The Three Types of 30 Year Old Parents

July 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm , by 

Eight months.

If you are around age 30 and are a mom or dad, then you likely fall into one of three categories: A) You had your first child while I was in college; B) You had your first child while I was still single and establishing my career; or C) You had your first child around the same time I did.  So your oldest child is either around ten years old, five years old, or is still an infant.  And yet you’re still about my age.

While living in Alabama from March 28th until last Friday, I worked with Mandy Wilhite-New, a girl I grew up and graduated high school with.  A while back we were talking to each other about our kids and she pointed out the fact that it’s often difficult to relate to her similar aged friends who have infants and toddlers. Mandy and her husband have both a 10 year old and a 6 year old.  It was ten years ago, back when the first Shrek movie was still in theaters, that she was experiencing what I am now.  Yet Mandy and I are both 30.

I’ve heard it said that compared to 30 years ago, today’s younger adults are more dependent on their parents both financially and emotionally. In other words, our own parents had to “become adults” more quickly than we did.  So in theory, even though by a calendar’s standards I am 30, compared to this point in my own parents’ lives, I’m more like 22 or 23.

So while I got to travel the world and take my time in settling down and getting married, I don’t have the abundant parenting experience that 30 year old parents with a 10 year old have.  It’s also safe to bet that I don’t have the same level of maturity, in certain senses, because in theory, I am a younger, less experienced adult.  I have more growing up to do and more humbling experiences to encounter.

The bottom line is that becoming a parent has a lot to do with adult maturity.  That’s obviously not to say that adults who never had children or are unable to do so are less mature; not at all.  But the undeniable fact is that becoming a parent changes you into someone else.  Becoming a parent is a disciplining process that has no other comparison.

Once you produce and care for human offspring, you will undoubtedly be removed of much selfishness and self-pride.  And no caring parent is immune to this fact.  No parent has a baby that feeds himself, changes himself, entertains himself, pays for himself, and takes care of himself.  (Or “herself” as the case may be.)So there’s your dose of irony for today: Nothing makes an adult out of a person like a baby does.

Unexpected Bonus:

Today is a Lucky Book Giveaway Day!  In the vein of “removing selfishness while serving others,” the featured book this time around is “Lead. Serve. Love.”  If you are too busy for some daily inspirational reading but still would like to somehow fit in a bit of motivation to start out or finish off your day, then this book will be perfect for you.  You can read plenty of reviews of the book here. (Its average rating was 4.5 out of 5 stars.)

To the first five readers who leave a commentsaying they want it, I’ll have the book mailed to your house.  Include your mailing address in the comment itself or email it to

*Within an hour or so of this post being published, I got my 5 winners for the book.  Hint: When I give away books here on The Dadabase, it’s always on Thursday nights around 8PM Central Time.  But not every Thursday…

People Watching in Nashville Traffic

Practice makes perfect.

Picture of the actual event. See the trumpet?

I am absolutely a “people watcher”, always ready to spot slightly strange behavior from the strangers around me.  Pay dirt.  Yesterday as I was driving home from work, I couldn’t help but notice (whether I was “people watching” or not) that during the red light, the man in the car in front of me pulled out a trumpet and played it until the light turned green again. 

This happened for the remaining five or six traffic lights we shared until I turned the other way to get to my house.  Each time the light turned right, he immediately pulled out his horn.  It didn’t take long for others to notice what he was doing.  Laughing to themselves as they witnessed the random happening.

Was he just trying to squeeze in some extra practice time for an upcoming gig?  Or a recital?  The man was at least 30 years old. 

Or maybe he just really has a passion for music?  After all, this is Music City.

For another humorous  social observation in Nashville, read Operation: Mustache (A Social Experiment).