real life

"I am unapologetically me." The best (and some less good) things about turning 40.

One minute it’s 2001 and you’re in your twenties. You’re rocking out to The Whitlams and Natalie Imbruglia, wearing boob tubes and turning up to the office hungover with your dark plum lipstick on from the night before.

The next minute you’re planning your 40th birthday, having in-depth discussions with friends about vacuum cleaners and your trainee Ava affectionately refers to you as “Mum, lol”.

When I get the manager role next month, Ava will be the first to go.

I don’t know where those 20 years went. I haven’t felt any older. Well, until today.

Watch: Here’s all the things Mums never hear. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Yesterday I turned 40. My husband brought home butter chicken and cheesecake, and I’ve been up since 3am with indigestion. WTF body? I’ve only ever had heartburn when heavily pregnant so this was a shock.

Everyone older than me always said that when you turn 40 your body starts falling apart. I was expecting this, but I had hoped to be more than three hours in when it happened.

The offending cheesecake. Image: Supplied.

Surely there’s some good points about turning 40 too? I decided to ask around...


“It takes less time to do your hair in the morning,” said my husband sadly, as he looked at his slowly emerging bald spot in the bathroom mirror.

“You get lots of candles on your cake and you get to go to work every day,” exclaimed my seriously misguided five-year-old daughter.

“I’m younger than you,” replied my best friend indignantly.

“Can you please just sign for the package?" Said the delivery driver as he backed away slowly.

But still, when I look at my life at 20, 30 or even 35, I wouldn’t go back to any of those ages. I’ve come so far as a person.

I might not wear boob tubes anymore, but that’s because I found my own style. Flowing maxi dresses teamed with tote bags, sensible shoes and my favourite headband. I am unapologetically me these days and I even managed to move on from plum lipstick and dark lip liner to a more natural colour that doesn’t make me look like a goth.

I found my career, fairly recently. I love my job and look forward to work. Last year I won an industry award, and explored new directions I would never have had the confidence to go in when I was younger.

With a better career also comes more money. Money to see more of this world, drive a new car and most importantly, stress less.

The money came in handy today as I paid a $1600 electricity bill, caused by my 11-year-old who apparently runs her air conditioner at 18 degrees then opens windows when she gets too cold while it's still running.

Luckily we also have the financial freedom to explore boarding school options.

After 15 years, we are comfortable in our marriage. “Too comfortable at times”, says my husband as he eyes my legs that are overdue for a wax. But there’s something wonderful about being relaxed in your relationship. Not trying too hard. Letting your legs get hairy under a maxi dress.

When we started dating I’d hold in farts until I could make an excuse to escape to the balcony of his apartment. No one holds in anything these days.

The kids are older now too, so we get the time to connect that we’ve been missing for the last 11 years.

Yes – the kids are growing up. Both of them at school now. Last year we reached the greatest milestone in any parent's life – we paid our last ever daycare fees.

The daycare gave us photos of our daughter in graduation cap and gown. It was beautiful. But not as beautiful as our final invoice for $0.00.

The best part about turning 40 however, is me. No longer full of insecurities and fearful of what other people think of me. I’m confident, happy and comfortable in my own skin, and even get mistaken for a real adult occasionally. Thanks, Ava.

Feature Image: Getty/Supplied.

The feature image used is a stock image.