Being an “old” mom really stinks sometimes. Like when I feel tired all the time and have to schedule coloring the gray out of my hair between my one-year-old’s naps (but hey, that still sounds much better than fitting it between my new-born’s nursings, which is how I used to do it).
Yesterday I was playing games with Daughter on her new Nitro Notebook, and before long my eyes were heavy and I simply couldn’t stay awake. Since I used to believe only “old” people fell asleep while sitting up in their chairs, I momentarily tried to delude myself that I was wrong before and that semi-young-ish people who are parents to young children also fall asleep in their chairs. Then I quit deluding myself and I accepted that being 35 years old without children may still be considered semi-young, but being just weeks away from becoming a 35 year old mother with a three-year-old and a just-turned-one-year-old turns me into an “old” mom and escorts me through the right of passage that grants me permission to fall asleep sitting in my chair.
Other thirty-something moms, after all, are typically ranting about the challenges of parenting teenagers while I am still elbow deep in poopy diapers. Not that I am anxious for my kids to become teenagers. I am honestly terrified of the thought and in serious denial at this stage of my life about my kids EVER becoming teenagers. Nonetheless, my thirty-something counterparts will be empty-nesting by the time they approach forty while I will still be busy doing elementary science projects with my kids. Heck, I won't be empty-nesting until it's time to move into the "old folk's " home.
A couple months ago I considered just letting the gray go and doing the whole “salt and pepper” thing. I even convinced myself it would look distinguished and might even be a positive image change for my career as a licensed professional counselor. Then I took a poll among the adolescent girls I work with at their group home (since some of them have noted my gray roots), and they all shot down the salt and pepper idea. So I colored it again. This morning, as I eyed the inch and a half of gray roots that have re-appeared, I wondered when I could make the time to color again and debated whether I was more tired or more vain. Old mothers of small children who also have part-time careers really have enough to manage without having to add coloring their gray hair to the list. I think I need to poll a new audience about the salt and pepper thing. Meanwhile, it seems that coloring the gray this weekend will depend on whether or not I can keep my eyes open long enough between Son’s naps to accomplish the deed.