Embracing My Early Thirties

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I turned 31 this year. 31.

I’m really in my thirties now y’all!

When I turned 30 it was a little odd. It felt foreign not being in my twenties anymore. It felt like I “really” needed to be an adult now and get it together – as if being a wife and mother wasn’t adult enough. (I wasn’t ready to be a thirty-something-year-old!)

I became a mom at 29. Motherhood has brought me lots of new confidences and a few new insecurities. As time has gone on (a whole two and a half years) I have found that as I enter my early thirties, a new version of myself is emerging. I am beginning to let go of those younger insecurities, like wondering what others think of you, and starting to feel more at peace with myself and who I am.

I knew that once I became a mother I would hear the unsolicited advice and probably experience mommy shaming at some point. You can’t ever make everyone happy. You need to have confidence in yourself and your decisions as a parent – which I know isn’t always easy – in order to set healthy boundaries if needed. 

Now I find myself more willing to speak up if needed, or if I feel I am not being heard. I have more confidence to be direct with strangers as well as family members.

Oddly enough, I also find it easier to set boundaries with a stranger than with a family member or friend. For example, it has been a tough fall this year for my family. We have all been sick for months and are just finally getting better. My husband and I got bronchitis and each required several rounds of antibiotics. Our daughter got an ear infection and it would NOT go away. I had no issues being honest and direct with the pediatrician about my concerns. Thankfully we are all set up with an ENT and are having tubes put in this month. 

In some ways, I am also finding more confidence in my appearance and my body. I am starting to work out again, and I have a little more confidence in wanting to try new trends in beauty and fashion (not too crazy though because I’m still a lounge-wear freak).

The biggest benefit I think though is that I am finally starting to let go of that little voice inside that is always telling me what other people must be thinking.

I am much more straightforward in my marriage, which has always been a struggle for me. I have been able to have very candid and honest conversations with my own parents about various topics, from past family issues to current ones. I no longer feel like a child or like an immature adult who feels aimless. 

I still have bad days, or days when I do not feel my best, but I have found a strength in being in my 30’s that is quite liberating – age is just a number, right?! 

How do you feel about being in your 30s?

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Elizabeth is a South Carolina native who has lived in the Lowcountry, Midlands, and Upstate. She grew up in Greenville but has called the Midlands home since 2004. Elizabeth attended USC and graduated in 2013 with a degree in English Literature. She met her husband, Matt, in 2009 and they married in 2016. Her daughter Molly was born in July of 2019. After college, she had administrative jobs until transitioning to a stay-at-home mom once Molly was born. When needed she helps her husband run his business where he refinishes and installs hardwood flooring. Their rescue dog, Beatrice, has been part of the family for 11 years. They enjoy many trips to Riverbanks Zoo and the great parks in the Irmo area. A fun fact about Elizabeth is she has played bagpipes for 20 years. She has played at all types of events ranging from parades and weddings to Carolina and Clemson football games. Currently, her main hobby is watching Netflix after her daughter goes to bed as well as the occasional trip to Target by herself.

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