Posts Tagged ‘career’

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?

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My youngest daughter, just turned 10, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up says ‘a mum’ – well actually she is now saying a mom unfortunately ;). Thinking about this led me to think about what influence I, as her mum, have on her and her sister and the whole nature versus nurture debate.

Youngest looking very comfortable with my BFF's baby

I sometimes feel guilty in this day and age for being a SAHM who has never really pursued a career. I wonder what I’m teaching my kids and I often tell her that she needs to find a career before she becomes a wife and mum. But does she? She is a natural around babies and kids just as I was as a kid. I always babysat, I was an AuPair for 5 years, did daycare in my home and always wanted to be a mum. Have I taught her this or was she born this way?  Oh the guilt of it all – lol

Well, I would feel guilty except I look at my eldest who is 12 1/2 and she is totally awkward around babies and young kids and wants to work in  movies as an actress, stylist or costume designer. Whoa! Where did that come from! Nothing in her upbringing instilled this into her she was always that way inclined – we have encouraged it but it’s innate.

Eldest looking rather less comfortable 🙂

So, back to my influence. I’m hoping I am showing them that they can can have it whichever way they choose. I may not have had a career as such but I always worked and provided for myself until WE decided I would stay at home with the girls. Even then I always did something to bring some money in and for my own self esteem. I did the daycare, I ran an ebay shop in the UK and I did some party plan direct selling in Australia. Now they see their mum working her butt off to grow her own business as a Coordinator for an AuPair program so it’s not as if I have sat around dusting and watching soaps all day.

I married a great Dad who allowed me to be the mum I wanted to be by taking on the responsibility of providing for us. Sure we took ‘traditional’ roles to a degree but mainly because I REALLY wanted to be with my kids.

Anyway – the upshot of this rambling is that I think nature way outweighs nurture. Both my kids have the same parents doing the same things and bringing them up the same way and one wants to be a mum, primarily, and the other wants a career in the movies.

What do you think your influence is on your kids with regards to what they want to be when they grow up? Do you think you have any or that their talents and wishes are innate?