to ask ladies who are in their forties...(34 Posts)
if it really is the best time of your life? yes, celebrities can drone on all they like about it, but I want to hear the truth. So, opinions please!
I remember dreading 40 and my sister said that she had liked it because she enjoyed the feeling of being at the young end of the age-decade, rather than at the old end. eg 40 felt like being the new girl in the Fortysomethings club, whereas 39 felt like being the old battleaxe of the Thirstysomethings club. And, probably because she told me that I felt the same, and I am looking forward to being the new girl in the Fiftysomethings club in a couple of years time.
In my twenties I thought I was grown up but my emotions, judgement and experience were little better than when I was a teenager.
In my thirties I felt more grown up, having experienced a bit of trauma/heartbreak but TBH the first half of the decade was lost to worrying about whether I would be able to have a baby or not and the second half was lost in a fog of pregnancies, babies, anxiety and wiping up excrement.
In my forties I feel I understand myself more, have come through the upheaval of having small children, enjoy my job, love my husband, consider myself incredibly lucky. The downside is that I look so old - how did that happen? When I was 20 I used to sneer at celebs who had plastic surgery - why can't they just grow old gracefully???? - but now I think "ooh I'd LOVE a facelift." And my libido, well dunno where that is, I think it might be hiding in the cupboard under the stairs. The "revving up" of the early 40s never seemed to happen for me. Or perhaps it did, briefly, which is why I had another baby at 43 and that dampened it all down again.
The menopause is ace. No periods. HRT rocks. All the hormones. None of the shite. I sleep at night without little children waking me up.
The bad stuff: elderly parents to care for and I think I may be getting laughter lines...
I don't think you physically feel any different when you suddenly become 40, especially if you are in good health. My life changed dramatically at 41 when DD was born.
I would say that I am more self assured, don't worry about what other people think and am more content with my life. Yes, I cover up the grey in my hair because I don't want other people thinking I am DD's grandmother. (My mum was 40 when I was born and she didn't take care of herself and strangers always assumed she was my grandmother and I used to feel so hurt about it). We are financially more secure - mortgage has been paid off, but now have ageing relatives to worry about.
Physically I am pretty much the same as I always have been.
I am 54 BTW.
Did my first half marathon, triathlon, cycling time trial after 40. It's terrible getting old.
Emotionally, yes. I feel happy, content and give less of a fuck what anyone thinks.
Physically, no. I feel tired all the time, I have less energy, even though i am fit and eat well my body aches, i'm prone to weight gain and my periods have become a nightmare.
I'm 40 and dye my hair - have since I was 15 as my mousy natural colour doesn't suit me. But now I've had a couple of snide comments from other women about why am I covering my grey. Strange.
I'm happy in life but that's because I have a loving family and a career I enjoy, nothing to do with my age. Also I'm not particularly attractive anymore which I consider an advantage. Fewer skeevy blokes hitting on me and it seems to make it easier to make female friends also.
I remeber in my 30s standing around the photocopier at work pretending to try and fix it whilst eavesdropping on a bunch of older women who were all saying how great it was to be in their 50s. They were at a range of levels career wise from a (very competent) receptionsit to the CFO.
So I'm going to give it another decade before I decide I'm on the way downhill.
I can't contribute if thread is only about style & beauty.
Actually I have a slightly sneery attitude about my cohort frantically trying to cover up their gray. 45yo women are supposed to have grey hair.
My memory is going, though, and hearing & vision have deteriorated. Middle age spread lurks in the shadows. But I still get called "young" by older women with no grey in their hair (dyed out), it's all in energy levels and demeanour.
8yrs as SAHM is making it very hard to get a paid job now.
Meh, could be worse, could be better. Always look back in horror at how naive my younger self was. That never changes.
My whole life changed at 40.
I had a baby.
I gave up one career and started another.
I moved to a house for the first time in about 25 years when I was 42, giving up my city centre lifestyle.
I was also diagnosed with one of the 3 chronic pain illnesses I have, the other two gradually getting worse, until I have days like today where moving from bed to sofa is about the level of my ability. Thank goodness it's Saturday and my husband can help care for our 3 year old, who is not feeling well himself. Neither is my husband, actually, after a bad night with said 3 year old.
But, over all, I am the happiest and most content I have ever been in my entire life.
I'm 44 now. I'm looking forward to the rest of this decade and all the ones to come.
I have always been me funnily enough and I haven't changed, I am a modern feminist and always have been, even thought I am sure no man or woman knows I am, and I say modern as in I really don't know any group I can belong to, I am just me.
I don't take any shit from people, but I didn't at 19, I have a way that works for me, I enjoy banter even the off colour stuff.
I get on well with men and women because I respect both sexes and our differences and enjoy them.
I say I don't take shit, I am never rude I am just assertive but use humour..
the best thing about getting over 40 is other people repect you for no reason at all apart from my age (my Mum a nurse and in her 40's when I started out said the same)
as I said I am no different but where as a young nurse I would be complained about endlessly by clients, as in the young girl!!!don't get me started on that!! now I am still saying the same lines but because I am older no complaints, all I was trying to do the whole time was be honest, but as a 42 yr old people get that.
As 23 they thought I knew nothing, even though I had 5 years under my belt.
Actually I lie I am more brutal and honest with people and yet it is excepted without question and it is only because of my age.
Interesting points about the media. I had no idea that women 35-55 spent more for products. I still do love beauty products though
35-55 women will pay more for toiletries and cosmetics.
They are brand-loyal and main shoppers.
Therefore copy has to be written to wrap round the ads.
<cynical ex mag person>
The media use 40 as a good stopping point so they can write articles about how our wild and carefree selves in our 20s would be appalled by how dull and predictable you have to be to keep all the things you have to juggle going at the same time when you're 40.
It scares people into thinking there's fun being had and they're not getting any of it.
Why are you making such a big thing about it though?
It's honestly no different to where you are now. It's kind of an odd thing to be fretting over on a Friday night with wine.
I agreewithalwayslateforwork, I don't feel particularly different to the way I did a few years ago. I don't really think that turning 40 is a particularly big deal. Life is good and bad in slightly different ways, but they are mostly to do with the age of my children and my current job/location.
dh and I are looking forward to our late 40s though - once the children leave home we have a fair few ideas for fun
Thanks girls for responding - truth is I have never had an honest chat with anyone about being in their forties, so wondered what the consensus is. let's face it, if you can't ask the mumsnet jury who can you ask?
I'm 42. I'm always deeply suspicious of women who have a thing about 40. It's nothing momentous, just an excuse for cheap card shops to sell rubbish banners and cards... Very strange. 40 is no different to 39.
Do you always start chat threads with a 'statement - discuss'?
It's very cheap journo, and we have loads hanging round here. The guff usually ends up being ripped and splashed in the Sunday mags.
That's where the journo thread came from.
Pray, tell, what made you ponder the 40 something best time of your life rhetoric at this point?
I mean, had you come on and started 'I have had the shittest back to work week ever. My kids are old enough for me to not have to pay childcare, and I went back to work thinking it would be brill. But I'm knackered, the pay is crap, and I'm expected to gussy up like a teenager. Ad when i get home the kids are fighting and i have to do the laundry. Who the hell said that the forties are the best time of your life?'
That would have been a bit more, well, normal in these parts.
Otherwise, it just sounds like you have a deadline, and figured mumsnet was an easy touch for a few sound bites to make your article for you.
Where the hell are you reading the sleb crap anyway? It sounded like you had to write a reply to last week's crappy article in whatever rag you write for.
already on the slippery slope wondering whether you should feel a sense of impending doom?
I wasn't fussed turning 40, if you've got other things you're not completely happy in the rest of your life turning 40 might accentuate them, otherwise it's just another
excuse to get pissed birthday.
Well you kind of know your stuff - good and bad. I was mentoring a young colleague this week who's due back to work from first baby, and very happy not to feel that young and unsure. The confidence that comes with maturity is great.
Well, to be honest, just sitting here with a massive glass of wine pondering life after the shittest work week imaginable. How weird, it seemed like such a dream going back to work. Thought I'd just start off some light-hearted chats to see if anyone else wanted to chat given I have spoken to no-one the whole day - ah well...
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