This Is 40 (and 7 months)! I Have Gratitude, A Positive Outlook, And The Coolest Crown Ever!

This Is 40

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… With that said, I hoped to publish this before my birthday on the Huffington Post, but they switched their format and I missed it. Thus, so is life. At least now I have pictures to use from all my celebrations! Consequently, as the year closes out and I reflect on my blessings, my mind came back to this piece. In conclusion, farewell 2018, farewell to the last year I will be in my 30’s. Hopefully this still counts if I post it before midnight!


Turning 40

In May I’m turning 40. Without a doubt this big birthday has caused lots of reflection. Not only on the last decade and a half but so much more.

Having said that, 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.

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

Not to mention, we moved twice, bought a house, and bought a car. And then bought a car that was bigger because we complained about trunk space.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

As We Age We Go To Lots Of Doctors

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.

As We Age We Appreciate Treating Ourselves

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.

Even 40 Year Olds Can Go Out And Party

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...)

As You Age You Like The Library A Lot

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

By the way, I freaking love the library.

This Is 40 – I Don’t Want To Get Out Of My Car

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 Can Call My Old Stuff Retro

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.

Planning Parties Becomes Easier

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.

This Is 40 – You Start Thinking The Dad In The Show Is Cute 

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.

You Talk A LOT About Instant Pots, Unironically

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.

You Can Still Sings Songs From Twenty Years Ago

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...)

This Is 40, It’s Bigger Than 30

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...)

Being 40 Sounds Better Than Being 50

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 (13, 9, and 7). 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. 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. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022 & 2023, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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