For many of our family birthdays, they are just another normal day, coming and going each year. However, as my birthday gets closer, I’m starting to reflect and reminisce about my life through these decades. From entering my twenties to passing through the thirties, I’m now beginning a new decade. Not just any decade, the “over the hill” decade—my forties. Yet, I’m not dreading it. I welcome it.

For the longest time forty seemed so far away and old. In all reality, turning forty is exciting. Just like my past decades, as I grow older there are going to be new family milestones, new family memories as well as more unknowns. However, the one thing that has stayed constant are the demands that parenting brings.

Parenting in My Twenties

When I think back to my twenties, I was young, apprehensive and eager. Getting married, starting careers, starting a family, moving from an apartment to a home, all of these brought new adventures. All the joys and the challenges, especially parenting, while we were living through the twenties. Our first child, she liked to cry and cry, and then cry some more. She didn’t like to sleep unless it was in her car seat. Sleepless nights were actually sleepless mornings and sleepless afternoons. She eventually grew out of this, but it didn’t make parenting any easier. By the time she was running around the house, we added our second child. The stage of “you make sure you have that child and I will have this child.” Diaper bags, sleepless nights, bottles, snack food, noisy toys, coloring books, babysitters, they were all the norm. Before the end of the decade, we sent our first child off to school and I was pregnant with our third child. Parenting was hard, yet, I thought we were figuring it out.

Finding More Stability in My Thirties

One month into my thirties we welcomed our third child into our family. This decade brought about more stability in our family; we worked hard at wiping out student loan debt, we traveled with our family, and our the daily schedules revolved around our three kids and their activities. Our time was spent at activities cheering on our kids. Instead of diaper bags, coloring books and bottles, handing out money for concession stands, drive-thru suppers, softball games and sleepless nights were now the norm. This decade saw us experiencing life through showing cattle, helping with homework and grieving the loss of my mom. Parenting was still hard and even though I thought we might have it all figured out, we didn’t, parenting changed.

Embracing the Unknowns in My Forties

Now, as I welcome the forties, I am even more confident, eager, apprehensive, and yes, still young. But the unknowns are still there. We probably won’t say that “we’ve figured parenting out” because it will change. This decade’s norms will be our kids’ activities, exercising, drive-thru suppers and sleepless nights. However, it will also see graduations, kids moving out, touring colleges and even weddings. There is one thing I am sure of, I’m excited to take on this decade and experience all the changes!

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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