Being Called 'Ma'am' And Other Heinous Changes That Happen In Your 30s

by Jess Johnston
Originally Published: 
A woman in her 30s who's been called a 'Ma'am' leaning her back on a wall with her eyes closed
Scary Mommy and Wavebreakmedia/Getty

Last night, I was tucking the girls in and my four-year-old reached up and touched my face. “You are young,” she said, “but you do have those lines by your eyes.”

This is my 30s.

I am still young-ish, but I do have the lines around my eyes. Dammit.

I’ll tell you what else I have…


Hair is sprouting everywhere, you guys. I’m getting a new chin hair per month. Pretty soon I’m going to have a better beard than my husband. What once was a small crop of pube-overgrowth has turned into a woolly mammoth situation. I have to shave my thighs now. AS IF I DIDN’T ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH GOING ON IN MY LIFE.

A hangover after one Mike’s.

Dear young ones, yes, this is a thing. Groggy, headache, zero motivation…the results of a lot fewer poor choices than you might think. Nope. Just one, singular, alcohol flavored Kool-Aid I found at the bottom of my parents’ ice chest.

Courtesy of WONDEROAK Blog

Saggy boobs.

I am guessing that this is because I grew behemoth nursing breasts. Normally I am a size A on a good day, so a DDD was a lot for the little ladies to handle. Now we have a deflated birthday balloon situation. It is every bit as sad as it sounds. My body is a memorial of better times and wasted dreams. Luckily my months of boob-glory also included crying infants, bras that smelled of spoiled milk, and mastitis…just to balance out my overwhelming sex appeal.

My friends and I are looking for a Groupon for boob jobs; let me know if you hear of anything.

The burden of making healthy choices.

Sometimes it is truly a tragedy. For example, this gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free bar thing. I bought this out of a case full of croissants. I try to tell myself it tastes good, but it doesn’t. It tastes like glue with raisins in it. The reason I do this is because my body is weird now. I am old enough to get heartburn like my grandpa, you guys; we both have to sit up in our recliners for a while after a spicy meal.

Pee in my pants.

Kids, that was a great game of Crack the Egg on the trampoline, but mom has to go inside now.


RELATED: Need To Get Pee Out Of A Mattress? Urine Luck!

Ambitions that have come and gone.

I’m too old to go to the Olympics for anything, unless maybe I become a phenomenal marksman. The other day I saw my high school career teacher. We reminisced about the good old days when I took a “job test” in her class. The test said I should be an FBI agent. We nodded in solidarity as we realized together that this was never going to happen for me. She said I’d probably be good at catching my kids doing bad things in high school though. So there’s that.

Teenage cashiers calling me “ma’am.”

Being called ma’am by the 16-year-old cashier makes me want to ask if it’s okay to call them Satan.

Nothing compares to the time I went to get froyo with my friends (two of whom were visibly pregnant) and the boy at the counter kept referring to them as “my girls.” Finally I was like, “Um. Do you think they’re my daughters?”

Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

“Yes. Is that offensive?”

No, but I am going to go home and swim away in a river of tears, right after I burn this dress that I’m wearing.

Homework I barely remember how to do.

I realized what high school math was for. My third grader’s homework, that’s what. Life has come back to laugh in my face because it only gets worse from here. I became a mother and a writer SPECIFICALLY TO PROVE TO MY CHEMISTRY TEACHER THAT I DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW PERIODIC TABLES.

Touché, Mr. E., touché.

An overreacting body.

Sleeping on a crappy mattress does the exact same thing to my body as what one might expect from falling down several staircases or participating in the Cross Fit Games.

Do you guys remember when that article came out about what not to wear after 30? I will wear sparkly pants, with big sunglasses, AND a graphic tee if I want to. I will do and wear whatever I want. That is probably NOT what I want to do, though, in case you were wondering. Probably I just want to keep wearing these yoga pants.

The point is, I’m in my 30s … and I do have the lines around my eyes … but I do what I want.

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