Ever wonder what it is like becoming a mother at an older age and if it matters? The short answer is yes and no. The long answer, well, read my story to find out…
I was married when I was 35. I’d like to say this was by choice, but my husband was the first person to actually propose marriage. The older you are, the more set in your ways you become. Of course my biological clock was ticking away, but I didn’t notice, I was having too much fun putting 40 hours a day into my career.
This was in the lead up to the dot com boom and unless you lived through that hype curve, it’s hard to explain. Crazy things happened then. You could have floated a paper bag on the stock market in those days. It was both exhilarating and exhausting; I worked for some awesome software companies and was privy to three IPOs. Then I met my future hubby at a sales meeting in Cancun and life changed.
Future hubby lived in the Thames Valley and I was based in San Francisco. We dated long distance until he persuaded me to move the UK. From then on it is a blur and if I squint I can just about remember…
I got a fab job. We got married. I got a promotion. I got pregnant. I had a miscarriage. I got pregnant again. I had a miscarriage again. The clock ticked. I thought I would never be a mum. I got pregnant again. I had a miscarriage again. I am now 37. I get pregnant and this time I make it to 34 weeks when I have a really important presentation with the WW Head of Sales and two days later I give birth to a baby girl. She weighs less than a sack of sugar. She is in an incubator. I take four months off and hang out with my baby. I miss work. I go back to work. I love work. I am not going to give up work. I commute with this cute little baby girl and work while someone else looks after her at an on-site nursery.
I am 38 and my baby is crawling and I think one is not enough, she should have a sister. I get pregnant. I have a baby. I take four months off. I agonise about going back to work. I go back to work. I feel guilty. I ask hubby if he wants another baby. I get pregnant again.
Hubby gets a job in San Diego. While pregnant and working full time, I coordinate an international move. Thank God I have a nanny to help watch the four-month-old and the two-year-old. I quit my job. We move. I make it to 33 weeks and the newest member of our family spends seven weeks in the NICU.
At this point I have three children under three. I am 40. I am tired. Work? Are you nuts? We eventually move back to the UK and my life is full of nappies, fish fingers and endless loads of laundry. Blogging is cheaper than therapy so I become a mum blogger.
So, the positives of being an older mum are:
- Financial stability. Incomes go up as you get older and have more experience. That’s just part of life.
- Career fulfilment. I’ve done the career thing, and do not yearn for what could have been nor feel like I am missing out. I also have the security of knowing I could go back to earning.
- Wiser. The more experience you have, the more you know, the more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
- Eternal youth. Having young children keeps you young!
And the negatives:
- Health issues. Those eggs are just getting old. I had three miscarriages before our first daughter was born. Then I developed severe pre-enclampsia (common in older mums) and had to do the whole NICU/special care thing (twice!)
- No gap between kids. Our girls were born within a 2 and 1/2 year timeframe (no multiples). Yes this was planned. No it’s not fun.
- You are tired. All. The. Time. Three little kids wear you out.
- Age. How shall I put this, I am not going to be the granny that is out roller blading with my grandchildren. I just hope I am still here to see them.
And me? Can you please watch the baby while I pop out and collect my pension? 😉
Photo credit: merwing