Reflections On Being an Older Mother

As I looked down at my 9 week old daughter on the change table, I suddenly realised I could have had her (or at least physically had a baby) half my life ago at 21. This would make her 21 right now. I would have then already trodden the path through the terrible twos, potty training, her first day at school, her first period, her first date, make-up, high school, career choices and possibly even marriage and her own first child. And these are only a fraction of the milestones I can imagine are yet to actually come my way.

In contemplating this, I’m not so sure I would have been able to navigate parenthood much before this stage of my life. I probably could have in my mid-30s but infertility denied us an earlier start (a story for another day).

Yes, being an older mother brings other issues but so does being a young mother. Pros and cons both ways.

When did you have your first child? Do you think age has anything to do with how you mother your children?


18 thoughts on “Reflections On Being an Older Mother

  1. I had my first at 35. I thought I was still quite young…now, I’m about to turn 40, and I’m just as clucky. I did find it quite a shock when my first, Boy-Who-Asks-Questions, burst into my life. I often wonder whether the older you are, the bigger the shock – you know, all that time to yourself that you didn’t appreciate until it was taken away by that small helpless, but incredibly demanding, bundle. Nothing prepares you for how hard it is. But at the same time, nothing prepares you for how wonderful it is.

    • I totally agree with you, Lisa. Getting used to losing independence and personal space was a shock but I can see younger mothers struggle with that too. Yet, I wouldn’t trade my girls for anything. My life has been enriched in becoming a mother. Thanks for coming via the rewind.

  2. There’s pros and cons to mothering at all ages. The only constant is that we all try to do our best no matter what our age. I became a mum at 30, very average. I’m now 35. There’s days when I feel way too old to chase my youngest…and there’s days when I feel too young to know what I’m doing. You know?? Visiting from the Rewind xxx

    • I totally agree! We do what we gotta do to be the best parents we can be. I never realised in “the before” that I would be learning and changing so much as a parent as I have been. The little ones are growing and learning about their world and I am growing and learning about theirs and mine too. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I had my first just before I turned thirty. It worked for us. I think we are not always given the opportunity to choose when we have our kids – sometimes you get what you get.

    I am in my late thirties now and feel like I would have a lot less energy to deal with a newborn. Although I am sure I would cope if that was my life circumstance.

    • You are exactly right. We can’t always pick when. In my situation, we couldn’t. Even if we’d tried much earlier, we may have still had the troubles we had. I do wonder if I’d have had more energy 10 years ago and I might have, but mentally and emotionally, I was also a different person. Life is what it is and happens as it does. Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Great post. I often have these thoughts. I’m 42 now, my boys are 7 and 4. They could be grown. But then my life would have been so different and I wouldn’t be the mother I am now. Some days I think that could be a good thing – but mostly I’m happy with how things turned out.

    • Thanks, Allison. It’s a bit surreal imagining my girls, the eldest who is not yet 3, being grown up, and me possibly even being a grandmother (if I and they had started very young!). I agree that life would have been different otherwise. I am much more settled as “me” than I was even 10 years ago at 33. I do feel a tad worried about the future, which will leave us as older parents, and I wonder if I’ll get to be a grandmother if my girls wait as long as I did. I was one of four and really appreciate having siblings, especially now as we are getting older. That was one of the reasons we really wanted at least two children and glad that providence gave us two, despite our initial troubles. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. I was 32, but had lost thee babes before our son arrived. I think this influenced my parenting more than my age. I still compare myself to my Mum though – when she was my age (40), I was at Uni, and my youngest sister was in high school.

    • Hi, Leah. Thanks for dropping by. I can imagine the losses have had a deep impact. Whilst we struggled to finally get there, we did not have to face the anguish of loss. I know it would have changed my feelings and thoughts too. It’s funny you mention 40. I still vividly remember my mother calling me on the morning of my 40th birthday and wishing me happy birthday. I said to her it was strange that I was 17 when she turned 40 and yet I didn’t even yet have children yet. I always have a little wry smile when I remember that story because little did I know I was actually pregnant at that time. I only found out a week later!

  6. I was 34 and 36 when I had my two sons. Travel, life, a career, not meeting Mr Right until I was 30 all contributed to this. Today I am feeling VERY old, but recovering from a friend’s 40th birthday party and dancing until 2am will do that to you. Popping in from the weekend rewind. xx

    • My story sounds a little like yours, at least in initial stages. I worked and travelled for a while before and after I met Mr Right at 30. I got married at 35 and also intended to have children mid-30s ie: immediately, but infertility issues delayed that for us, but we got there in the end. I do feel old thinking about your friend’s late night party. I wonder how much more out of touch I am going to be with my kiddies once they get to their teens. I shudder to think about it and hope I can find a way to stay/be a hip, happening and current mum even when I’m in my (argh!) 50s. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. I’m 34 and still don’t have children. I’m fairly certain that your age does define your role towards motherhood in some ways though. I have this past year inherited an almost-stepdaughter & I’m not sure that if I was younger that I’d be able to cope with the intricacies are our relationship!

    visiting via The Rewind.

    • Hi, Charis. I think age does play a part too, though not necessarily in a bad way. It’s just different and also different for different people. Age can bring a level of maturity though as we get older, I hope the age gap doesn’t bring problems. I’m going to work to ensure it doesn’t, as much as I an prevent it. Thanks for dropping by.

  8. I had my first at 31, my second at 33, and my twins at 35. I would never have thought that I would have squeezed so much into such a short window of time! My situation is pretty physically demanding, so I am glad I wasn’t any older (and sometimes wish I were a bit younger). At the end of the day, you get what you get. It is what it is. I think there are many factors that influence how you parent, and age is only one. Thanks for a thought-provoking post and for joining the Weekend Rewind x

    • Wow! You sure did squeeze a lot in. Four in four years sounds quite like my brother and sister-in-law actually though there were no multiples – 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002. If I’d stayed very fit (a quality that slipped away a long, long time ago!) I might find it easy to run around a lot now. I know I need to work on that. One can be fit, or not, at any age. I guess the main issue with age is just a concern I hope not to lose touch with the “what’s in” as they grow up. I definitely don’t want to be a fuddy-duddy, grandma mum way before my time (actually never!). Thanks for dropping by.

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