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Why I Love Being an Older Mom (Even Though It Was Not My Plan)

Why I Love Being an Older Mom (Even Though It Was Not My Plan)

Who makes the better parent, a young mother or an older one?

Circle of Moms member Esther D.'s question, posted in the Debating Moms community, is one that circles through the culture periodically. What is the ideal age to have kids?

To me, any "versus" question (in this case young moms vs. older moms) is almost always a strange one, as "either/or" set-ups lend themselves to polarizing — when the truth is almost often more nuanced and multi-faceted.

Many anecdotal generalizations have been made about the virtues of being an older or a younger mother. Have you ever heard anyone say the following? "Have a baby when you're young and have lots of energy," or "Wait until you're older — you'll be so much smarter." In reality many of us don't choose precisely when in our lives we have babies.

I'd wanted a child since I got out of grad school at 24, and by my late twenties this desire had become a full-fledged elephant in the room. And I was even in a relationship — but my (much older) partner at the time was quite adamant that kids were not in the master plan. Because I was happy in other ways I put a lid on that desire, as best I could, and, as it turns out, for misguided reasons. It's never really a good idea to just give up something of such dear importance, but at the time I thought of it as a compromise for the greater good of the relationship. On the contrary, this turned out to be the issue that brought that partnership to its knees. Unfortunately, it took 15 years to unravel to the point that I could fully get out. 

After I finally extricated myself and spent a couple of years on my own, I fell in love with someone I had known for a long time who'd never seemed like "relationship material." Flash forward to 2011: We've been together for six years, married for three — and we have a two-year-old son. And I am now 45.

I had Olin when I was about six weeks shy of my 43rd birthday. I should add that I don't feel or look particularly old, but 43 I was. And the number scared some people. Doctors stamped my chart with "advanced maternal age," and I got monitored a lot more frequently in late pregnancy. I didn't mind any of that. i had a completely symptom-free pregnancy — the most severe thing I experienced was a new aversion to fish. And I only gained about 20 pounds, so I didn't ever feel overwhelmed by my size. I was also extremely lucky with labor and delivery. We wanted a natural birth at the hospital, and that's exactly what we got. I was allowed, by some miracle, to push for six hours, something I was told most doctors don't sanction. 

And now we have this gorgeous, non-stop two-year-old creature running around without a care. And yes, in case you're wondering, sometimes I am so bone-tired I can't keep up with him. Sometimes I wish I were 27 and limber enough to swing him around in circles over my head for as long as he likes. And sometimes I think that if I'd had even one more hour of sleep, my achey knees might hold up longer. And I know that when he graduates from high school I'll be 58...and I wonder what he'll think of that, really. 

However, what trumps all these questions and and what-ifs is the reality that I am exceedingly happy. Giddy. Delirious. Thrilled that this boy is on earth and that he's mine — and completely cognizant that this would not have been possible at any earlier time in my life. 

Am I smarter than I was when I was younger. Yes, but not as a mother. I learned everything about being a mother from my son, and so that knowledge did not magically accumulate in me all through my twenties and thirties. No, I am a new mom in every regard. And this, paradoxically, keeps me young. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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GloriaGlick GloriaGlick 3 years
Gloria I understand what is to be and older mother. I am 58 now and I had my son at 43. Yes, it has been extremely hard to keep up with everything every year of my child. I was diagnosed with fibromylgia but I thanks God I had a great pregnancy. Always been very happy with having a son. Now he is a teenager and my husband and I have to try to understand him and be aware of all of the teenage stuff. I would not advise to have a kid at older age ( after 40) is not good for the child these times are different than the ones we were raised as kids.
NancyJennings9874 NancyJennings9874 4 years
I can totally relate to everything you wrote. Espically the almost excessive monitoring. I would have liked to have started earlier but the time wasn't right and I didn't have the right partner. I am loving every day of being 46 with a 6 year old and she does keep me young.
LaressaMarengere LaressaMarengere 4 years
I think tiredness is part of the job description. I am 27 with2 children 17 months apart. Lots of days i go to bed bone weary.
LindaHonan92919 LindaHonan92919 4 years
I feel the same way you do about being a mother for the first time. People think that you should know more than youger mothers but, this is not true. I was 39 when I found out the shocking news, my DH was 50 at the time. I know that my DH's dad was older and it bother him, and it bothers him that he is an older father. I never thought I was able to have children so it was a surprise to say the least. Not that we were trying, I guess he was just ment to be here. My DH has 3 older girls in theit 30's from his 1st marriage, so he was so happy that we were having a boy. I would say that I am have different ideas on how my son is raised being older and all, compared to my DH's younger daghters.
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