This Is 40 (and 7 months…)

I wrote this in April, turned 40 in May, and am publishing it December 31st, 2018… all I can say is this – 40 doesn’t feel any different than 39… minus needing my glasses a bit more… I had hoped to publish this before my birthday on the Huffington Post but they switched their format and I missed it, and so is life. At least now I have pictures to use from all my celebrations! As the year closes out and I reflect on my blessings, my mind came back to this piece. So farewell 2018, farewell to the last year I will be in my 30’s. I guess it still counts if I post this before midnight!


In May I’m turning 40. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the last decade and a half.

I spent most of my 30s saying I was 25 and either wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, or recovering from being pregnant.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I was growing a baby, nursing a baby, holding the hand of a toddler, pushing a swing, or helping with homework.

I experienced natural birth, a C-section, and a VBAC.

We moved twice. Bought a house. Bought a car. Bought a car that was bigger. Complained about trunk space.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I had multiple mammograms, my wisdom teeth removed, an endoscopy, a D & C. I went to the dentist every 6 months. Almost.

I had ten physicals.  I went to Trader Joe’s approximately 7 million times. Social media became a thing, I started a blog.

For my 30th birthday I went out with my friends to a 80s/90s club. My husband & I finally scored a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barn (and it was even better than we expected!). We treated ourselves to a five star vacation and I stayed at the hotel of my dreams.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I also went to California, Paris, Spain, Washington DC (to watch President Obama get inaugurated), Atlanta, Greece, London, Italy, Aruba and Turks & Caicos. Delray Beach, Philadelphia, the Poconos, Disney World, Sesame Place, the Crayola Factory, Diggerland, Dutch Wonderland, and Hershey Park. I became a member of the zoo. By the way, I freaking love the zoo.

I spent New Years in the heart of Times Square and also took 27 semesters of Music Together.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I partied with U2, the Counting Crows and Prince and also rocked out to the Dirty Sock Funtime Band (I plead the fifth on whose lyrics I knew better).

I took the M5 Limited bus down 5th Avenue approximately 257 times. I bought a Subaru.

I saw many Broadway shows.

I saw a lot of regional children’s theatre.

I slept in castles.

I slept on a cot… in a tent… at Girl Scout camp.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

We applied to nursery school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

I enrolled my daughter in free public school on Long Island.

I went to movie premiers with celebrities.

I watched Princess movie DVDs that I rented from the library.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

By the way, I freaking love the library.

I mocked people who went to drive-thrus.

I praised the lord for drive-thrus.

I screamed at cars going 40 on the highway.

I was that car going 40 praying for my child to nap so I could have five minutes of peace.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I have the same bank account, the same Birkenstocks, and still only one television.

I had several Blackberries, until I was forced into an iPhone, and still speak of my Palm Pilot Vx in the present tense. I often threaten to re-connect my Star-tac.

I learned playing explicit 90s Hip Hop is best with a preverbal child.

I tried to meditate but had to stop every five minutes to write something on my to do list.

I took 500 yoga classes and still can’t do a head stand.

I planned my 20th high school reunion and attended 8 1/2 months pregnant. At least my hair looked good.

I planned 35 birthday parties. I attended about 430.

I took a cooking class overlooking the Mediterranean.

I ate a lot of granola bars.

I walked 5,110 miles on Manhattan pavement.

I taught my daughter how to ride a two wheeler bike on our suburban driveway.

My jewelry taste went from diamonds to painted macaroni.

I embraced anger gardening.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I changed 47 million diapers.

I gave 2,920 baths.

I finally watched Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl.

I went from thinking the main character in a show is cute to liking the Dad.

I celebrated over a decade of marriage.

I donated my hair twice.

I got an Instant Pot.

I found joy in peeling hard boiled eggs and clementines.

I learned mean girls are mean girls and sadly some never mentally leave middle school – even after child birth.

I drank a lot of wine.

I ate a lot of feta cheese.

I ate avocado squashed on bread before millennials branded it with a hashtag.

I bought a power washer.

I got my legs up on a trapeze bar.

I memorized Goodnight Moon.

I gave 4 hundred billion hugs and kisses on delicious little faces that somehow my body grew, and felt warm inside when they told me I was the “BEST Mom ever”.

I screamed like a mad woman at something that didn’t matter causing tears.

I can still rap Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop”.

I still bump into walls.

My wedding China is still wrapped in its box.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As my friend pointed out – turning 30 was HUGE. For many – including myself – 30 brought attention to a certain clock and it’s ticking. But what does 40 mean? Besides clicking off a new demographic box (aye) how will my life be different? They say a number is just a number. But it is just weird to turn the page on a decade. To think we’re moving on to the next tens. Pretty much all I hear is you start caring less about stupid stuff, and honestly – I can totally get behind that.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

In a decade, g-d willing, I will have one kid enroute to Michigan (compulsory), one in HS and my baby – entering middle school.

I hope every day of my 40s are as blessed as my 30s and that I can continue to feel so overwhelmingly grateful to face each new day.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As U2 says in their song “40”, “I will sing, sing a new song”.

Ech. I’m not ready… I’m standing by 25.

And still dancing to 80s/90s music.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (11, 8, and 5). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member ((including a former & current PTA president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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