Motherhood at Midlife? Yikes!

Amy Kuras

amy kids
Me on my 40th
Have you ever bought gray-covering hair dye and a pregnancy test in the same trip? I have.

I just celebrated a milestone birthday this year and have two little kids, ages 5 and 2. I never felt like an "older mom" before that, maybe because I remember my parents being 40, and I was a teenager.

I absolutely don't regret waiting until my 30s to marry and have kids ... and even if I did, well, that's just the way my life worked out. I worked a ton at a job I loved in my 20s, met my husband at 27, we dated for a couple years, were engaged for a year while we planned our wedding, and started "trying" at 31, which led to two and half years of infertility (and that I do wish I could have avoided). Among my friends, we were hardly late bloomers, either. Maybe two couples I know got married before 25, and most people got married in their late 20s or 30s.

I found this article detailing the challenges and benefits of being an "older" mom really interesting. One of the issues is disconnecting from your friends, because they all have older kids, and finding a new community of moms. I didn't experience this; while most of our friends had kids before we did, they were only a year older or so and so no one was too far removed from the baby years to empathize with what we were going through.

Staying fit and maintaining an energy level that will let you keep up with your little maniacs, often on next to no sleep, is also a challenge. I personally consume more caffeine than I did as a college student, when all-nighters were common. And my second pregnancy was much, much harder physically than the first because I was just exhausted all the time. It's also a truly strange feeling when you're the same age as the grandmothers coming to pick kids up at school instead of the mothers.

There are benefits, too. I know I'm a lot calmer and more patient than I would have been had I had my kids young. And older moms, having had time to rack up successes in other areas of their life, tend to be more confident in their abilities ... and because we're way past high school, the competitive-mothering ridiculousness tends to be dialed down a bit. I'm also old enough to actually enjoy that most Saturday nights involve PJs and a glass of wine versus a cute outfit and a loud bar, especially since most of my friends are doing the exact same thing on any given weekend!

Are you a "midlife mom" ... and would you rather have had your children young, if the opportunity had existed?


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