5 Things I Bought Myself For My 40th Birthday As A Mom Of 4

For months leading up to my fortieth birthday, I found myself flooded with feelings of sadness and stress around the big milestone. I’m not sure whether it was the newly noticed facial wrinkles or the realization that life is moving quickly — and I am suddenly moving into a new phase with older kids and no babies. Whatever the cause, I was feeling low. So, in an attempt to ease the mental blow of the big day, I decided to take matters into my own hands and implement one of my favorite coping and most trustworthy mechanisms: retail therapy.

But rather than set out on a haphazard shopping spree, I decided it best to be methodical in my purchasing and create a list of five things I would buy myself for my fortieth birthday. They did not need to be smart investments or worthy items; they simply had to be things I really wanted.

And I promised myself this exercise would be guilt-free — without judgment and without buyer’s remorse. Because after 40 years and four kids, I’ve earned these gifts to myself. And I’ll tell you what: After buying them all, I sincerely have no regrets.

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

I am starting with the most boring item, but this purchase is long overdue. I have spent the last 11 years changing diapers and chasing toddlers, and now that my youngest kid is almost 4, I may have finally reached my #bookmom era. Sadly, I don’t plan on downloading anything too scholarly, but I am very excited to binge-read some of the trendy cult series I have heard about over the last few years. Better late than never!

2. Mejuri Engravable Bar Bracelet

Engraved with the first initials of my four kids, this classic, everyday piece was the perfect treat for me. Meaningful and simple, it’s something I can have forever to commemorate this birthday and remind me of the wonderful things I have accomplished over the past 40 years.

3. Zara Linen Blend Vest with Beaded Bows

I know — this top is young and a little sassy, but I have decided that I am going to lean into the zero effs that all of my elders have said come with your 40s. So, while my 39-year-old self would have felt like I had no business wearing a top like this, my 40-year-old self is going to say #YOLO and let it fly!

4. Hanacure All-In-One Facial

Since my face is definitely not getting any younger, I decided it’s officially time to invest in some skin care products. Don’t get me wrong; I am also not too proud to admit to my love for a bit of forehead Botox to do the real heavy lifting — but the in-between maintenance is, of course, also important. And because I have tried this mask before and it left me feeling smooth and fresh, I knew it would complement the rest of my skincare routine perfectly.

5. Madewell Piazza Crossbody Bag

As I enter this new life phase, I am trying to focus on the little things about it that make me happy — one being that I do not have to lug around an arsenal of baby stuff with me all the time! Time to retire the oversized daily tote and settle into life with a small, cute crossbody bag that fits only the essentials. After a deep online search, I settled on this beauty. She is convenient, chic, and reasonably priced. She’s classy while still being a little edgy and roomy enough for my wallet, phone, and a few stray bandaids. God, I forgot how glorious a light-wait bulk-less bag can feel.

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