You Don’t Need to Tell Me I’m Old

I’m what you would call an “advanced age parent.” I was in my mid-30s when I had my daughter, as opposed to a number of my peers that had their first child in their early 20s.

Outside of where I live, most would hear my age and not bat an eye. Within the beloved beehive state, I seem to be a bit of an anomaly. Sure, there are other advanced-age moms, but those numbers appear to be few. (Shout out to the doctor that reminded me that my opportunity for childbirth was narrowing due to my age. Jerk.)

Since the birth of my daughter, I’ve noticed on many occasions where I’ve felt being the “old mom” has served me well.

  • My kid is pretty chill

I’m sure this part of her nature, but you can’t discount the nurture portion of the equation. I’m pretty confident that had I given birth while in my 20s, my daughter would be high strung. I was in my own head too much, and stressed out far too often over things that were out of my control. Now I can pretty quickly see what is worth freaking out over.

  • I don’t care about what other people think

One of the biggest bonuses of maturing is that as I get older I care less and less about what other people think in all aspects of my life. Do I want my parents to be proud of me? Duh, of course. Do I want my friends and family to be proud too? Sure!

And yet.

There is a stark difference between hoping someone is proud of you, or thinks of you in a positive light, and totally changing the way you live to appease someone else. If you’re not a fan of the way I parent, or the way I live my life, then it is more of an issue for you than me.

  • I focus on her when we get home at night

In my 20s I was preoccupied with my career, and I wanted to make sure I was always available and on top of it all. Now that I’m close to twenty years into my career (man alive, that makes me sound old), I know what is important and what can wait. **News flash: about 90% of it can wait!**

  • I’ve partied, traveled, and lived a full life

I know people who are so focused on what they think they are missing because they have kids. It’s a shame really, because all the things you think you’re missing don’t compare to what you have waiting for you at home (which, coincidentally, makes my life even more full than it was before). For me, I know I will throw big parties again, and I know I will travel. Will it happen tomorrow? No. But it will happen.

  • I’m more patient

Prior to having a child, I would have never called myself a patient person. Not even close. Since my daughter’s arrival, I have become increasingly patient. I can only assume because it is easy for me to remember that she is only a child and doesn’t have the same life experiences I’ve had, and didn’t arrive on earth knowing how to do everything. If I was still wrapped up in my own head and my own life, I don’t know that this would be possible. I’d be frustrated by the little things, instead of enjoying them as I do now.

  • I grew up on both sides of the digital divide

I once read that my generation will be the last group of people to remember a time before the big boom of technology, and the years following. While I can certainly attest to the usefulness of technology, I can also sleep at night knowing my daughter’s development isn’t in jeopardy because she doesn’t have her own tablet.

My grandma and her sister had their first four kids within months of one another. When my sister starting having kids, people assumed we’d do the same. Honestly, I really wasn’t in any hurry and I also wasn’t sure I wanted kids. I wasn’t anti-kid; I was just against doing it because that’s what women always do. When I finally made the leap and intentionally changed the course of my life, the timing couldn’t have been any better, for me and my family.

So, if you have people whispering in your ear that you don’t want to be an old mom, or you’ll be too tired to parent if you put off having kids, or you’re going to be the age of a grandma when your kid graduates, tell them to pound sand. Listen to your gut.  You won’t regret it.

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