10 Benefits of Being an Older Mum.Oct 04, 2021
I never wanted to be an “older” mum.
It wasn’t my plan. But sometimes things don’t go according to the way we plan – sometimes they work out better.
The thought of being an old mum terrified me, if I’m being completely honest. I started trying to conceive when I was 33 – on our honeymoon to be exact. We didn’t have any time to waste!
But every birthday that passed, I dreaded that clock ticking over. A year closer to “old mum” territory. My mind would go wild imagining what that looked like.
I had visions of being confused with my child’s grandmother instead of their mother. I was so worried about what people would think or say behind my back. I pictured picking up my children from school where there would be a whole heap of mums with tight butts in their workout gear, and I’d be sporting a flabby wrinkly ass in sweat pants.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my children. I imagined them running around the park with me sitting on a park bench, unable to move for fear of breaking my hip or having a heart attack from exhaustion. I’d be the tired mum.
I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to relate to them or play games with them. I was scared they wouldn’t think I was a fun mum. And I didn’t want to be so out of touch, that I’d continually use that phrase “back in my day……..”.
I was worried that I wouldn’t live old enough to see them graduate school or get married. That I’d miss out on so much and I wouldn’t be there for them.
So many fears were attached to that picture I had in my head of what it looked like to be an older mum.
The longer our journey took, the more I regretted not starting earlier. I felt guilty for not settling down sooner. For putting my career, my love of travel and FUN first.
Our family ended up taking 7 years to complete.
Our little boy, Luca, was born when I was 38, via a surrogate. Then when I was 39, I got pregnant naturally with Sophie. I was breastfeeding at my 40th birthday party.
I’m now 45, Luca is 6, and Sophie is 5. I guess you could consider me an older mum.
But I don’t feel like it. And they don’t care. To them, I’m just MUM.
In fact, I LOVE being an older mum. There are so many benefits that I was never able to see beyond my fears. So, I’m going to share them with you, just in case they give you a little peace in amongst your ticking clock.
Before I go any further let me be clear - I am definitely not saying that I’m a better mum than my friends who had children younger. But I believe that for me, personally, I’m a better mum now than I would have been in my 20’s or early 30’s.
Here are 10 benefits that I PERSONALLY have found from being an older mum –
- We’re more financially stable. Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on fertility treatments, my husband and I were able to pursue our careers and become more financially independent. Our financial position in our 30’s compared to our 40’s is drastically different.
- I have a greater appreciation of time with my children. I know how precious it is, because the older you get, the quicker time seems to go. I now treasure every moment more than I would have in my 30’s.
- I’m more independent. I’ve worked on climbing the corporate ladder. I reached the point in my career that I wanted to, and I was able to grow and develop coping and negotiating skills that I now use in motherhood. I’ve also come to the realization that work is NOT the most important thing.
- I’d like to think I’m more worldly – I’ve travelled and really experienced life – both the good AND the bad parts. I have real life skills that I can now teach my children. I haven’t stopped learning and growing – we never do – but I’m not in the immature stage of trying to work out what is really important.
- I’m more mature emotionally. If there’s an insensitive comment thrown my way, I don’t react. Which means that I’m teaching my own children emotional intelligence because they watch my every move and absorb so much.
- I no longer worry about what I look like to other people. Yes, I am the mum in sweat pants picking up my child from school. But I don’t give a shit. If they’re commenting behind my back, that’s ok.
- While mum guilt is still there, it’s not as debilitating. I know what is truly important in life because I’ve been thrown a whole lot of perspective. I’ve lived through tough times. I know the most important thing in being a mum is loving my children. And I love them fiercely.
- I’m actually ready to be a mum. I know that sounds weird – I felt like I was ready at 33. But looking back, I would have struggled. There were still things I wanted to do and see and learn. But now I can say with 100% confidence, that I don’t have regrets or feel like I’m missing out on anything by being a mum.
- I have a more laid-back approach to parenting and don’t sweat the small stuff as much. I know I’m going to get some things wrong. And I’ve failed enough in life that I know it’s not the end of the world.
- They are keeping me young. I feel it, because I look after myself better – I eat better, I move more, I limit the toxins I put in my body, so I have more energy and am healthier. It’s actually proven too (yes, I did a little googling). A study published in the Menopause Journal determined that women who had their last child after 33 years of age, were twice as likely to live to the age of 95, compared to women who had their last child before they reached the age of 30. Women who have babies over 40 are also likely to live longer than those who don't.
As I said, this is MY experience of being a more “mature” mum, and I can honestly say that I LOVE being an older mum.
So, if you have the same picture in your head that I did – perhaps with you sitting in your rocking chair while your toddler runs around you, let me stop you right there.
There are more benefits than you know.
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