Being an Older Mom

May 23, 2011

Brazilian sculpture

Sculpture at the Catacumba Park, Rio de Janeiro. Image by Eurico Zimbres

If you had told me when I was 22 that I’d enter my 40s and still not be a mother, I’d have called you crazy. At that age, I thought I knew who my husband was, and getting started on our five kids seemed right around the corner. (When you’re the eldest of 10, five seems like such a tame number.)

Instead, I walked down the aisle at 34 with a man I met at 30, and my 40th birthday has now come and gone. I have friends with kids in college, and I’m just getting ready for bottles and diapers.

There are days when it bothers me that I’ll be an older mom. I don’t have the energy I used to. I need a lot more sleep. I don’t like that I’ll be in my 80s (if I’m lucky) before my kids reach the age I am now.

But there are great things about being an older mom, and you have to focus on the positives — just as you would if you became a mother much earlier than planned. Despite our best intentions or plans, motherhood doesn’t always come along at the ideal time. And maybe what we think is ideal, isn’t.

I know mothers across the age spectrum. I’ve heard young moms complain that people often mistake them for a babysitter when they’re out with their kids. Other times they feel out of place with all the professional moms who started families in their 30s.

I guess whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, there are things about motherhood that are always challenging… and also wonderful.

If you’re a mom, did you become one when you were older? Younger? Did you ever wish you had started motherhood at a different time?

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