the older parent

Girl1 and Girl2 didn’t arrive until I was in my mid/late 30s. They hadn’t got lost in the post, I just wasn’t ready for them. I wasn’t having a highflying career or travelling the world. I was just muddling along having fun, getting married, getting divorced and wondering what on earth was going on, getting remarried. Stuff. Life.

Then the Girl1 arrived and I was really baffled. I had to be responsible. To my amazement, they didn’t send a nurse home from the hospital to be sure she was being properly looked after. They seemed to think we’d be able to manage. I tried suggesting to Spurs Fan that I could go back to work a few days after the baby was born, and he could problem solve, but there was the issue of the breast feeding and the yuk, so I got to stay home.

We survived the feeding and the colic and tears and the eventual return to work. Girl2 arrived. Girl1 toddled around bringing nappies and readjusting to her world- where had all this noise come from and when was it going to go away?
In the early days I didn’t much notice my old age- the prenatal classes had several women in their 30s and I didn’t go to ‘parent and toddler’ groups. The first time my elderly status was brought to my attention was when Girl2 was rolling about in a ball bit at a soft play place. A woman approached me, asked if I was ‘mum’ and then said ‘It’s great to see older mothers out’ in a tone that suggested that I was being brave for daring to leave the house with a baby at my time of life.

When it was time for school I realised that not only was I amongst the oldest parents of the class, but that my peers had several children older than mine. Also, some of the children in the class had grandparents my age. When the teacher had a ’21 again’ birthday, Girl2 was happy to announce to the assembled masses ’21! My mummy’s 42′.

We’re all getting older, and Girl1 will hit double figures next week. When the teenage traumas arrive will I be ‘too old to understand’, or will my advanced age give me that granny type credibility?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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7 thoughts on “the older parent”

  1. I belong to your ‘over 30’ club. and Elly’s dad was older than several granddads! She didn’t turn out half bad did she? It does not matter what age the parents are so long as they love the children.

  2. I’m like you – I had my daughters at 35 and 37, and glad of it. If they were in their teens, I think I’d feel a lot older than I do, as though I’d moved up yet another generation.

  3. You’re right- I probably feel significantly younger than I am because the girls are wee. I’m nowhere near old enough to be a granny, or even to wear bifocals (optician disagrees, but what would he know?)
    I do think that Elly, Blue and Pink Daughters and Girl1 and Girl2 are pretty lucky to have us oldies about them!

  4. It’s absolutely mad to think that age is considered and older mother. Although, I. Slightly on the other scale of things. Had L at 25, and am only approaching my 26th year on earth In the coming months. When The Child was four months I was at a ‘mummy and baby group’ I was the the youngest and I was reminding of it for all of the classes I attended. I was questioned on my parenting techniques, “cloth nappys, that’s silly?” and looked down on and practically bullied out of the class. As a teacher, I have seen the ‘young mums’ and ‘older mums’ stick together. I don’t get it, age is just a number.

    1. Lauralooo, that’s just mad! While I didn’t really think of me being ‘old’, I never in a fit would have thought of 25 as being ‘young’. When I was having Girl1 there was a very scared 14 year old on the ward. Now, she was young. And vulnerable, and even more anxious than me. But she certainly wouldn’t have needed patronised or bullied anymore than you did!
      Some people just feel the need to be ‘one up’, whatever age they are.

  5. When teenage traumas arrive you’ll soon discover that your age doesn’t matter. Is simlpy that it’s ALWAYS someone else’s parents who are cool enough to understand!!!

  6. When my two children were born I was 25 and 40 – both ages have their positive and negative aspects – but the best of both is the kids themselves. Being a mom is a grand experience and your “midlife” baby will benefit from your life experience. I was told when I was pregnant with my second that it would “keep me young” – and indeed it has.

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