posted in Mom Stories
Motherhood looks so easy for younger moms. All those stories about leaving the hospital in your before-pregnancy jeans and grandparents who are young enough to take your toddlers for the weekend. Sigh.
I had my first child just eight days before I turned 36 and my second was born three weeks before I turned 40. And sometimes I look at most of the mothers of my kids’ friends, and wonder what it would be like to have had my kids 10 years sooner.
But, aside from the wrinkles, perky boob envy and boring baby announcements I sent out via snail mail, there are some definite benefits to being an older mom. I’ve got big kids now, and the unique perspective of hindsight. It’s not just Millennial moms who are winning at motherhood. Here’s how we moms of advanced maternal age crush it, every day.
Coddling: You get coddled by OBs and midwives when you’re a vintage mom. Monthly, then weekly, stress tests and lots of scans and encouraging pep talks. I enjoyed the extra attention. Warning: This is only a temporary status.
Less temptation to dress like your kids when they’re teens: Over the years, extra flesh has started to appear on my belly. This reduces the danger I’ll partake in the current trend of high waisted jeans and crop tops and for that I know my daughters are thankful.
You know how to be bored: You remember life before DVDs, Netflix and 150 channel TV: Odds are you were bored on a regular basis as a kid and are less likely to panic and throw a screen or mobile device at your child the minute they cry “bored now.” Instead you tell them being bored means they are having a proper childhood.
Low-maintenance friendships: With age you learn that the best friends are the ones who’ve known you since childhood, the ones who know you better than you know yourself, the ones you don’t actually have to meet up with or call regularly in order to maintain a connection. And letting go of the pressure to be a good friend as well as a good mother is a great burden lifted.
Less money spent on babysitters: Parties? Been there, done that. Where once I was anxiety ridden if I didn’t have some lavish New Year’s Eve or birthday party plans, now staying home feels like a blessing and a privilege.
Your kids think you’re an expert on the “olden days” and they will ask hilarious questions like “Did cars exist when you were a kid and “Did you really listen to Journey and wear turtle necks when you were in high school?”
School is far enough behind that you can’t recall the true torture of it in any great detail, and are therefore less likely to be viscerally triggered by your kids’ social woes.
Not afraid of dirt: You probably grew up before the antibacterial hand wash craze and expect or even encourage your kids to ingest a bit of dirt and germs now and then.
More confident in your parenting style: You’ve had more time to be an adult before becoming a parent and are therefore less likely to feel pressured by other people’s opinions on how to parent your child. (No I”m not talking about spanking.)
Life changes: If you time it right, you’ll be going through menopause when your kids are teens. Wait, this isn’t a benefit, it’s a potential nightmare.
Less incriminating evidence of your past: Most of my former elementary school teachers have passed or are long since retired, Thank God, and therefore cannot tell my kids what I was like in school. And with no social media footprint, my kids have to go to an actual library and find an old year book to see what I was “known for.”
Kids make you look and feel younger: I feel younger, inside and out, when I’m wearing these two girls.
photo credits: iStock and Betsy Shaw
Any other older moms out there who are appreciating the benefits of advanced maternal age?
This post was originally published in November, 2015.