Are you an older mum? I am. I was pregnant for the first time at 39 and had the other in my 40s and as a result I’m always interested in articles on late parenthood. Even though mostly I’ve found it doesn’t matter whether you’re 25 or 45 years old as the issues around motherhood are the same. Kids who won’t listen/sleep/eat or pee on demand. Alongside, me-time issues, self esteem issues and of course the inevitable angst (and joy) of having kids.
So I found it really irritating to read an article in The Guardian called The Wrong Side of 45 – and I’ve got a toddler. This turned out to be a pretty depressing piece from a forty something mum basically complaining that late parenting is hard and tiring and that now she feels guilty that she’ll be drawing a pension by the time her baby goes to university.
Well, sorry but isn’t all parenting hard and tiring? A friend who had her first baby at 24 years old and her second at 40 says the only difference with early and late motherhood was that her tummy sprang back quicker the first time.
I find motherhood tiring because let’s face it bringing up small children who need you constantly is exhausting. Being 40+ doesn’t make it even more exhausting, I’m sure of this because my twenty something mum friends look just as wiped out as me. And at 40+ I am not so old that I can’t run after them in the park, play with them, juggle work and parenting and do all the same things my own mother did when she had my brothers and I in her twenties.
All of which is what leads me to believe that there are no perfect scenarios for parenting – you simply do what you have to do and then do it as well as you can. So whether you’re a young mum or older one I don’t think we need to load on the guilt by thinking that our age is making the job even harder.
But what are your thoughts. Let me know.