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The Secret To Not Letting Your Kids Age You

My son was on a magic carpet ride at a ski resort last week and fell straight backward, as if he were doing a trust fall = 75 gray hairs.

My little girl has been walking around with pneumonia, I found out today. “You have to stop letting her wear short sleeve t-shirts to school when it’s this cold outside!” my babysitter said = 125 gray hairs.

We need to pay in full this month for her summer camp, a sizable chunk of change; thing is, we’ve already spent part of it renovating our basement, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irene = 50 gray hairs

My son has cerebral palsy = 20 million bazillion gray hairs.

The rumors are true: Your kids can age you, and it’s not just the harrowing situations you deal with. Sometimes, it’s the lack of sleep or lack of disposable income for Botox. Sometimes, it’s getting ma’amed—as in, the 14-year-old at the cash register who says “Here’s your change, ma’am!” Sometimes, it’s when your kid does stuff that you clearly remember you doing as a kid, as happened when my little girl started keeping a diary. Sometimes, it’s when you get a message that @motherhoodlater—a community for moms age 35+—has followed you on Twitter and you think OMG, they could tell from my Twitter photo? Although really I am not sure why they included me, given that I am only 27. And I’d very much appreciate it if you’d spread that rumor.

But even on the days when I feel approximately 103 years old, it never bothers me. My secret to being forever young: I have no time think about aging.

Peering into the mirror and agonizing over fine lines isn’t an option because the kids bang on the bathroom door whenever I’m in there for more than 12 seconds. I’ve got no clue whether or not my butt is sagging; I haven’t had a minute to look back there. My age never gets to me since my brain is typically occupied with other vital matters, such as why all the kids’ socks have disappeared. Chasing children around the house or wherever definitely keeps me young, because being out of breath distracts me from noticing the gray hairs on my head. My slowing metabolism isn’t a concern, either—who can angst about that when there’s leftover mac ‘n cheese to be eaten?

Clinical studies may not have proven this, but it’s true: Chaos is the best anti-aging potion out there. And for the very reasonable price of $79.95, you can trial my children for yourself and see how much younger your skin seems when you have them in your house! They are hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic and basically organic, except for a little bit of chicken nuggets and Yodels. Then again, you might already have your very own age deterrents—aka Ethan or Madison or Kaylee or whoever—in which case you could consider using my children as beauty supplements.

My anti-aging regimen/denial is definitely working for me, and I know it because this afternoon, when I got a latte at a coffee shop, the guy behind the counter said, “Have a good day, Miss.” Which took 10 years right off me.

What keeps you from feeling old? And let me just say, you look lovely today…Miss.

 

Flickr/Nicolo Paternoster

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