Posts Tagged ‘blog’

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There’s no denying it, I’m an older mum.  I had my daughters at 37 and 40 and I’m now 50 with a 12 and 10 year old. However,  have never really seen it as an issue or problem. Sure, as I talked about in the post ‘Older Mum? Or Just Plain Old?’I got a certain amount of attitude about my age during pregnancy but I know I was fit and healthy and fairly very young at heart. I knew there are people who think being an older mum is not a good thing but have never paid too much attention to it.

However, now I am blogging, I have set up google alerts about the topics I wish to blog about and yesterday I came upon this discussion on Pregnancy and Parenting which asks the question ‘what do you think about first time mothers who are in their 40s?’. Whilst it’s a fairly balanced discussion I was quite stunned by some of the criticisms of older mums.

  • Older mums are selfish because they are not thinking of the child, their own health or the higher risk of birth defects.
  • Older Mums don’t have enough energy for young children
  • Kids of older mums are too ‘mature’ because their mums don’t/can’t get down on the floor and play
  • Older mums are selfish because they have a greater chance of not being there for their kids as adults or – even worse – the kids might have to take care of the aging parent
  • Older mums are selfish because they put their career first and then give in to this ‘sudden need’ to have a child.

Wow! Some people really feel this way about older mums! I would say that they clearly don’t know many.

Women that become mums when they are older seldom plan it that way. Some, like me, just don’t meet and settle down with the right partner until they are older. Some try to get pregnant but do not have a successful pregnancy until they are older. And, yes, some chose to wait until they are older and more secure financially and I’m sure there are the few that just feel that biological clock ticking and go for it. I would say each and every one of them DOES think about what they are doing – very carefully – as they have lost much of the impulsiveness of youth.

On the subject of energy. I have days where I have little energy and days where I’m full of energy. I remember feeling that way when I was younger too. I would say that 50 sounds really OLD until you get there. I personally do not feel OLD – I work out, I play with my kids, we have fun. I certainly got down on the floor and played with my kids when they were younger. I’m sure there are some older mums that don’t but I’ve also know younger mums who just sit around watching their kids play.

As for the subject of not being around for your kids as adults. Well I say pooey to you! None of us know when illness and death may strike. In general people live longer healthier lives these days so there’s a good chance I’ll be around for 30/40 more years for my kids. On the other hand my Dad died from brain cancer at the age of 61 having been very fit and healthy up until that point. You just never know what’s in the stars for you.

I guess the point of my post is not really to put the case for older mums. I say whatever works best for each person is okay by me. But to those that see us as wrong for being older mums PLEASE don’t tar us all with the same brush and see that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mums of all ages.

Have you ever felt affected by some people’s view of you? Or have you faced the stigma of a different stereotype at all? Do you think it’s okay to be an older mum or are some mums just pushing it too far nowadays?

I talked in this blog post about the fact that I refused most antenatal (or prenatal) testing when pregnant with my first child at the age of 37. What I really meant was that I refused the blood tests to show the possibility of abnormality. Most new mums these days go for all tests but older mums are particularly encouraged to do so because of supposed higher risks.

So, why did I refuse? At the time, where I lived, the earliest abnormality testing was the ‘triple test‘ which was recommended for women at my hugely advanced age – grrrr. This is a blood test that is taken between 16 and 18 weeks for best results. It’s designed to show the possibility of Down’s Syndrome and Spina Bifida.

Why on earth would anyone refuse this I hear you asking. Okay – here are my reasons

  • The test results are skewed by age (that is they factor in your age). Therefore in all likelihood anyone over the age of 35 is going to get a ‘bad’ result
  • A bad result leads to a push to have amniocentesis and I was very against invasive tests
  • The results would have arrived a very short time before the major abnormality scan or ultrasound
  • The ultrasound would show up any very major abnormality
  • I would have carried on with a pregnancy that showed slight chance of abnormality so why worry myself for the rest of the pregnancy with what might be wrong.

I know that there are other options for testing nowadays and I am all for personal choice but I urge anyone who wishes to avoid invasive tests to stand firm and refuse the triple test as it only gives an indication and, therefore, almost always leads to an amniocentesis in women over the age of 35 just because of their age.

What was your experience of ante/pre natal testing? Did you refuse any tests or go for the lot? Either way why did you make that choice?

I wrote in this earlier blog post how I overcame a whole load of fears and learnt to ski at the age of 49. Well, ever since then I have decide that there are certain things I am going to make myself do before I am too old to do them – my bucket list I guess. The main one on the list was to try something that the very thought of has always terrified me – to ride the zipline at Park City Mountain Resort. I had seen these things on TV and, since I’ve always had a fear of heights, thought that this would be a big no no. However, having overcome that fear to a degree whilst learning to ski I began to think maybe, just maybe I could do this.

I did, however, have a feeling that I might chicken out so I told my husband and girls that I was going to do it and to make doubly sure I arranged my August AuPair meeting at the resort so that some of my girls would do it too. Funnily enough, turns out most of them wouldn’t do it as they are just like I was at their age – over fearful but there were other things to enjoy at the resort so it made for a fun meeting.

Anyway – having husband, two daughters and my AuPairs there meant that there was now no way I could chicken out so I bought my ticket and Natalie from Austria and I decided to do it together (thanks Natalie – I love you!). By the time we reached the line at the top I was beginning to get nervous and as our turn came I was wondering if I could back out there but I just though ‘stop it!’ – you HAVE to go through with this. I was shaking as the guy strapped me into the harness and then he flipped the lever to let us go.

Well all I can say is WOW!!!!! It was an amazing rush from that first second. I loved every moment of it and Natalie and I are now planning on doing a longer, faster zipline at Utah Olympic Park. As an older Mum I am so proud of myself for doing this. My husband and daughters loved seeing me get such a rush from it and I feel I proved to my AuPair group that I’m not an old fuddy duddy at fifty :). I think the pics show how much I enjoyed it 😀

I finally feel at the age of fifty that I can do ANYTHING I choose to do. Tell me your stories of overcoming or facing up to fears. Or what’s on your bucket list? Do you have anything you feel inspired to just get on and do after reading this?

Many of us Mums work at home (or are WAHM’s) because we want to stay at home with our kids and raise them. Is it an easy option? No way man! Some days you feel that you are being pulled a million ways and the school vacations are the hardest. Some people choose to get a little extra help such as having an AuPair and some use camps etc. And some go it alone. I thought I’d do a list today of all the things I fit into just one day, though no two days are the same,  just to show what I do!

  • Answer and delete emails whilst chatting to my program director on Skype
  • Check Facebook updates
  • Check Twitter
  • Post recently prepared blog post
  • Start to prepare next blog post
  • Brainstorm other blog post ideas
  • listening to audio book of ‘Trust Agents‘ by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith while doing other things
  • kids wake up –
  • friends kid arrives so my 10 yr old can watch her for an hour
  • friends kid leaves – play date arrives for youngest
  • Update Facebook Business page
  • Put load in washer
  • talk to guy building fence about gate hinges
  • Wait! Realise haven’t had breakfast!
  • Post transition AuPair onto my website and onto Craigslist
  • Got distracted from breakfast so have early lunch
  • Empty dishwasher while making kids and me lunch
  • Load dishwasher and clean up kitchen after lunch
  • Put clothes in dryer
  • Update my business website some more
  • Youngest going to pool with friend, get all her stuff together and sunscreen her
  • Take eldest to music lesson
  • Run home and start doing some work on Social Networking Coaching Club with Ann Evanston stuff
  • Pick eldest up from music lesson
  • Dryer finished – fold clothes quick so I don’t have to iron
  • Put clothes away
  • Youngest phones and asks if friend can come for sleepover
  • Quick rethink on dinner for 5 not 4
  • Start dinner
  • Hubby arrives – needs to talk a lot about his day in his new role
  • Try to be as attentive as possible while feeding 3 kids and getting them helping lay table etc
  • After dinner do some more work on blog post ideas (and yes this is part of my work!) whilst watching So You Think You can Dance
  • Watch news a little
  • Forgot about fielding all the ‘can we have’s’ etc between all this.
  • Fall into bed and read latest book Olive Kitteridge for 1/2 an hour
  • Sleep!

And this was on a day that I didn’t do any cleaning or meet friends or go to the gym!!!!

What’s you day like? Is it as hectic as mine? Tell me about your life.

Last night I read a blog post written by a new bloggy friend of mine Jess Webb and, as often seems to happen, the blog post really hit home. Always seem to get messages right when you need them!

Things are really happening for me right now. I have been a Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair for a year finding new host families and nurturing their relationship with their Au Pair. However, it’s really only since March when I took over the area where I live that this business ‘clicked’ for me. The next piece of the puzzle was my company giving me the awesome chance to take a Social Networking Coaching Course with Ann Evanston. Well I am just loving it – I was fairly (well very) active on social media already but was just messing around really. Now the course is giving me a focus – to build my business.

The problem right now for me is that I am so excited by all that’s happening; sales are coming in, I may get a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, I’m meeting some amazing people through online networking; that I’m starting to get ‘scattered’ and losing focus.

I find it hard to know which job to do first, second etc. It doesn’t help that the kids are on summer vacation too and that I have the guilt of not ‘entertaining’ them all the time because all I want to do right now is build this business.

So, how am I handling this? On a good day (and the lovely Jess’s post has reminded me to do this again) I have learned to do the the following

  1. Take ACTION as per Jess’s blog post. Just do – don’t think about it.
  2. Make lists – I have lists for everything now – lists of must do’s and lists of little extras that need fitting in whenever.
  3. I’m finally using google calender to schedule everything – I’ve never been good at this but realized I needed to have a master diary when I forgot my eldest was being picked up by a friends mum and we weren’t here when they turned up – oh dear! Luckily they forgave me.

Life has got scarily and excitingly busy for me right now and I want to reap the rewards and reach my goals – I just have to remember to do all the above to help me cope and do it all.

What tactics do you use to get focused and ‘get the job done?’ Do you have any other hints and tips?