Being an “Older” Mom (Okay, I’m Old, Not Older!)
There is no right time to become a mom. We all become moms when we become moms. I can’t say that I was a better mother at 37 than I would have been at 25 when I started trying to get pregnant. That seems impossibly young at this point!
Did life experiences help? Maybe. It is hard to say.
I was more content with who I was at 37 than I was at 25. At a younger age, I might have changed how I parented to fit the other mothers around me.
Another advantage that I did have was that I didn’t have to worry about establishing myself in my career while trying to balance having children. I had been in my job for 15 years before having children. When I had to start taking time off for doctor’s visits and other appointments with my children, I had the respect of my peers and supervisor and had a ton of leave time built up.
On the other hand, there are some distinct disadvantages to starting on the parenting path at an older age.
- Energy. I certainly don’t have more energy now than I did when I was younger.
- Missed opportunities. I missed the opportunity to be a mother with people my own age. All the people I’m friends with have children who are in their teens or are young adults. My kids are still in elementary and pre-school. That puts me at a big disadvantage when trying to figure out how to handle the issues my children are dealing with. I don’t have anyone to bounce problems or ideas off of.
- Being mistaken for a grandmother. It kind of sucks when people we run into, that don’t know us, ask if they can give something to my grandkids. But they have a good reason. Well, actually two good reasons. I’m old enough to have a mid-twenty year old child and I’m a foster/adoptive parent. Our kids don’t exactly look like me or my husband. It is easy for others to assume that I must be taking care of my grandchildren.
- Young grandparents. My children also don’t have the benefit of having young grandparents. My parents are in their 60’s and my husband’s parents are deceased, but they passed when he was in his 20’s, so even if we had children when we first began trying they wouldn’t have been alive.
- Patience. I don’t think I have any more than I did before.
A little over a year, my brother-in-law said he wished we would have had become parents 10 years earlier. At the time, we were siting beside my husband’s ICU bed watching life support devices keep him alive at the age of 48. He had suffered a life threatening stroke a couple of days before and was now unresponsive.
I could see his point. We would have been younger and healthier. My husband would have had 10 more years to be with our children. And who knows how that difference might have impacted his long-term health. Luckily, he did survive and continues to improve.
However, I didn’t agree with my brother-in-law. Yes, we could have had birth children at a younger age. Or, we could have had a placement before the 3 that were finally placed with us. We were foster parents for over a year before we had our first, and only, placements (other than their younger sister that we picked up from the hospital after her birth). But, we wouldn’t have had the children that we have. These are our babies. I don’t for one second wish that we had kids naturally or sooner. Or God forbid had birth children now. Yikes!
God bless the broken road that lead us to our children!
How do you think your age has impacted your parenting?
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