This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
When I met my husband, Keith, I was 24 years old and a single mother of a one-year old boy. Apparently time flies when you become a parent because I practically blinked and my husband turned 40 this year. Admittedly I am only a couple of years away from joining him in that 40 plus club.
We now have an 8-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son who is heading off to high school next month. I have been asked if having a high-school aged child makes me feel old. My husband sometimes says yes, but I can honestly answer no.
One thing I notice lately, especially within our group of friends who are parents, is that some people dwell on their age. They often view aging as a negative thing that limits their possibilities in life. I view aging as a privilege, something to be proud of and embrace with open arms.
That is why I love this initiative from AARP about disrupting aging, which you can click here to learn more about. They are encouraging people to shift their attitudes, mindset and behavior toward growing older, into a positive one.
I recently had a conversation with my husband about breaking the stereotypes when it comes to getting older and how to disrupt aging and live your best life as a parent. I want to share some of our thoughts on parenting through the lens of aging in hopes of inspiring you to celebrate your age and create a bold new path for yourself in life because it is never to late.
I urge you to sit down with your spouse, partner or co-parent and have an honest conversation about your feelings on aging. Then talk about how to disrupt aging and live your best life as a parent.
Here are some of the questions my husband and I discussed on this topic:
How has your relationship with each other and with your children evolved over time?
I already was a parent when my husband and I met. We agree that we never had any pre-children time together. The older our kids get the easier it is becoming to spend time together one-on-one. Over the past year or so we took a kid-free vacation together and have been making date nights a priority. I think it is great for our kids to see their parents happy and in love no matter how old we are.
Knowing what you know now about parenting, what might you want to tell your younger selves? And what might you tell your future self?
You can be an excellent parent at any age. I often doubted myself as a young mother, but I am proud I am raising two great kids. My husband and I often talk about our future selves and the type of grandparents we will be (super cool). We want our future selves to remember to make and take time for each other and also for us as individuals.
How can your children benefit from your life experience? What have you learned as you grow that you want to instill in your children?
I want my kids to always remember never to take anything for granted, because life can change in an instant (in both good and bad ways). My husband had a great answer for this question because he talked about not limiting yourself. Don’t think because you have a path or plan for your life all mapped out in your head that it can’t be changed. Sometimes the best things in life are the unexpected things.
What has surprised you about your relationship with your partner over time?
What surprises us both about our relationship is that we are always learning new things about each other even after 11 years of marriage. I love that it keeps things exciting!
How do you want your children to think about aging as they grow into adults?
I want them to remember that aging doesn’t mean life has to stop. Don’t put off your goals, hopes and dreams because you think you are too old to achieve them. Embrace opportunity and disrupt aging so you can live your best life.
Now that you have some tips for how to disrupt aging and live your best life as a parent, how will you smash those growing older stereotypes?