Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turning 35 as a childless freak

I turned 35 today. The earth was not swallowed by a black hole, I was not struck down by a bolt of lightning, and I didn't wake up with a head full of gray hair. And NO, I didn't expire!

If I thought I had a hard time when I turned 30, I DREADED turning 35. I know that in the scheme of things, 35 is not that old...but in terms of life span, my life is pretty much half over! I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed, and overwhelmed at the same time.

Underwhelmed...this is it? This is my life?

Overwhelmed...I have so much left to do! I haven't accomplished even a fraction of what I intended to accomplish by this age. I saw myself married, with a brood of kids - remember my 18 year plan??? - a happy housewife with a happy husband and a bunch of happy kids....with my 5th or 6th novel, best seller of course; on its way to production. Well, I AM married! Dear husband is a wonderful soulmate, if such things exist. I love him indescribably, and he is the reason I am able to get out of bed on most days, when the depression is a physical pain - not just a mental pain.

I think the main reason I'm having such a hard time with this turning 35 business is due to my fertility issues. I'm now in the "Advanced Maternal Age" category. Our struggles will only get harder from here....any pregnancy is automatically high risk...risk of a baby with chromosomal defects goes to 1:400 My eggs, if I have any left, are now dusty...coughing and sputtering like a '75 Mustang! All of this because I didn't have a baby in my 20's? Or even early 30's????

I've been trying to maintain a healthy level of sanity as this dark day doomed on my horizon. I've been thinking of my friends, and how gracefully (or at least not maniacally) they turned 35. And for some, then 40. 45. Even a few in their 50's. I've been visualizing their grace, and trying to use it as an example for how I should act. But then we come, full circle. The reason for their happiness? KIDS. Kinda hard to be upset about getting older and having dusty eggs when you're already blessed with kids! Advanced Maternal Age doesn't apply to already-moms, no, that's another pain reserved for us barren semi-women! I've had clueless moms say things to me like, "You're 34 and have no kids? What do you do with your time, you must be so relaxed on the weekends!"  Yep, that's me. Mrs. as a cucumber.

It's almost midnight, and I've survived this day! Whew...I can breathe! make it through the next 365 days...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Marketing Mommyhood

Choosy mom's choose Jif.
Kix. Kid tested, mother approved.
Mom's depend on Kool-Aid like kids depend on mom.
Because that's the kind of mom you are. (Kellog's cereal)

Mom, mommy, mother...everywhere I look. I can't even go to the grocery store without a visual assault of what a poor excuse of a woman I am! Will Jif taste just as good if I have no kids? Can I still drink Kool-Aid, even though the kids that depend on me have four legs and tails?

Marketing strategies and slogans have always been an irritant to me, even before my fertility struggles. I've never been the type to buy a product because a 30 second TV spot tells me to, especially because I envision a group of misogynistic men sitting around a table discussing ways to help me have a happy period. Always.

And don't get me started on print ads.