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MidAge Mom is for women who are parenting in midlife rather than celebrating the empty nest on a beach in Bali . . .

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Posts Tagged ‘late motherhood’

Why Older Mothers Rock

We all know the disadvantages of having kids late.

It’s harder to get pregnant and pregnancy can be tougher than if you were younger. You’re more likely to develop diabetes or high blood pressure. Your risk of chromosome abnormalities resulting in Down syndrome is also higher.

I had to do fertility treatments and had C-sections with both of my daughters, born when I was 40 and 42.

But actually being an older mom rocks. The benefits of having children over 35 or 40 are significant. The more research they do, the more they seem to find.

Consider five advantages of having kids late:

-Your children are smarter and better educated. Swedish research shows that babies born to older mothers stay in the educational system longer, are more likely to attend college and do better on standardized tests than children born to younger mothers.

-Your children are better behaved. A study done in Denmark found that children of older mothers did better emotionally, socially and behaviorally. This was because their mothers were more psychologically mature than their younger counterparts and, for one, didn’t scold their children as much. Frequent scolding has a negative effect on behavior.

-You live longer. A New England Centenarian study found that women who gave birth in their forties were four times more likely to live to 100 than women who gave birth at a younger age. Perhaps the women who had children late were just in better shape to begin with. But I can also say from experience that having children late keeps you young.

-You’re more emotionally and financially secure. By 40 you and your mate have probably established your careers and are a lot more stable than you were in your twenties.

My husband, Bill, got tenure as a law professor a few months after our first daughter was born, allowing him to share parenting in a way he would not have been able to do otherwise. By the time we had kids, I’d lived in Los Angeles, New York and Nicaragua. I’d gotten a lot out of my system and was ready to settle down in Miami, where we still live 20 years later.

-You’re less likely to experience cognitive decline. Researchers at the University of Southern California found that women have “better brainpower after menopause” if they had their last baby after age 35. Their research cited strong evidence of a “positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition.”

That’s not to say it is easy to be an older mom. I have less energy than I would have had at a younger age. But the advantages are significant, and this is only a partial list.

I’m definitely a better parent than I would have been earlier. What about you? Share by commenting below! Or email me at: jenniferbhull@gmail.com

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A Great Resource for Midlife Moms

Are you looking for a place to connect with other women and get information about motherhood after 40?

Recently I discovered a site that has tons of valuable resources for midlife moms as well as active forums. I’ve just begun to explore all it has to offer. You may want to check it out too. Here’s the site’s description:

FlowerPowerMom.com—The Truth About Motherhood After 40, features real mom stories, expert advice and the first online community to empower all women on the journey of motherhood after 40. A Child After 40 online offers support and free “Ask Our Expert” educational forums on midlife motherhood—from fertility, ART, pregnancy, birth or adoption, to parenting after 40.

I’ve signed up to participate in their forums so maybe I’ll see you there!

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Oh, Those 20-Something Moms!

It happened the other day at a restaurant. I was having lunch with my older daughter when a young woman with a baby in the booth behind us caught my eye.

She must have been in her early twenties. No big deal, right? The average age of a first-time mom in this country is 25.

But as always when confronted with a much younger mom, I found myself a little shocked. She’s the norm. Having had my first child at 40 and second at 42, I’m the outlier. But to me, she feels odd.

Once again the questions flooded my mind.

How can she be mature enough to handle a baby? How did she find the right mate so early – or did she?  How can she be a good mom when she’s barely had a chance to grow up herself?

Biased questions, no doubt.

Yet there’s a way in which big deviations from one’s own experience seem strange, even when you’re the one living beyond the law of averages. My late-mommy skin has become so familiar that I can’t imagine life any other way.

I know it’s possible to raise kids well in your twenties. (Younger than that, I think parenthood is a real challenge.) My own mother had me at 25. And I’ve met women who wed early and have been happily married for decades.

But these experiences are so different from my mine that I have trouble comprehending them.

So the encounter with the 20-something mom is always jarring. I have to make a conscious effort not to judge her. I have to remind myself that she’s the norm and I’m the renegade.

After all, imagine what she must think of me!

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What about you other moms who had children late? Do much younger mothers prompt certain thoughts? If so, what are they?

Do you feel like the new normal or like an outlier? Please share your thoughts here!

Photo Credit © Albinutza/Dreamstime.com

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