Why Motherhood Now

I became a mother at 42.

FORTY-TWO.

Even with the average age of first-time mothers going up (and it’s even older in NYC, with the average age being around 30+ years), I’m still significantly older than just about every other first time mother.

Despite being a planner my entire life, Life had other plans and timeline for me. I didn’t meet Ben until I was 34. We didn’t marry until I was 37. And then there were a bunch of things happening in my life that made me postpone parenthood. In spite of the ever looming “fertility cliff” (also watch this from Adam Ruins Everything), I chose to put off becoming a mother until I was in a state where I could focus my emotional and mental energy on caring for someone who is solely dependent upon me.

I’m finding that there are some advantages to becoming a parent at a much older age.
1. Financially we’re very stable. I don’t need to worry about our ability to pay for anything related to being pregnant or caring for child in the future.
2. I accomplished the major goals for my career, and so I’m in a position where I don’t need to worry about “climbing up the ladder.” I’m very fortunate to have job security and I don’t need to worry about having to balance a career and caring for my child.
3. I’m way more relaxed about raising a child than I would have been if I had become a parent in my 20s or early 30s. If I had been a younger parent, I know I would have been concerned about raising my child the “correct” way. I would have been caught up in worrying about what other parents are doing and freaking out whether I’m truly doing enough to give my child the best chance in life. I know that children are resilient, there’s no one correct way to raise a child, and what they really need most of all, is a loving stable family life. Anything else is gravy. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be a laissez-faire parent, but I’m far more secure about the choices that I make about what works for us as a family than I would have been if I had been younger.
4. All of these things resulted in me in having the luxury of being able to really enjoy motherhood because I don’t have to worry. I’m not stressed about money, my job, or whether I’m doing it “right.”

So while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that people wait as long as I did to become a parent, it’s also not a bad thing to enter parenthood at a later stage in life.

8 thoughts on “Why Motherhood Now

  1. I think it’s so great, for all of the reasons you mentioned. Everyone has a different path, and this made the most sense for you! Also, this made me remember that my great-grandmother had my grandmother (my mother’s mother) when she was 43. And that was in 1913! Probably a lot more shocking back then. 🙂

  2. I have several friends who didn’t become parents until after 40. I even know a couple who became parents in their early 50s (their wives are a bit younger, though). They seem really happy as parents at this later stage in their lives. I think being more secure emotionally and financially is a big bonus in later life parenthood.

    My son was an unplanned pregnancy when I was 24. I was the first of my friends to become a mom (by a lot), but I was fortunate to be financially secure then. On the other hand, I went through grad school with a toddler, which was a hell of a challenge. I was exhausted all the time. However, now my kiddo is out of the house (he’s 25), and I have my life to myself while I’m still young enough to enjoy it. So there are pros and cons both ways.

    I’m so happy for you!

    • Thank you! I don’t think there’s a perfect time to have a child, just times that would probably work better than other times.

      I have friends who had children earlier so they’re getting ready to have their children go off to college, meanwhile I’m talking about diapers. LOL

  3. I envy you for waiting until the timing was right for you. If I had it to do over again, I certainly would have done things differently regarding who I married and when. Had I been a bit older I would have hopefully have been wiser and not made the same decisions. Motherhood is one of the best things to have happened to me, though. BTW, my daughter is a HUGE Adam Ruins Everything fan and we’ve seen every single episode of his, some more than once.

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