I grew up thinking I’d have lots of kids. As an only child I thought the grass was greener in the big, noisy home, I guess. Then I went off to college and after moved on to Washington DC with a serious relationship or two under my belt, but nothing that stuck and babies seemed as far away as Brad Pitt. So, when I married Jason at the perfect age of 27, I kinda figured kids would happen a few years later. Every time we had the discussion kids were always a few years away until 36 hit and I suddenly felt my eggs drying up at an alarming rate. Yes, I could feel them 😉
Anyhoo, we had a miscarriage a month after we started trying to have a baby and it took us over a year to try again. We considered our life together and whether children had to be a part of it. Honestly, I was scared to try again. We both decided our lives would be great either way. And over a year later Gage was cooking.
All of this is just to show that I didn’t set out to become an older mom. Sometimes the years get away from you and it happens. But, there are a few distinct differences between older and younger moms. For me (certainly not all), I was in so much better shape when I was younger and now that Gage is starting to walk I realize that even when I lose some weight there will be aches and pains that wouldn’t have been there 15 years ago.
Also, I know so much more than I did in my 20’s. This is both a good and bad thing. From watching news (something I didn’t do much of back then) I am more aware of the dangers of pregnancy, childbirth, what to feed them, organic vs. not, etc. but there is something to be said for going into motherhood blind and full of naive excitement. Let’s be honest, we’re all a little naive until we are trying to comfort a screaming baby at 4 am when there’s been no sleep for days.
I do know myself and am happy and content with life, which is a good thing for Gage to see. At 27, I was still trying to figure out how to make that happen. I spent my late 20’s and early 30’s moving a few times, traveling quite a bit, trying a few different jobs and having lots of very cool experiences. But I know lots of friends that were happy and content to be having kids at that age and their kids will also benefit from personally fulfilled mothers. A few of my friends are grandmothers already, something I will have to wait a while to experience, if ever.
So, for every child rearing experience there are two sides and one is not necessarily better, they are just different. I do feel my age with Gage, but when I take him to storytime or to the gym, the younger moms are surprised that I’m 40, so I must be wearing it well 🙂 (Of course, they only say they are surprised if my gray hairs have recently been returned to their rightful dark brown)
What was the best thing about the age that you (or your mother) became a parent. For me, being an older mom, the best thing is being exactly where I want to be in life and having some great experiences and wisdom to pass on to Gage.