Turning 40

6 min read
Turning 40

I have a theory that there’s a huge discrepancy in what women should expect from each age milestone due to one very important factor that that isn’t taken into account.

How old we were when we had our children.

If you’ve known someone who has given birth to a premature baby, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “adjusted age”. We adjust the child’s age as we’re expecting that the developmental milestones won’t apply to them, they are treated as though they are younger than their real age.

Everyone has been exposed to the phrase “40 is the new 30”, well it’s true. A lot of women are starting to have their babies later in life and for me, becoming a Mother was the biggest developmental milestone I’ve been through in my long 39.2849 years of life.

Maybe we should have an adjusted age, and use that when we’re trying to figure out what to expect from ourselves.

Maybe you gain back a year for every year that you didn’t have a child after turning 30. Yes, that will work.

[Your age] [The age you had children 30] (if you have no children, simply take of 10 years)

39 [34 30] = 35

Becoming a mother changes your body, your mind, your confidence”¦ well”¦ pretty much everything.

So if you’re already in your 40’s or approaching your 40’s, we’re no longer in the 1900’s, 40 IS NOT old and here are some reasons why you should embrace it!

You don’t care

When you were younger you spent a lot of time worrying about what people thought of you.  As you get older you’re less worried about whether you’ve applied makeup before going grocery shopping, instead you’re simply grateful if one child doesn’t claw at you to be picked up (restraining your arms), while you’re other child lifts up your shirt and exposes your left breast to the patrons of the grocery store.

Experience has delivered you so many embarrassing moments that your threshold for ‘the care factor’ has increased.

You’re sexier than you’ve ever been

When you were younger, your body may have been the best that it’s ever been but you didn’t appreciate it, you didn’t quite pull it off because you didn’t have the confidence.

You’re no longer twirling your hair, wobbling around in heels and twisting your arms around in front of you when a stranger approaches you to talk inadvertently exposing to the world that you’re a little girl dressed like a woman.

awkward woman

Whilst your decollage may be starting to show your age, you may have a little more cellulite on your butt and a few more lines around your eyes, with the right outfit, a little makeup, and your new found confidence, you’re sexier than you’ve ever been.

The middle is kind of a cool place

You’re no longer a bouncing spring chicken with flawless skin, but at 40 you’re not so far down the other end of the age spectrum that when you’re on a plane you’d ask the person sitting next to you “where are you off to dear?”

You’re not so young that you allow your butt cheeks to hang out of your shorts, but haven’t purchased your first towelling dress.
Whilst the phrase “middle age” brings about images of a tired looking frumpy woman, it simply means you’re in the middle of an average life span, you have a little of everything in moderation.

You appreciate the small things

By 40 most of us are a little more realistic about what we need and understand that copious amounts of material possessions just don’t fulfil us.

When you’re younger you “needed” those 3 sets of 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, by 40 you’re just thankful if you don’t wake up with a matchbox cement truck wedged in your back.

Social Media isn’t a massive threat

With the introduction of social media we welcomed a new phase of ridiculous comparisons “look what have”, “look what I did on the weekend””¦ “look at how cool my life is!”

Fortunately we have enough experience at life to know that what people publish on social media is in no way representative of an average day, nor is one good photo representative of how a person actually looks in real life.

You’re not so young that you’re going out drinking every Friday and Saturday night resulting in having to remove embarrassing posts from your wall that seemed like such a good idea the night before.

You’re old enough to know how to use Social Media sensibly.

You’re not so old that you have to ask “how do I put that on the computer dear?”

You know stuff”¦ and know what you don’t know

When you’re younger you know everything and judge everyone.

If my 30 year old self ever met you in a shopping centre just as your child was having a bad day, I’m really sorry if I glared at you and secretly judged you for being a bad mother.

If my 25 year old self ever walked past you on the street with your 3 children and I averted my eyes and secretly swore to myself that I wouldn’t let myself go when I had children, I’m sorry about that too.

By 40 you understand that different people have different priorities at different stages of their life, and how you see a complete stranger look or act in a single moment in time does not give you the information you need to do a complete profile assessment.

You know that the woman with the runny eye makeup may have just taught her child the word “eyelashes” and may not always look like that.

You know that the woman who is acting like a dragon lady to her own child may not actually be a bad mother, but the lid may have just popped off the top of the kettle that’s been boiling all day long.

You know that the woman wearing leggings as pants may not have prioritised fashion that day, not because she’s clueless about fashion, but because she had different priorities, hadn’t washed the tops that matched the leggings and just wanted to feel damn comfortable.


I’ve always thought that you’re not old until you turn 40 and I’ve figured out why.  I was a teenager when my parents turned 40 and thought my parents were old. Now 40 is approaching I’ve realised that my boys are only 5 and still offering me adorable marriage proposals every night at bedtime, I expect that they’ll grow up thinking that 50 is old.

I’m 40 this year. I’m not old yet.

Tell us, are you scared of 40?

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About Author

Karen Ghidella

Karen was an Accountant and IT nerd with a passion for organising and analysing everything in business. Upon becoming a Mama to the cutest twin boys i...Read Moren the whole world (according to her), this passion was transferred to trying to organise and analyse everything relating to family and children (ahhhh....with mixed results). She believes that normal is a cycle on the washing machine, not a way to live life. Embrace your inner weirdness! Read Less

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