Despite being categorized as an Advanced Maternal Age (AMA) mom, I don’t look quite my age so I don’t get that many comments about being an older mom. If you look closely though, you will see my many gray hairs and fine lines but for the most part, people rarely guess my age correctly.
I got married in 2009 when I was 34 years old. We probably should have gotten started right away in building a family, but we waited a year. After the year passed, we started trying, but not that actively due to being busy with our careers. We eventually got pregnant in January of 2011, but that ended early. We got pregnant again in October of 2011, but that ended early as well. After that, we took a break to heal both physically and emotionally, and in September 2012, we got pregnant which resulted in the birth of our daughter in May 2013 when I was 38 years old.
I’ve read one too many articles and heard one too many opinions about how old you should be when you have kids. Everyone says you should have your first child before you turn 35 because the risks in pregnancy go up after that. But you can’t really control when you get pregnant. If you could, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would have had kids earlier or later than they did. But it’s out of your control. I do believe though, that our daughter was born at the perfect time for us and where we were mentally and emotionally.
When I was in the my 20’s, I knew I wanted to get married and have a baby before I got “too old.” What I considered to be “too old” at that time was someone who was 30. Looking back now, I had no clue as to what being old is. I’m well past 30 and I don’t feel old!
P R O S:
1. I HAVE A BETTER SENSE OF WHO I AM. As I have gotten older, I honestly don’t care as much what others think of me. When I was younger, I was so much more insecure as a person and spent much of my 20’s trying to please others and cared a great deal about what people thought. It left me feeling drained and unhappy because I was making decisions or living my life for others, and to make them happy instead of making myself happy. It wasn’t like I was doing this all the time, but I remember placing a great deal of importance on other people’s opinions and what they thought. And now it’s not that I don’t care what someone thinks, but it doesn’t rule over me.
2. I AM MORE EMOTIONALLY STABLE. It kind of goes along with #1, but I feel like I’m just more stable as a person as I have gotten older. I am a lot more patient, relaxed, and calm than I was when I was much younger. It helps a lot when dealing with a toddler, although I still lose it at times.
3. CHOOSING CAREER VS STAYING HOME. I had a great career as a teacher for 14 years. (Yes! 14!) So once I had my daughter, I knew I wanted to stay home with her pending our financial situation. Things worked out so I was able to stay home and I don’t regret it one bit. There are moments when I do wish I had more adult conversations, but I know that childhood is fleeting so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I know that I will never have this opportunity to be with my daughter like this again. Growing up my parents worked all the time to build a better life for us. As much as I appreciate all that they have done, I wish that they could have spent more time with us instead of constantly working.
4. NOT A LOT OF REGRET. Being an older mom, I don’t feel like having a child has robbed me of my youth or time. In my 20’s and 30’s, I got to travel, buy things I wanted, and hung out with friends enough so that once I got married and started a family, I didn’t have a lot of regrets (minus maybe traveling to Europe). Of course there will still be places that I want to travel or things I want to buy, but I am very happy and grateful to be where I am right now. I feel like I’m at peace with who I am and where I am in life.
5. FINANCIAL SECURITY. Because both my husband and I worked for many years prior to getting married and having a child, we are more financially secure. We don’t have a huge amount of debt and we are not living paycheck to paycheck. I remember when I first graduated from college and got a job, money was tight. I was also paying off school loans which added to my financial burden. I couldn’t imagine adding a child into the mix. I know many people do it and kudos to them. We still have a budget and are not reckless with our money, but we also don’t constantly worry about finances.
C O N S:
1. I MIGHT MISS OUT ON SOME OF LIFE’S MOMENTS. I know I’m not that old, but by the time A graduates from high school and college, I’ll be in my 60s. I joke that I might be in a wheelchair by then! I also think about how old I’ll be when she gets married and if she chooses to get married later in life like I did, then I don’t know if I’ll be around to see it or to see her have kids herself! If I was younger, then there would be a greater chance of being around for all those special moments and being able to enjoy them.
2. ALL MY FRIENDS’ KIDS ARE OLDER. I am one of the last out of my high school and college friends to have kids. When they were busy being wives, mommies, and raising kids, I was running around working and living my single life. Being in a different stage in life, I drifted from many of them. But we do get together about twice a year to hang out and catch up but rarely with the kids. Their kids are so much older than mine. That was one of the reasons finding a first time mommy group was so important for me. I had to build a mom tribe with women who had children that are around the same age so that we can commiserate with each other.
3. I get tired. I think I have a lot of energy for being a 41 year old mom. I try to take A on playdates, outings and play with her, but I get tired and by the end of the night, there’s very little energy for much more. If I were younger, I think I would have more energy and maybe even go out after her bedtime, but these days, I want to go to bed when she does!
4. Treatment at the hospital. I know it was a necessary evil, but I really disliked being labeled AMA and having to go through extra tests because of my age. I also had to do a non stress test every week during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It was rather taxing having to go to so many doctors’ appointments. I know that they are all precautionary measures, but sometimes I wish they wouldn’t assume older moms need all those extra tests and almost scare them into thinking they need them. As a first time mom, I listened to my doctor and did pretty much everything they suggested. I don’t know if I will do all that the next time.
5. Having another baby. Due to being an older mom, I should have had my second child about 9 months after A was born (Irish twins anyone?)! All joking aside, I do wish in some ways that I got pregnant right away after having my first child. I know that if we want a sibling for her, we need to get pregnant asap and I don’t like that kind of pressure.
Are you happy with the age that you became a mom? Would you do anything differently?
JeeYoung Dubs says
You’re an amazing mama, and you are not old my beautiful friend! Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you sweet sweet friend!! xoxoxo
Yes!! Totally agree!! I got pregnant at 34 and delivered at 35. My original Doctor labeled me AMA but when I moved to California they said I wasn’t. At that point I already had the diagnostic ultrasound and blood test, though.I CONPLETELY agree about not feeling like I’m missing out on anything. I spent 13 years in a very fulfilling career, traveled, lived in Hawaii, spent way too much money on clothes and eating out… I was ready to be a mom and even though it was totally unplanned and not exactly the best of circumstances, I couldn’t be happier “just” being a mom. ?
LOL! I’m totally happy being “just” a mom too! You’re still a spring chicken girl!! Isn’t it nice to feel like this? I know some moms who had kids young and they felt like they didn’t get to do everything they wanted to.
I’m an older mom as well/ I had my daughter at 43 and it’s exhausting and most rewarding thing I have ever done!
AMA moms united!! Yes, being a mom has been one of the most rewarding things ever!
You’re YOUNG! And you’re doing great 😀
Thank you so much for your encouragement!!! xoxox
Loved reading this. My friends all have older kids too, it’s nice though because they help keep my kids entertained at restaurants!
Thanks Shahla!! That’s true– every once in a while we all get together with the kids, and the older ones totally play with the little ones. 🙂
I started motherhood at 27 and continued at 30. I think that was the perfect age for me because my husband and I had been married a year, dated for 3. We’d traveled a good bit, owned our own home and had minimal debt. It’s different for everyone.
Yes! That’s amazing that you guys got to travel and do all those things before starting a family. I have some friends who had kids right away and struggled a bit. I do wish I had my daughter when I was younger though but it wasn’t in my control. 🙁
Thanks for sharing this! I’m a younger mom but appreciate the point of view.
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!!
While I’m not a mom myself, my parents were in their sixties when I graduated from high school. I certainly was raised differently from my friends with younger parents. But my parents age was a great influence on their parenting style. It gave me and my sister beautiful old souls. 🙂
Awww.. Thanks for sharing! I hope that my daughter will have a beautiful soul too. 🙂
Chanel van Reenen says
Girl you look hella good for 41! I literally thought you were in your late 20’s. No joke. As far as being tired, I think that’s par for the course of having small children. I’m always exhausted and I’m 32!
Thanks babe! I try to take care of my skin but I feel it in my bones. LOL. and yes, being a mom makes me super tired. But sometimes I just think its because I am older.
I always forget how old you are! You always seem so full of energy and are so down to earth, I forget our age differences and all those things listed above. I didn’t even know what AMA was until I read your blog. You don’t ever boast about those pros or complain about those cons. You’re such an amazing woman and mom and I’m so lucky to know and learn from you! Thanks for sharing, I love hearing your perspective on things!
AWWWW TIFF! I love you! You didn’t know what AMA is because you are no where near being AMA! 🙂 I’m amazed by you and all your energy and everything you do with your two girls!! and you keep such a clean house and cook yummy food!! You’re freaking amazing!! So glad you are in my life. Thanks for reading!!
The AMA label is so dumb. I had my third child at age 35 and I only turned 35 two months before he was born and they still called me AMA. The only bonus was I got extra ultrasound and I loved getting extra peeks at my baby in utero. I totally agree with your points, older is better in many ways even though it has a few drawbacks. Thanks for the post!
I guess hospitals have to do all that to cover their butts/bases in case someone tries to sue them or complain about treatments. Thank you for reading!! 🙂
That’s wonderful that it worked out so well for you in the end. I’m glad to hear a positive spin on having kids older! Articles usually focus on the negative, but you explained the pros very well.
Thanks for your comment! I know, there’s always so many negative things people say about being an older mom. But I’m happy to be where I am.
Hi mama! Great read! These are all things I have thought about but I think that a lot of women in my generation are waiting to have kids until later! I’ve always said there is never a right time, and this is just proof. There will ALWAYS be pros and cons!
Yes! A lot of women are having kids later and later! And you’re totally right– there’s pros and cons to everything!
Rebecca Cofino says
This is a very thoughtful piece. It’s funny; I have friends who are grandmas (We’re 40) and others who have newborns. For my set of friends it’s really all over the place, but leaning more towards later. My kids are 6 & 7 and I did them back-to-back. I love being an older mom, but I do wish I had more energy. I also think it’s really hard to lose the baby weight, because we have to deal with metabolism slow-down and perimenopause on the heels of the postpartum time.
Thank you for this post. I am 28 and am waiting a few more years to have kids. With all my friends having kids, it’s easy to forget all the positives to waiting! <3
Yea, enjoy time with your hubby before you start a family. Once you have one, things just take longer and are a bit more stressful. But it’s also one of the most amazing experiences in life!
I’m so glad to hear the pros! I’m approaching 30 and a lot of my friends, and some family, have already had kids so I worry about our kids (when we eventually have them) growing up without others around them.
Thanks for reading! You don’t have to worry– I’m sure your future kids will have plenty of people to play with. There are so many play groups that you can join on Facebook or on meetup.com. And I bet when you go on family trips, the older kids will want to play with or take care of your kids. 🙂
I think there are pros and cons either way. Sometimes I wish I had my kids when I was a bit younger, but I love that I dont ever feel like I am “missing” anything since I did everything I wanted to do. 🙂
Yes! I think that’s one of the greatest pros– I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. When I got married and had my daughter, I felt like it was the perfect time because I had already had a great career, traveled, and done a lot of things I wanted. I was ready for this next stage and had no “resentment” or anything.
I completely agree with every thing you said. I got married at 39, had two losses and then pregnant at 40 with a healthy baby girl at 41. Now 43, I think I am a much better mother than I personally would have been at a younger age, but goodness I am tired. Good luck with your journey to #2. 😉