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the crib sheet

reflections on the hardest and best decade of my life

Brooke Nalle

Happy Birthday to me!  Sorry I had to say it, but once you are a mom you have to take over celebrating yourself because the loved ones in your life aren't mature enough to put their needs to the side and remember that it is your birthday.  My husband did a good job; he should, he's not 10, he's 40.  He made me breakfast, coffee too, took over bathtime and let me read the paper.  The next day after my birthday dinner, he made me breakfast again.  It is awfully nice just sitting down in your own home and having someone serve you a meal.  It makes me realize how grateful my children should be.  I do it for them ALL OF THE TIME.  

People keep asking me how it feels to be 40, and I say fantastic because I am happy to move a step or two away from my 30s.  Those years were hard, really hard.  I also feel a bit sad because they were also really good and life changing.  Rather than go on and on, I will organize my decade as clearly as I can so that I can move on and get ready for this decade which I am guessing will be hard and good in other ways (not sure what they are yet but everyone says having teenagers is really hard, ugh).

My 30s were hard because:

1. I had 3 pregnancies, 3 labors, and 3 recoveries.

2. I had to figure out boob - bottle - and back again.

3.  I felt guilty that I had to use formula for my first.

4. I felt resentful that I and only I could nurse/feed my other two.

5. I had to go back to work and balance a 5 month old who didn't sleep with a career that demanded 150% of me.

6.  I had to leave a career that I loved and had worked hard to achieve.

7. My husband drove me crazy, and we had some tough moments.

8. I left the city for the suburbs.

9. I had to make friends ... again.

10. I had to clean up a lot, a lot, a tremendous amount of vomit.


My 30s were amazing because:

1. I had 3 pregnacies, 3 labors, and 3 healthy babies - - this is a gift, a true blessing.

2. I experienced first steps, first words, cuddles, smiles, and gratitude.

3. I got to teach fabulous 7th graders, then tutor amazing adolescents, and finally find my calling.

4. I got to make new friends and keep the old ones (that's a song right?)

5. I got to watch my husband become a father and thrive, and we have had some amazing times together through our better and even our worst.

6. I got to feel the relief when teeth finally came in and cheer when they fell out 5-6-7-10 years later.

7. I found my stride in the suburbs and stopped looking at apartment listings.

8. I trained and started sleepy on hudson.

9. I met my clients, their babies, their partners.

10. I learned that I am resilient and stronger than I ever thought, so primed and ready for the next 10 years.


thank you...