As I lie here with a bag of frozen peas on my lower back because I now have a muscle strain/spasms due to lifting my 30-pound two-year-old, I am feeling a little down about having my last two babies in my 40s. I can’t help but think that this injury would not have happened if I were a younger mom in my late 20s or early 30s. I start to go down the path of the many challenges that can arise when you have children in your 40s and how I will be over 60 when they go to college and possibly even older than 70 at their wedding! But, I am not the type of person who likes to wallow in negativity. I generally try to turn my negative thoughts around and know that with any situation there is always a positive spin!
So, what do I love about being an “older” mom?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I actually had a twenty-year career before I decided to stay at home with my girls. I feel like I put in significant time and was successful in my endeavors. Many women who have children when they are younger struggle with wanting to advance further in their career versus staying at home with their children and not meeting their post-college career goals.
I had a ton of fun in my late 20s and early 30s while living in San Francisco. Bar hopping, dating, traveling and “finding myself” were all a part of these two decades. Of course, I still like to socialize and love going to wine bars or to Napa Valley, but I don’ t feel like I missed out.
I have read that older moms are more patient. While I don’t necessarily know that this is true for me (lol), I do know that I feel more experienced in life and more confident. I have little tolerance for drama and things that used to get me riled up no longer phase me.
I feel comfortable in my skin. Sure, I wish it was easier to lose my “mommy tummy,” and it’s an ongoing work in progress, but I think when you turn 40, you just have a greater comfort in being your authentic self. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had Botox or take extra care of myself to look younger. It just means that I don’t really care what others think about my choices in maintaining my youth. I am comfortable with my decisions, and I am comfortable with who I am.
I get to stay connected to a more youthful crowd. Having my third baby at 43 means that some of my new mom friends are a decade younger than I am. While that can feel awkward at times (like when I asked them if they videotaped something and they look at me with a confused smile), it generally keeps me young at heart. We are going through the same toddler tantrums, night wake-ups, and potty training, so I still feel as though I fit in.
I have much better financial stability than I did ten years ago. We live in a super expensive area, and I feel very blessed that I can afford to live here and can have luxuries like a nanny and a mom day off. This would not have been the case a decade ago.
There are pluses and minuses to having babies at any age. I truly feel blessed to have three healthy girls, two of which are 14 months apart and were born when I was in my 40s (and not exactly planned this way). There are days like today when my body feels over 40 and there are moments when I wish my life had come together a bit sooner, and I had kids younger, BUT life just unfolds differently for each of us.
Editor’s note: This article originally published on June 17, 2018, and was lightly edited prior to republishing.