Posts Tagged ‘parent’

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?

This post was originally posted as a guest blog post on @newbreedmama’s (her twitter name) blog. The post means quite a lot to me so I decided to repost it here.

We recently went on a family road trip to California and visited The Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco. This took me back to memories of me when I was around 11 which is smack bang in between the ages my two girls are now (12 and 10) – I grew up in England by the way.

At that age I had an Easy Rider poster on our playroom wall and used to borrow my teenage neighbours record player and records for a weekly disco that I ran for my school friends. I used to charge a small entry fee and with that I bought biscuits (cookies) and lemonade to for all my friends. Early signs of entrepreneurship?

I also remember that The Isle of Wight Festival was on and my teen neighbours went. I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad wouldn’t let me go with them! And I remember that my mum would try and recreate all the 60’s fashions for me as she made most of our clothes and she even bought me a pair of boots like the ones in the picture.
These memories made me look at my girls and how hard it is to let them grow up and be themselves. It’s so hard to let go and I had far more freedom at that age than my kids do now. My eldest got really upset the other day over some little thing and sobbed that she wished that she were 18 and that we didn’t tell her what to do all the time (I seem to remember that we had told her off for not doing some small chore). I remember feeling way more grown up than I was allowed to be.

I do also remember those hormonal ups and downs but it’s so difficult to know exactly how to deal with them as a parent of two girls. I do my best and communicate and hug way more than my mum and dad ever did but I still feel I’m not quite getting it right. Add to that equation two very different personalities in my girls and I’m learning that each one is going to need very different things from me as a mum.

We have started to allow them some freedom. My 12 year old went for a sleepover with a 13 year old friend the other day and was exploring our small town and riding around on the free bus in the town and she loved it. I was, of course, worried sick. We also drop them at the movies on their own and leave them at home alone for short amounts of time while we go to yard sales or on a date night.

I’m learning that this time is way more difficult than when they were younger even though we have the freedom to go out without them at times. I’m also learning to understand where my mum and dad were coming from all those years ago.

How do you cope with either the actual or the thought of the process of letting go with your kids? What are you learning from seeing your kids grow up? Does watching them grow up bring back memories of you at that age?