I was a young mom when I brought my first baby home from the hospital. I was so inexperienced with baby sleep schedules that I was sure we would never sleep again. I spent many nights bouncing, rocking, and even driving around the city trying to get a reprieve. As one child grew to be three in six years, I was still a young mom that had lots of energy to chase my kids. I did all the fun stuff of riding bikes, hiking trails, and jumping on the trampoline with them. I took them to festivals, the state fair, and never missed a Disney on Ice event. We attended concerts and rodeos. We tent camped, played in the lake, and spent a lot of time at the park. We were busy all the time!
Finding out I was expecting after 40, was a whole new ballgame.
First off I was sent for quite a few prenatal ultrasounds. I was also referred to the high-risk specialist obstetrician. When I questioned why, the twenty-something receptionist replied, “Ma’am its because you are old!”. My chart termed it ‘elderly’ though my body didn’t feel old.
With this pregnancy I moved a little slower, at least until I went into labor. Then it was a frantic ride to the hospital with 911 offering an ambulance to meet me on the side of the highway. I refused to have my hubby pull over and we arrived with 15 minutes until delivery. Recovery time was smooth, baby nursed well, and our family was now complete.
However, anyone who has older children and babies realizes you spend a lot of time in the car, buckling car seats, and carpooling the older kids. This was my life for a few years until 2020 shut the world down. Piano lessons ceased, schools shut down, life changed everywhere. I’m sure you know what I mean?
Being closer to the end of my 40’s has left me with less energy to expend on driving. Being gone all the time makes me tired and sometimes grumpy. I still play games with my school age kids, watching family movies together, and reading lots of books. We have adjusted how many times we go out of the house each week and as homeschoolers we actually have some control over our schedule, which I love! We are still busy, but it is doing home oriented things now.
You might wonder “Do my children born after 40 think they are being slighted having an older mom?”
No, they don’t–they enjoy the time we spend together here at home, often saying, “Do I have to go?” when it’s time to run errands. Their activities are not the same ones that entertained their older siblings, but they are just as fun. In fact, my older kids often comment how much more the little ones get to do now that everyone else is grown up. They get a lot of individual time with mom and dad, running errands or working here at home. Funny enough, they also get offered more treats and surprises when we are out and about—there is less to buy for!
Parenting at every age has advantages. However, I appreciate parenting as an older mom so much more than I did as a young mom. I am more relaxed, more grateful, and yes, probably lenient not sweating the small stuff.