More often than not I don’t feel like a “grown up”. I’m not even sure that I know what that term really means, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never really felt mature. I’ve become especially aware of this since I had a child and since spending more time with other women / moms. I have so much respect for women that I feel are grown up and behave like I believe people over the age of 35 “should” behave.

I feel like I spend too much time thinking about my appearance, my words, my behaviors; I’m self-conscious about almost everything sometimes. I talk frequently and rapidly. I excite easily. I run the risk of putting my foot in my mouth – whoops. I skip stairs when I go up a floor. Sometimes I’m a bit too, er, “high energy”. I’m too corny. I don’t carry a purse. I prefer sneakers to heels. I tend to wear a messy bun over a well coifed ‘do.

But I had a really great conversation recently with a couple of friends, one of whom said that she could relate to what I always felt were kind of … silly qualities. I got a fresh perspective on some of my behaviors and quirks that I used to be embarrassed by. Without being dramatic, it was sort of freeing to give myself a break, especially since I’m finding a benefit to some of my sillier qualities.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my daughter’s childhood with her. (By no means do I think that you have to be a dork like me to enjoy spending time with your children, by the way.) Not at all. I think that I’m able to enjoy myself more because I’m starting to be able to accept myself for who I am instead of always looking at everyone else and wondering why I’m not more this or more that.

And really, who doesn’t have things that they feel self-conscious about or feel lousy about when they compare themselves to other people? I know that I’m not struggling with a unique issue here. But I have consistently said about my daughter that I don’t care if she’s not cool or if she’s a dork SO LONG AS SHE’S HAPPY AND LIKES HERSELF. Because, seriously, who cares what other people think when you don’t care what other people think? Ya dig?

And here I am over here not really liking a lot of things about myself. So how on Earth do I expect her to learn the qualities that I want so badly for her? Duh, Tara. You have to model them for her. I keep forgetting that this whole raising children thing is such a process.

Hey, maybe I really am growing up.

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