Oh Britney Spears. Truer words were never spoken. Although she may have been singing about awkward teenage transitions, I find it applicable to the equally awkward 30th birthday transition. “I’m no longer cool, not yet in Mom Jeans….” How come no one sings that song??? Britney knows what it’s like. She’s a mom and she turned 30 in December of 2011.
I should have seen it coming. The little signs were clear enough: listening to songs from my high school years played on the “Classic Rock” radio station. The little lines that suddenly appeared around my eyes one morning (you should have heard me shriek). Those moments where my younger friends ask “Hey, do you want to go to the _______ midnight movie release?” And I answer “Heck no! Do you KNOW what time my child gets up in the morning?” The laughable notion that I was suddenly an authority figure and as such expected to do things like have parent teacher conferences with my child’s teacher. That’s not me! Those are things only OLD people do, right?
Then there were the not so little signs. I remember one Saturday morning, cruising down the street blaring “Make Some Noise” by the Beastie Boys. I gave myself a little pat on the back for still being young and cool. Then the reality hit like a ton of bricks. That car I’m cruising in? A total mom wagon, complete with chatty 6-year-old in a car seat, empty juice boxes, goldfish crackers smashed into the upholstery, and a truckload of groceries. And when was the last time I heard the Beastie Boys “Made some noise” on the radio? I don’t even remember. Then the brutal truth emerges: I’m not young and hip anymore.
Yeah, I’m getting on up there (cue eye rolling). My 30th birthday is tomorrow. I know I’m not OLD old, and at 40 I’ll be saying things like “30 was a piece of cake compared to this!” But I don’t know how to be 30. Honestly, one of my favorite things about being a mom is that it’s an excuse to act like a kid. You can play on playgrounds and people don’t think you’re creepy or acting immaturely. You’re spending quality time with your kid. Child centered museums? I think I love them more than my 6-year-old. Art projects? Crayola is my middle name. Amusement parks? AWESOME. Kids’ movies? Yes, please. Children’s books? My library card runneth over.
I know what possibilities lay ahead. I see it at PTA meetings all the time (“PTA Meetings? OLD PEOPLE GO TO THOSE!” screams my inner 20-year-old). There’s a whole array of moms to choose from. The “trying to make my adolescence last forever, hip and fun” moms to the “I’ve been a mom for 16+ years, let me tell you how it’s done, full of wisdom” moms. And neither one is me. For the next few years, I guess I’m just going to be a mix of both worlds. Wearing kid-friendly boot cut jeans and anti-wrinkle eye cream. Listening to the latest Disney movie while I eat whole grain low sugar cereal. Volunteering at my son’s school while wearing pink sparkly Converse shoes.
Oh and Britney? Someone needs to have this conversation with her too. Just watch the video for “I Wanna Go” and you’ll see. She is totally trapped in the “What am I?” transition that hits at 30. I saw it last summer at her Femme Fatale concert in Nashville (yes, I went to a Britney concert. I was in my 20’s, okay?) She was all cool and diva-y until a point in the show where members of the audience got invited up on stage. Front and center was a young elementary school age girl, maybe 6 or 7. And Britney just melted. I know she’s not winning any mother of the year awards (and honestly, neither is the mom who brought their 7-year-old daughter to a Britney concert, but I digress…), but you could totally tell Britney was a mom and would have much rather been at home with her kids. I’m talking a full on hugging, nodding and smiling, question asking, thumbs up giving mom puddle. The diva crust was gone and the ooey gooey mom center came out, right on stage in front of hundreds of people. She finally looked like a 30-year-old mom. SHE GETS IT. So Britney, hon: that belly button ring and crop top are fooling no one. I know deep inside, you’re only a heartbeat away from Mom jeans.
In fact….I bet when no one’s looking? She uses anti-wrinkle eye cream too.
Photo credit: graspingforobjectivity.com
Lexie Robinson Austin is one of the few born and raised Huntsville natives. She is a stepmom to one, a librarian to many, a reader of books, and baker of cookies. She likes ridiculously impractical shoes and the color pink.