33

Today I celebrate my 33rd birthday. Thirty-three years of laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, learning, growing, evolving, loving, living.

For some reason, this number – 33 – has been hard for me. Perhaps because I’m nearly one-third of a century (gah) old now. Perhaps because the days, weeks, months and years seem to be going by faster and faster than ever before. Perhaps because I’ve been taking a mental inventory of my life and haven’t been particularly happy with some of my discoveries. Perhaps a combination of these things.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful life, a charmed life. But I’ve recently had to be honest with myself about how much I can realistically commit to doing and still feel good about the kind of parent I am. I want to do it all. All of us moms do. We want to juggle all of the balls and keep them all up in the air, and, if we drop one (because invariably we will), we don’t want anyone to see it.

I’ve been getting more and more comments lately from people saying they don’t know how I keep it all together or how I do so much. I tend to answer the same way, telling them that it’s hard and I’m still working on finding that perfect balance, but the truth is when someone seems to be doing it all and have all of their sh*t together, you can rest assured that they are falling behind in at least one area (probably more) of their life. I know it was happening to me.

And so I’ve chosen to cut back on some commitments (though it was very hard to) and not take on new ones (even though they were appealing) in an effort to focus more time on the things that really matter – my children and my husband.

Jody and I had a parent-teacher conference with Ava’s Waldorf preschool teacher last night and she raved about what a delight Ava is. Ava is “fiery” (no surprise to us to hear that word), but a real joy. I love hearing about how well she is doing in school and how much her teacher appreciates her. It’s sometimes easier for me to focus on the bad and overlook the good and this was a good reminder for me that she really is an amazing kid.

Julian strung together his first two-word phrase last night. “Hol’ me.” (Hold me.) He said it first to Jody, but later to me as well. He’s been talking more and more the past couple of weeks, but this in particular was oh. so. very. sweet.

I don’t have any special plans for today, and that’s OK with me. I intend on spending some good quality time with the kids and enlisting Ava’s help in baking my cake. I think we’ll go with carrot cake and cream cheese frosting made from scratch. Mmmm. Perhaps we’ll play outside for a bit. Perhaps we’ll read some books. Perhaps I’ll focus on just how amazing these first 33 years of my life have been, how blessed I am, and make a wish for more of the same in my next 33.

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62 thoughts on “33

  1. Happy birthday!

    And “Hol’ me” isn’t a two-word phrase. It’s a sentence — the imperative “(You) hol’ me.” Yay for your little one!

    And so very sweet.

    By the way… my first three-syllable word? hamburger… after my family drove by a McDonald’s. EEK!

  2. Happy birthday!I also celebrated my 33rd birthday last week.Time goes by ;)
    Yep,I’d like to blog for API.
    Cheers

  3. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Reading your post I realized that my struggle is that less that I SOOOOOO don’t have it together and more that I think everyone else does so I must be some huge failure. Not sure why women automatically think like this…we can’t all have it together or all be failures.

    Awww! Julian’s words are too sweet! YAY for all of you!

    And Ava IS a delight. My boys are crazy about her. She is a really special person in that she makes kids feel like she’s interested in them and they (at least my boys) love her. She seems way beyond her years in that regard!

    Enjoy your day!!

  4. Happy happy Birthday! Since I will be celebrating my 40th in July, I totally understand the “taking stock” mentality you spoke of. I hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Happy Birthday!

    And I am with you on making the important stuff the priority. I’m working on that also, but it can be difficult to not take on too much.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post. I love your honesty. Time does go by faster as we get older (I am 36, so for me it goes by even faster than for you :) ).

    I also agree that it’s just not possible to do it all.

    Not sure what else to say… except happy Birthday and that I was deeply moved by this post.

  7. Happy Birthday. I will be 33 in June so I know how you feel. Birthdays are a great time to reevaluate your life. I hope you have a great one. The cake sounds yummy!!!

  8. You are right… we can’t do it all even though us moms it is soooo hard to say no. I have learned that quite a bit this year.

    Happy Birthday to you and you will have to take picts of your cake. My birthday is on Mother’s Day this year… so cool.

  9. I think we all have to recalibrate our lives from time to time. You’re smart to do so (must be those 33 years of experience).

    Have a wonderful, wonderful day!

  10. I felt the same way at 33 and, now that I’m turning 44 next month, I’m blaming all the wackiness on those same-double-digit years.

    Either way, you’re very smart to take time out and think of yourself this time, too.

    Happy Birthday, sweetie!

  11. Happy Birthday Amy! I know how hard you work, and you do an outstanding job of “keeping it all together.”

    Like you and others have pointed out, the prioritizing is something that is hard to find that perfect balance. I have struggled with it myself as well.

    I always tell myself when I feel bad that I can’t take more on, or an opportunity arises that I decide not to act on, that these years with our babies will go so fast- they will be over before we know it. I don’t want to look back when my kids are grown and gone, regretting what I spent my time on during these years.

    The one thing I do know that will be true, is when this time comes, I won’t be saying “darn it…I wished I had worked more on my blog, or had more computer/me time, or volunteered more, or worked longer hours at my job more, etc.”

    So I try to keep that in mind, and enjoy these years with my children. When they are grown and gone, then I will have all the time in the world to pursue ventures I can’t now.

    I don’t mind having regrets about what I didn’t pursue along the lines of work, but I never want to have regrets about what I spent my time on during my children’s childhoods. It is too precious and gone too fast.

    So here’s to you doing what is best for yourself and your family. If you fill in and devote your time to what matters most first, the rest will work out the way it is supposed to.

  12. Happy Birthday Amy! I know how hard you work, and you do an outstanding job of “keeping it all together.”

    Like you and others have pointed out, the prioritizing is something that is hard to find that perfect balance. I have struggled with it myself as well.

    I always tell myself when I feel bad that I can’t take more on, or an opportunity arises that I decide not to act on, that these years with our babies will go so fast- they will be over before we know it. I don’t want to look back when my kids are grown and gone, regretting what I spent my time on during these years.

    The one thing I do know that will be true, is when this time comes, I won’t be saying “darn it…I wished I had worked more on my blog, or had more computer/me time, or volunteered more, or worked longer hours at my job more, etc.”

    So I try to keep that in mind, and enjoy these years with my children. When they are grown and gone, then I will have all the time in the world to pursue ventures I can’t now.

    I don’t mind having regrets about what I didn’t pursue along the lines of work, but I never want to have regrets about what I spent my time on during my children’s childhoods. It is too precious and gone too fast.

    So here’s to you doing what is best for yourself and your family. If you fill in and devote your time to what matters most first, the rest will work out the way it is supposed to.

  13. Happy 33rd, Amy – i celebrated mine in January and so far this has been the best year yet (and at the same time the most challenging… go figure!)… happy celebrating!!

  14. Well said, girl.

    Happy Birthday!

    I am always amazed at your twitters at night — writing, parenting, cooking. You deserve a break today! I hope you can balance your life in a way that makes you and your family happy.

    Wishing you all the best, today and everyday!

  15. Happy Birthday!! We had carrot/cream cheese cake earlier this week for my birthday – perfect choice!

    I hope this day and upcoming year brings you balance and much happiness!

  16. Happy – Happy – Happy Birthday – hope it’s a nice and quiet day and you get a few moments of Mommy relaxation time.

  17. Happy Birthday Amy!! I’m glad to hear your taking time to smell the roses, we all could probably do that. :)

  18. Happy Birthday, Amy! I’ll be 33 in a few months, and I kind of feel the same way. I love the confidence that my 30s have ushered in, but I don’t like feeling like life is flying by!

    Have a great BD and Mother’s Day!

  19. Thank you again for your perfect combination of humor and total honesty. I too am a bit addicted to overachieving and have to regularly keep myself in check. I read your blog just as I was trying to stay up too late and do too much. Thanks to you I’m going to go collapse into bed and prepare to be an engaged mother when tomorrow morning rolls around.

  20. Again – happy, happy birthday. Thanks for sharing this with such honesty. I can completely relate to what you mean, and I don’t have nearly as many irons in the fire as you do. Thanks for reminding all of us about what is important in life!

  21. Happy BIRTHday to you, Amy!
    Ohhhh, clearing space emotionally and mentally is so good for all of us. I am glad you are taking this on. I hope you find additional moments of peace and relaxation for yourself and with your family. You are a giving, loving mama. That’s what matters most.
    Much joy to you in the next year and beyond!
    xoxo
    Leigh

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