I became a mother at 42.
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.