Recently I wrote a post about my issues with fertility. I was in my forties when all my baby drama was happening, so when I read an article in the New York Post entitled Mom-to-be Janet Jackson has no idea what she’s in for by Anna Davies it really resonated with me. Come on, every mother on earth thinks Janet is nuts at 50 to have a baby (yet she probably won’t be actually raising the baby like the rest of us schmucks would -most of us aren’t married to billionaires. I digress.) BECAUSE WE KNOW BETTER!
I gave birth to my first son at 42 and my second son at 44. I had no idea how tired I would be and neither did my husband who is almost 5 years my senior! Don’t get me wrong. I ADORE my boys and revel in every insane minute of motherhood, but I am crashed out at 9pm. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. That’s with or without a glass of wine. My body aches when I wake up in the morning and sleeping in on the weekends is out for me. My boys are up by 7am (not on weekdays mind you).
Yes, 40 has become the new 30 but someone forgot to inform our bodies! You can do fillers, Botox and live at the gym as much as you want – all to achieve the look of youth (I’m all for that by the way), but unfortunately your insides know your true age. The fact is…raising little children in our 40’s and 50’s is very hard. I wish I had known this and had my kids sooner for that very reason. I now understand why we are meant to have children in our 20’s and 30’s. The word exhaustion has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
True, I already partied like a rock star in my youth and not so youth (30’s) so I prefer staying home with my kids. My friends with young adults headed to college all tell me to enjoy every minute of my kids’ milestones because it passes so quickly. So I take that advice to heart. If there is a chance to spend time with my younger son’s preschool class, I take it. Even if it kills me. I try to mentally take pictures of everything (as well as document all photo opps with my iPhone camera which are then stored in zillions of photo files) and live in the moment. I also try to turn off my computer and mobile devices as much as I can so I can “be there.”
One benefit to being an older mother is people assume I’m younger than I am! I also keep up with my Botox, fitness and style as much as I can. I also wear sunglasses…a lot. I still can’t really relate to younger mothers. In the city I was not such an oddity. Once I moved to the burbs I felt really old. When a newly pregnant 37 year old says, “I can’t believe I’m having another baby at my age.” I want to smack her. Don’t you know how old I am, I think? Yet I politely smile.
Should women have babies in their 40’s? Sure. I feel anybody who wants a baby should have one, at almost any age (over 50 I think you should adopt a child who needs a good home). But know and clearly understand what you are in for. It’s damn exhausting. Exhausting like you have never imagined was possible. You know how you can’t stay out drinking until 4am anymore? Well that’s what raising little kids feels like 24/7 every day of the year! Oh and if you do stay out until 1am drinking, you are going to pay double (possibly triple) for it the next day. Your patience is already tapped out and you’re too tired to negotiate (hence the hideous outfits my kids wear to my chagrin). You eventually give in to the little terrorists just so you can have some peace. You learn quickly to pick your battles.
Right now my husband and I are lying to our kids about our true ages because we don’t want to scare them. Ever since my Dad died nearly two years ago, they are obsessed with death. If we told them our real ages they would freak out. They think anyone in their 50’s is really old (near death) and well, my husband and I are almost there! Obviously we will eventually tell them our true ages when we feel they can handle it. So I’m really excited to be celebrating my 37th birthday this week with my boys.
P.S. I was 37 a long time ago by the way.
Mom-to-be Janet Jackson has no idea what she’s in for by Anna Davies here.
Photo at top from Soccer Mom Sings The 80’s Prince Little Red Corvette on You Tube.