ago. When I looked at all my friends and family who did then, I always asked them, "How do you do it?" Now I have one, and I'm much older than they were, and I still ask myself, "How do I do this?" Well, at the rate that I'm getting "younger," I'm thinking my kid will be telling me how to soon. In the meantime, I'm considering letting my hair go as gray as my hair wants to. Maybe then I'll stop getting carded, even with kid in tow. Really...is how young I feel that obvious? Then I can't wait to hit 50.
It's amazing what a kid can do to and for your life. (That includes the good and the very, very challenging.) It's also fascinating to see what having a baby can literally do to and for your hair. I'm not going to get all scientific with you and share data about recent studies and what not. What I will share - which many of you mothers may have also experienced - is that the following hair-related things happened to me while I was pregnant: I stopped shedding hundreds of hairs a day, which I was thrilled about, sparing me some cleaning duties. I even stopped growing hair in some places, which saved me spending on razors and other "cleaning" duties. Wink. My hair appeared to grow longer and stronger. I wish I could've said the same about my body. Of course, it went the other direction. And this is what happened after I gave birth (though not immediately): I started losing thousands of hairs a day, which moved up my hairline some and made me promptly chop my hair off. Places that were bare returned with what seemed like more hair. Yay. All my hair fixations transferred to my daughter's hair...or lack thereof. Oh, yeah, and one more hairy thing...I'm going very gray! I noticed this with a lot of my friends after they had kids, and they often blamed motherhood (or fatherhood) for this. My parents both went totally gray in their early 30s and I think they rightfully could argue that raising three daughters had something to do with it. But, in my case, I'm going gray because I am just older. I had my first child later in life. Actually just a year shy of turning the big 4-0. Recent news articles I've seen state that I'm certainly not alone in waiting much longer to have kids: the number of women having their children in their late thirties and forties is higher than ever before.