I love birthdays. I love getting presents and even more than presents, I love getting a birthday cake. Because come on, birthday cake is awesome and it’s not a birthday without cake. My own personal belief. I remember when I was younger, I kept pondering ways to make my birthday a national holiday. For the most part, getting older hasn’t really bothered me. For the most part. This last year, I turned thirty-two. I have my days where I feel a lot older than that and then I have my days where I feel like I’m nowhere near that. Then, there are days where my biological age kinda screws with my little age.

When those days happen, I question everything. I start feeling that I’m stupid for being little. I get this conversation going inside my head where I tell myself I shouldn’t want to spend my afternoon's coloring and watching cartoons. I shouldn’t want to run people over in Build A Bear just to get to that ONE stuffie I MUST HAVE or literally bouncing off the walls or jumping up and down squealing in delight because I finally have my Pinkie Pie. I shouldn’t stomp my foot and pout when I find this super cute Bambi shirt but then realize it’s so not in my size. I tell myself I’m too old to act like this. Normal thirty-two-year-old women don’t want a princess style bedroom that includes pink carpet and a huge white four post canopy bed. They don’t ask Santa for a pony. I’m pretty sure they don’t beg for five pounds of glitter either. But then I have to stop this horrible sometimes never-ending vicious cycle. I have to tell myself that I’m not like other thirty-two-year-old women, I’m me and part of being me is being little.

This is something that all littles go through. I’ve had several readers email me and specifically ask me this question and I can’t tell you how many threads I’ve seen in several of the little groups on Fetlife dealing with this topic. I wish I could give you a nice and shiny clear answer as to how to deal with this struggle, but unfortunately, I can’t. I really wish I could because then I could make my life easier as well as everyone else’s. But like in life, it’s all about finding the right sense of balance.

While I’m not working outside the home at the moment, I have in the past and it sucked a lot because I had to put away my little side and be a big girl and it sucked. I felt in a way, I was suffocating, which made going to work that much more difficult. But then I learned how to express a bit of who I really am while disguised as your mild-mannered fast food employee. I would wear my hair in pigtails. I’d add ribbons and pretty hair clips. I would wear brightly colored socks. Super frilly and girlie underwear. I would play with the kids’ toys when I had a free moment(we’re not going to discuss how many of those things I would end up taking home with me!). If there was a kid’s night going on, I would get in line to get my face painted. It also helps to have some coworkers who like to joke and play around. If you work in an office, you can always decorate your desk. There are so many fun things you can get for your desk. If you love Hello Kitty, there are TONS of office supplies you can get. Buy some brightly colored sticky notes and pens. Make the wallpaper on your computer to one of your favorite cartoon characters. Get a fun cover for your cell phone or tablet. Wear fun hair clips, but as long as they’re business appropriate.

If you’re a parent, there’s still things you can do to embrace your little side. While I don’t know exactly first hand about it since I don’t have any children of my own, I have done my fair share of babysitting. I know with kids, you still have to be the responsible authoritarian, there’s no reason you can’t let your little out. Maybe you and your child have some of the same favorite cartoons, board games, and picture books in common. If you have favorite items from your childhood, how much fun would it be to share those with your children? There’s always trips to the park, toy stores, and zoos where you can express yourself. Yes, maybe other adults may think your behavior is inappropriate and turn their noses up at you, but you’re bonding with your child, having lots of fun together, and making some fantastic memories in the progress. If you don’t have any children of your own, there’s nothing wrong with playing aunt or uncle to the children of your friends or other children within your own family.

Now, as for the whole mental state, when you find yourself thinking you’re too old to be enjoying typical children activities, that one is a little harder. Something that I have found that is a great help is having a support network of little friends who can help you through this. It’s always good to not be alone when you’re struggling and always make sure to let your big know. It’s such a wonderful feeling to get the reassurance you need from your big. And this last point, while it tends to be one of those easier said than done things, but remember, there’s nothing wrong with being who you are. All littles are such amazing and special individuals and it’s something we need to remember.

I want to leave you with this quote from American author Mark Twain. While I had been planning on doing an article on this topic for a while now, I didn’t know how to approach it but then I saw this quote in my inbox and was inspired.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter.