Turning 32…and a change in priorities

Turning 32 and a change in priorities

This weekend just gone I celebrated my 32nd birthday. I’m not sure where those 32 years went, I certainly don’t remember 32 birthdays – and not just for the reason that I was probably too p****d to recall the latter half of them. But I seriously don’t feel that much different to the girl I was at half my age. Of course I’m a lot wiser (yes, really!) these days, far more responsible and much more confident in who I am. But at my core, I have the same morals, the same thoughts, the same fears and beliefs.

Turning 32 and a change in priorities

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I’ve always had an irrational fear of growing old…I distinctly remember turning 20 in my house-share at uni. I lay in bed the night before with an uneasy realisation that my teenage years were behind me. But the most scary thought for me at that time was that my next milestone would be turning 30. And 30 seemed so old to me back then!

As it happened, turning 30 wasn’t so bad after all. I felt ready for it, I was now a responsible adult with a baby on the way and ready to leave the debauchery (!) and dead-end relationships of my 20s in the previous decade. I’d had a blast, but I was ready for a new chapter – starting a family, owning my own home and deciding not to return to full-time employment.

One thing that has most definitely changed during my thirties is my aspirations. I’m not sure this has a lot to do with age, probably far more to do with becoming a mother and a change in priorities. In my twenties I believed that my success in life was directly measured by the amount in my pay cheque and my job title. After all, that’s what I had been working towards my entire life up until that point; I worked (relatively) hard at school so that I could go to uni, get a ‘good degree’ and get a ‘good job’ with a ‘good salary’ that would in turn give me a ‘good life’.

As it turned out, getting pregnant came at a time when I was probably at a turning point in my career. I have no doubt that had I carried on working over the last two years, I would be in the job role that I was always working towards and be earning a salary that would make me feel like I’d ‘made it’ – I’m not talking mega bucks or anything here, but an amount that would actually reflect all of that studying and those long hours put in to prove my worth. It’s true what they say – having children and taking time out definitely does put a woman’s career on hold.

Turning 32 and a change in priorities

But since becoming happily married, starting a family and finally realising what ‘content’ actually feels like, my idea of a good job and a good life has pretty much turned on its head. I’m really not interested in earning a lot of money and my sense of gratification comes from quality time spent with my family, rather than getting a pat on the back at work. Don’t get me wrong, I personally enjoy working, it gives me a sense of fulfillment and I will always work hard at what I do. But just not at the expense of my own happiness and valuable time spent with those I love.

It’s exciting times for us at the moment as we expand the hubby’s business and I’ve started to take more of a formal role within the company throughout the expansion.  This has given me less time to dedicate to my own freelance PR commitments and I suspect that this will become less and less, given that I have zero hours in my day to dedicate to it. I admit that I’ve had a bit of an internal battle with myself – giving up on something your past self has worked so hard towards is not an easy decision. But having the opportunity to build up a family business is also a great opportunity and we have exciting plans for where we want to take it in the future. It will also will give me a better work/life balance in the long run – which is my priority right now.

Of course, I will still be putting my heart and soul into this blog and collaborate with brands wherever I can. This is my happy place and I want to continue to build on what I’ve created so far.

So, exciting times and lots of changes ahead for us. And here’s to being 32!

Did your priorities change when you started a family? Or do you think it’s an age thing?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Cuddle Fairy

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20 Comment

  1. Reply
    Anne Marshall
    October 2, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Happy Birthday – you are so young!! (I am 41). I didnt have kids till 34, and have somehow ended up with 4 of them. My priorities did totally change as I wentfrom a successful career in N.Y to being a stay at home mum. I think age wise, speaking of my last milestone which was 40 (and that was scary), I dont think my priorities changed but as lots of people say, I feel happy, experienced and strong. I actually wish I could stick at 40, but alas this is not to be;) Really enjoyed your writing and thought provoking post Xx

    1. Reply
      Natalie Mudd
      October 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Wow you’ve had a busy 7 years then!! I definitely feel more confident and happier the older I get – onwards and upwards! Really pleased to hear you enjoyed the post 🙂 xx

  2. Reply
    Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    October 2, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I am not sure if it’s an age thing, or a family thing. I never imagined that I would have a child and so it’s something that never really entered my plans, but she is here and nearly 3! I am 31 next month and I have noticed that I have got steadily less enthusiastic about my own birthday (maybe I am just miserable! haha) #KCACOLS
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…Monthly Bucket List – OctoberMy Profile

  3. Reply
    the frenchie mummy
    October 2, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Happy Birthday! Sorry to be late but I didn’t get the invite! Just kidding. I can relate to this post so well. I turned 31 years old this year and feel the same! I was feeling so old when it was time to celebrate my thirties. In the end, it was not that bad at all and I quite enjoy where I am in life now. Of course, sometimes I have my moment ‘When I was young’ with nostalgia, but overall I am good. It might sound like cliche but I feel so much more confident in my skin as well now! Let celebrate adulthood! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  4. Reply
    October 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Happy Birthday! Every year my priorities change and as we get older we realise some things don’t really matter anymore. #KCACOLS

  5. Reply
    My Petit Canard
    October 2, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you’ve had some tough decisions lately, but decisions that will hopefully lead to a really exciting future for you and your family. There is something about having a family and contentment that makes your 30s much less scary than they seemed when you were in your teens! Emily #KCACOLS

  6. Reply
    Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    October 5, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Happy birthday! I think having children does change you and your priorities, for a lot of people there’s much more of a desire for balance. Not always easy to achieve though! x #BloggerClubUK
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…The messages we receive as childrenMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Natalie Mudd
      October 5, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks! Yes finding that balance is a difficult one! X

  7. Reply
    The Mum Reviews
    October 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    It sounds like you’ve achieved a lot in your tender 32 years (I’m pushing 37, and 32 seems a long time ago to me). You sound like you know what you want in life and you are managing your priorities well. Happy birthday! #kcacols
    The Mum Reviews recently posted…New mums and mental healthMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Natalie Mudd
      October 5, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks, I’m hoping the next 5 years won’t fly by as quick as the last! X

  8. Reply
    Kirsten Toyne
    October 6, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Having children really does change our priorities. When I did research for my book I found it to be the case with every one. Some women felt more driven to succeed in their career because they had children to consider, some less because they wanted to be with their children. No matter what way feels right our children become at the heart of each decision we make. Great post. Thanks #coolmumclub
    Kirsten Toyne recently posted…Have Fun Highlighting Your Children’s StrengthsMy Profile

  9. Reply
    Chilli Regina
    October 6, 2016 at 8:51 am

    It seems like your post came in the right time for me to read..;)I can relate to everything you’re saying. For me, having a family changed everything. I love being a mom who has the time to spend with her kids. After 4 years of full time job I am now a stay at home mom, working on my blog, and hope to succeed at making it my on-line business. So I can def say that kids changed my priorities in life.
    Love your post!
    #coolmumclub rocks!;)

  10. Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Happy Birthday! I agree I think things change when you have children and you no longer worry about age. I just think you feel more content and empowered 🙂 #CoolMumClub
    Emma recently posted…Why am I so invested in celebrity marriages?My Profile

  11. Reply
    Yvadney @ Style After Nine
    October 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Great post. I wrote something similar when I turned 35 earlier this year. I still feel young ( although I went to a 20 year olds’ birthday party and realised, actually I don’t!!) but I am so much more settled in my self and my focus since becoming a parent. There is that sense of saying good bye to an old part of yourself, but turning the page to a new chapter is even better! #coolmumsclub Yvadney x

  12. Reply
    Emma Plus Three
    October 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Yes my priorities definitely changed when I started a family, I think it’s natural. Lovely post and good luck with all the changes going on in your life x #KCACOLS

  13. Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I totally get it Nat. I’m at a real fork in the road, as always agonising over what to do next. All the buzz in the media about flexible working for Mums has really got me thinking about what else could be out there…for now though, this definitely feels the place I want to be.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub, and happy birthday!
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 40My Profile

  14. Reply
    Nadia - ScandiMummy
    October 7, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Firstly, happy birthday Nat! Secondly, how exciting about your family business. Best of luck and I’m sure you’ll find the right balance. #KCACOLS

    Nadia xx
    Nadia – ScandiMummy recently posted…SLOW HOLIDAYS WITH INNTRAVEL + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  15. Reply
    Nicky Kentisbeer
    October 7, 2016 at 10:27 am

    You had me at 32! I’m a fair bit older but am totally getting what you are saying here Nat. Wonderful what you have achieved so far and also very exciting that you have a successful family business on your hands. I imagine that all you have learned and created through this blog will be a huge asset to this. Exciting times #bloggerclubuk
    Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Living etc – I Would Live In A House Like ThisMy Profile

  16. Reply
    Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn
    October 8, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Happy Birthday! I do think your priorities change as you get older and because of the arrival of kids. I also have this fear of getting older but mainly because the people we love around us are also getting older (depressing I know!) We’re also currently making big plans with hubby’s business and deciding whether it’s the right time to have baby no. 2, all exciting but scary things. I hope everything goes well for you and hubby and you have an amazing year x #KCACOLS
    Jaylan – Diapers at Dawn recently posted…Day Out: Autumn at the ParkMy Profile

  17. Reply
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    October 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Natalie, Happy Birthday! I agree, at times I feel my age, at others I am amazed at how time has flown. I had my second child at 32 and we were serious about building our family. That was many years ago, and I think things began to change then. It was important to figure in the happiness of the rest of my family weighed with my happiness. My goals changed, because I wanted them too, my feelings changed and I wanted to be home more. I’m not sure if this was an age thing, or if it was because the right relationships were a huge part of my life and fostering them and enjoying them became the priority.

    Congratulations to you for the changes you have made, it sounds like your life is full of love, fun and exciting things for the future!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Social Media Blast – Facebook Week – I “Like” It!My Profile

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