10 great things about being an older mum

10 great things about being an older mum

There’s a lot to be said about being an older mum. I know as I had Small Boy at the ripe old age of 41. But what? Well I’ve given this a lot of thought and here’s my starter for ten.

1. I’ve done all my partying

Okay, I’m not saying you’re going to be a hermit from here on in but I’ve had a good stint of boozing and raving through my twenties and thirties and was ready to retire from a hectic social scene anyway.  Most of my friends are in a similar position, albeit with older kids so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

2. I’m in a good place with my career

I’ve had several significant career changes in my life but still in a good place. I feel like I’ve made some good choices, made some calculated risks, know my skills and established my reputation. This means that negotiating flexible working or taking time off at short notice if Small Boy is ill has been a breeze. It also means that making some career sacrifices now is much easier. I don’t feel like I’ve got to keep grinding out to make my mark.

3.  I’m less influenced by others

I’m not sure whether it’s solely age or because I don’t have time to waste, but I’ve found that I’m less likely to tolerate any nonsense or unsolicited parenting advice than some.  It’s difficult to patronise at forty something year old woman than it is younger. This is true for relatives, health visitors and just about anyone else who is going to take a peak at your vagina or tell you how to raise your child.

4. I’m financially secure

While I’m not rolling in money, I do have a good handle on my expenses and know how to budget it well. This comes from experience and living on my own for ten years, and being responsible for our household finances for another ten. Good money management comes from time and practice – and the occasional emergency (I’ve been made redundant twice and my husband has been once). I know how to save money which makes for a less stressed household and helps with the inevitable expense of having a child.

5. I’m okay looking a bit tired/ frumpy/dishevelled

Perhaps this isn’t an age thing but in my hay-day  you only had to stick on a clean top to look presentable for a night out. Now it’s tan, nails, high heels. That all seems like a lot of work to me. I’m comfortable with a capsule wardrobe which consists of leggings, tunics and occasionally a pair of skinny jeans. In short, I’m happy to be dressed to go to soft play at any time and to crash on the floor and build with Duplo. I’m not sure I could hack the pressure of looking good all the time.

6. I’m self aware

I’ve been an adult for quarter of a century and have seen quite a lot of drama. I’ve also suffered from anxiety, stress and depression, and seen a counsellor. I’ve spent a lot of time understanding my moods and what makes me tick, so all things considered I’m reasonably well adjusted. I know my triggers and when I’m being irrational. I still get frustrated when Small Boy refuses to go to sleep after an hour of trying, but I know how to deal with that now. In the long run that should help towards a happier little boy and a less worn out Mummy.

7. People assume I’m younger

I have to admit it does feel good when someone assumes that you’re ten years younger than you are because you have a little boy. Perhaps I’ll feel differently in ten years when they think I’m his granny, but for now I’ll take the compliments.

8. Statistically, I’ll live longer

This shocked me but there’s been a few studies on this and women who are mums past 25 will live longer than those who have their first child under the age of 25.  Women who have children over the age of 33 live even longer.  I’m not sure why this is but maybe it’s because kids keep you young, or maybe it’s because you are less likely to have more children.

9. I have friends to help me

Because I’m older, so are my relatives so we have little support from them, but as I’m the last in my group to have a child, they really understand how tough it is. I’ve been able to get advice from them, hand me downs and also practical help when I’ve needed it. As their children are older, it’s easier for them to help out in an emergency. I don’t ask often but there was an occasion when hubs was overseas and I came down with gastroenteritis and one of my friends took Small Boy (then 5 months for the day for me).

10. I appreciate everything and take nothing for granted

The most significant disadvantage of having children older is that it’s more likely that they may be your only child, as fertility in women decreases with age. That said, you truly cherish every moment.

Many of these are not exclusive to older mums of course. There will be plenty of upsides to having children younger too. Are you an older mum? What do you think, have I missed anything out?

 

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53 Comments

  1. Yolande
    27th July 2018 / 4:25 am

    I had my first child at 42, my second at 44, and I’m currently expecting #3 (at 46). 😀

    • 27th July 2018 / 6:42 am

      Congratulations! That’s fantastic news 😀

  2. Michelle | The Willow Tree
    15th February 2018 / 1:02 pm

    Love this post and I love how you feel you can be confident in your self more and feel less influenced! #sharingthebloglove

  3. 15th February 2018 / 7:29 am

    As I met my husband when I was 16 we were married and started having children at 21 and 22. I look back and think ‘wow you were just a child yourself’. I had bundles of energy and passion for Motherhood, but I would have been wiser with a few years under my belt. My kids are our best friends however, so it worked out for the best. Loved this post. x

  4. 14th February 2018 / 9:07 pm

    I can relate to a lot of these – I didn’t meet my husband until I was 32, I had my eldest at 35 and the little one at 37 (and I’m 40 in a couple of months). What was different for me is that most of my friends have been the same age when they had children too so we’ve all been at the same point together. I come from a family of older mothers too – my mum was 36 when she had me, and my Grandma was 32 when she had my mum (which in the 1940s was pretty old to be having a baby). My Grandma died when she was 94 so maybe there is something in the living longer thing! #BloggerClubUK

  5. Kirsty
    13th February 2018 / 9:20 pm

    This was such an interesting read for me. I was a youngish mum having mine at 27 and 29. Whilst I can also boast some of these things, such as money management and being done with my party days (I crammed a lot into a few years) I can not boast about the career (I sadly had to give it up and some of that is due to my age and lack of “ladder” climbing I had been able to do). I also wish I had been better at not listening to the unsolicited advice, especially first time round.
    Thank you for linking to #ThursdayTeam x x x

  6. 11th February 2018 / 11:17 pm

    I’d agree with these. I was 34 when I had N, but most of my friends had had their 2 children, and at 34 you’re classed as an older mum. The self confidence certainly makes a difference – I had no baby experience, but just took everything in my stride, and still do. I certainly worry less than a lot of younger mums I know. #sharingthebloglove

  7. 11th February 2018 / 6:57 pm

    Well, you have shocked me! I would never have put you ay 41! Looking good lady! Thanks for sharing this with #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday!

    • 11th February 2018 / 7:05 pm

      43 now!!! 44 in August. It must be all that running about in soft play. Heck of a lot of moisturiser. Seriously though I’m surprised as I think I look like crone most of the time. Always soooo tired.

  8. Sarah Stockley
    10th February 2018 / 2:56 pm

    I had my kids at 25, 27 and then 30 – I am now 37 and fell I have much more patience being in my late 30’s. Having 3 I would consider myself done but I have plenty of friends who have gone on to have children way into their 40s. I think its great. #TheListLinky

  9. 10th February 2018 / 1:19 pm

    I went down your list going – tick, tick, tick agreeing with every single point wholeheartedly. But the one about living longer really shocked me – in a good way. For me I think it is because they keep you young and there is more effort to stay fit and healthy to keep up with them, because you know that as you get older you can’t take those things for granted. Lovely post. #AnythingGoes

    • 10th February 2018 / 1:35 pm

      I was surprised too! I think it’s probably kids keeping you young even if they’re tiring. I wonder if it’s true of grandparents who have young grandkids too?

  10. 9th February 2018 / 9:29 pm

    I agree with all these things. I had my son at 29 and it was such a different experience to when I had my daughter at 36! The only down side is that I feel the need to have children every 6-7 years and now would like another one but at 43 I feel like I might be past it! #Thursdayteam

  11. 9th February 2018 / 10:56 am

    This is interesting. I’m a mum at the other end of the scale as I had mine in my mid twenties. There are certainly a lot of things on your list that make me envious – financial security, self awareness, longer life (eeek! Maybe I’ll have to have another one in a few years’ time so I can tick this box! Haha) – but, like everything, we just have to make our own choices and there will always be pros and cons #sharingthebloglove

    • 9th February 2018 / 11:30 am

      Absolutely! I don’t think there’s any right time. There’s ups and downs, pros and cons whatever your age and circumstances. We had Small Boy late as I didn’t meet my husband until I was in my early thirties, and he was in his early twenties then. We have had eight years together without baby and that was great. Not exactly a choice but there’s definitely some positives which we benefit from. Not sure I would have wanted to leave it any later though, aside from the whole biology thing I’m pretty tired. Who knows though, there are lots of ways to have children and there are so many older families forming through adoption and fostering too.

  12. 9th February 2018 / 10:36 am

    The level of comfort we have, or maybe it’s just really not caring what others think, is a tremendous help! I am 54 with a 9 and 7-year-old! Yeah! <3 #TriumphantTales

    • 9th February 2018 / 10:38 am

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t care what people think about much anymore, but it’s taken a long time to get to that point. Saying that, I think that being permanently tired and not having the energy to care forms part of it. That’s probably true for all parents!

  13. 9th February 2018 / 9:09 am

    I find it fascinating reading about other people’s experiences of parenthood. I’m not an old mum, but not a young one either (I had my first at 30), and I related to a lot of these. I do think you become more self confident in your 30’s, which definitely makes parenting easier. The one thing I’d have loved would have been more friends who’d already gone through it. I was the first of my friends, and it did feel quite isolating at times. I’d have loved having existing friends for advice and support. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  14. 9th February 2018 / 5:04 am

    I’d love to know the details on #8. That’s the opposite of what I would have thought. Though I have no idea why I thought that either. #Stayclassymama (and I’m an OLD, OLD mum – wasn’t being judgy)

    • 11th February 2018 / 12:15 pm

      I think the general view is a) hormones and b) having something to motivate you to stay sprightly and always exploring new things. I think kids keep you on your toes and you always learn to fall in love with little things and see the world in a new life. I’m not sure that there’s a direct causal relationship, or something else going on. It may well be that it’s the having additional care when you get into later years that makes the difference.

  15. 8th February 2018 / 11:53 pm

    Wow, this is one amazing list… and each point is so valid!
    But looking at your pic I never would’ve guessed you’re on the other side of 40 – you look so much younger!!!
    #TriumphantTales

      • 9th February 2018 / 5:28 am

        I’ve still got baby brain. It’s the sleep deprivation. I forgot my address the other day!

    • 9th February 2018 / 5:28 am

      Aww bless, it must be good lighting (or maybe I’d had some sleep at that night!)

  16. 8th February 2018 / 8:54 pm

    You do look a lot younger! I hope the statistics are right and I get to live longer, I do think that having children keeps you young. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  17. 8th February 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Well that’s interesting. I was a young mum, I had BP when I was 23. 🙂
    #BloggerClubUK

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      8th February 2018 / 7:20 pm

      What do you think are the great things about doing it younger? I hate to say advantages because I don’t think there’s any particularly good age or time to have kids, more a case of upsides to some situations over others. I imagine having kids younger means you might have more energy, plus have more help around. Also you still have a lot of your “career years” ahead of you once they start school. Ideally I would have liked to have children earlier but it wasn’t on the cards for me, I just hate this labeling of older mums as “geriatric” by the medical profession, like all women can be lumped into a category. I know lots of people who are older than me who are financially more flaky, and those who are incredibly fit compared to me. Similarly, I know lots of much younger people who are far more “together” in their lives than I am and who are incredibly successful.

  18. 8th February 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Love this. I know a few other mums too and they are so happy with their decision to become a mum over 40. #stayclassymama

  19. mummy here and there
    8th February 2018 / 3:16 pm

    Yes to the less pressure and being more comfortable in your own skin makes a big difference X #triumphanttales

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      8th February 2018 / 4:48 pm

      I’m sure that there are a lots of parents of all ages who don’t feel pressure to parent a certain way, but I do know that I’m more “stuff that” with pretty much everything in life, whereas I used to be a bit more of a pleaser. That might just come from being parent though. I know I certainly don’t have the time to entertain other people’s agendas or subtext any more, everything is pretty much centered on what’s good for our family rather than what other people thinks our family need.

  20. 8th February 2018 / 1:46 pm

    It’s interesting to read the statistics about having babies later in life and living longer – but I especially love your take: Maybe it’s because you have less kids! Gave me a grin.
    ~Jess
    #StayClassyMama

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      8th February 2018 / 4:46 pm

      I honestly think it’s why. I only have one and that’s stressful enough. I have so much respect for parents who have more than one. They have juggling skills that I can only dream of!

  21. 8th February 2018 / 12:46 pm

    There are pros and cons to both I think. Age is meant to bring wisdom so some of the practical and emotional aspects of motherhood may be easier. But younger mums may find recovering physically easier … I’m sure there are others as well.

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      8th February 2018 / 4:45 pm

      Completely agree. I might do a 10 reasons it might be easier to have kids earlier – particularly your body bouncing back. I’m not sure if it’s just me but even before I had my son I definitely noticed things beginning to go south. I definitely don’t have the energy I had at 20, and that was certainly true before I had Small Boy too.

  22. 8th February 2018 / 11:40 am

    My husband always jokes and says perhaps we should’ve had our kids in our 20’s cause by now they would’ve been in their 20’s now and off our necks. Truth is being 40 something and looking back – I’m glad we decided to have our kids in our 30’s. We were wiser, financially stable, we enjoyed our lives up till we had our kids and yes I definitely look younger hence my latest blogpost about age. So being an older mom has it’s benefits. Thanks for sharing.#StayClassyMama

    • 8th February 2018 / 11:44 am

      Couldn’t agree more. We didn’t choose to have children so late – well late for me (hubs is 8 years younger than me) but that’s how things planned out. There’s lots of benefits, not that I’d recommend it particularly. Age is just a number in so many ways.

  23. 8th February 2018 / 10:12 am

    All true — I am an older dad, and I do wish I was as sorted as you sound, but I do relate to most of what you say. I do get teased, of course, by my 14-year-old daughter for my appalling taste in music. If you knew what she is dissing I hope you would be appalled in turn. I always thought I had great taste in music! #ThursdayTeam

    • 8th February 2018 / 10:43 am

      Haha I have excellent taste in music! Lord knows what our son will think when he grows up as our tastes range from Robert Johnson to hard trance. I expect a lot of eye rolling some day.

  24. 7th February 2018 / 6:19 pm

    My Mum adopted me at the age of 42. She had children in her twenties too. So she parented from 1952 until I left for university in 1987 and then looked after my first son for me when I went back to work in 2000. She always said having me in her life had kept her and my Dad young. I think there are advantages to becoming a mum young or older but I enjoyed reading your list. #TriumphantTales

    • 7th February 2018 / 6:40 pm

      I think there’s a lot to the keeping you young thing, and you are right there are upsides to having children young or old. I would have had children earlier if circumstances had allowed but it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think there’s any particular best time to have a child. It’s tough and challenging whatever age you are, and unique circumstances for all of us. Part of me hopes my son doesn’t leave it too long though (not yet though, he’s only two) as I’d love to be fit and healthy enough to support him. A downside of us having children older (we’ll me, not my husband who is a lot younger than me). We would have probably adopted later on again if our son hadn’t come along, although we wouldn’t rule that out. I’ve learned that life can throw some funny curve balls at you and the right time or set of circumstances to do big life things is rarely achieved. I’d love to seem someone do a “positives of younger parenting” post too, but just as there’s a stigma around being an older mum, there’s plenty of judgement around that too.

  25. 7th February 2018 / 5:52 pm

    I guess there’s no right time to have kids, it’s just when it’s right for each person. I’m the opposite end of what you’re going through. I’m 46 and haven’t had a child at home since i was 42. i don’t feel that my youth was impacted on or that I’m now too old to enjoy life. I do however get a bit bored thinking of the years ahead of me though with not a lot to do #triumphanttales

    • 7th February 2018 / 6:16 pm

      I’m sure you will fill the time! It’s all about perspective isn’t it? I think there’s benefits and downsides to every age because as you say there’s no right time. I’d definitely like a younger, fitter family around me to help share some of the load. For me, there’s a lot of prejudice about being an older mum. Being labelled a geriatric Mum by the medical
      Profession when you’re over 36 isn’t great! I guess I’m saying there’s an upside, like all things.

  26. Sophie
    7th February 2018 / 4:34 pm

    I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages for having children younger or older. As long as you enjoy them and do your best for them, then that’s what matters. Fun post though. #bloggerclubuk

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      7th February 2018 / 5:35 pm

      Absolutely. I can think of a lot of advantages to being a younger mum too!

  27. 7th February 2018 / 1:06 pm

    Older moms unite!!! I am 48 with a 7-year-old!!! Would not change anything. #bloggerclubUK

  28. 7th February 2018 / 7:23 am

    This was really interesting. I had my eldest child when I was 22, and I was the first of my friends to get married and have kids and it could be quite isolating at times. I had my last baby at 30, and although that’s not an older mum by any stretch, I had friends in the same situation and it was nice to share it with them. #globalblogginguk

    • Helen Treharne
      Author
      7th February 2018 / 5:40 pm

      I think it can be challenging at either end of the spectrum, depending on the network you have around you. My mum was 19 when she had me, which was quite young even then. On the positive side, everyone in the family was younger so able to support her practically a lot more. The downside was she was married and with a little one at a very young age and quite isolated as a result I think. I’m the other end of things, lots of friends with kids now or who have done it, and I’m definitely in a better position to access services and negotiate my way around things (including being in a good place in my career so getting flexible working was a relative breeze), but we have no real support from the generation above us – age and all that. There’s benefits and upsides and downsides to whenever you have a child, but despite women having children later there is still a significant stigma against it. You only have to go with the health service labelling you are a “geriatric mother” to see that.

  29. 6th February 2018 / 11:06 am

    I certainly agree with all of these. I wasn’t a mum as late as you but I had my first child when I was 32. Im now 37 and I’m still undecided if I’ll go for child nr 3 or not and to be fair I’m in no rush to decide because i know i still have a little bit of time to do so. PS: you look so young!!!!! Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • 6th February 2018 / 11:52 am

      Haha thanks Pat! I don’t feel it some days.

  30. 6th February 2018 / 1:45 am

    Great post! I was almost 39 when my daughter was born so I can relate to all of this. I feel like I am more patient now than in my 20s and 30s. Things that used to drive me bonkers don’t even register anymore. I’m also more comfortable with uncertainty, not knowing everything and trusting my instincts. I guess these things come with life experience.

  31. 5th February 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Ahh … I love this! I agree with all of these things! Definitely the security you clearly feel in more than just one aspect of your life.
    #stayclassymama

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