On Being an Older Mom
My daughter was playing with some toys set aside by the business we were in, and the salesperson serving me asked, “How old is she?” “Three,” I replied to this ready-to-deliver-any-day young first time mom. “And when are you due?” I asked. A pleasant exchange of small talk ensued as we waited on the saleslady’s computer to begin working. And then she asked, in a hesitant way with drawn out words, “Soooo, is she your daughter, ooooor your granddaughter?”
Granted, I’m 45 years old now, so technically I could be the grandmother of a three year old. But, I cringe just a bit when this question is asked (it’s only happened twice so far). I know this will happen again as I, and my daughter, get older. When my daughter is ten, I’ll be 51 (yikes!). That’s definitely grandma age. I had a co-worker who became a grandma for the first time at 31 (she was 16 when her daughter was born, and her daughter was 15 when she had her first child).
Having children at an older age is fairly common now, of course, and what a miracle my daughter is to me. She and I were looking through my collection of Australia memorabilia the other day (I student taught there a “few” years ago—well, make that 23 years ago!) and I was reminded of the family of 16 children in Australian history whose last child arrived when the mother was 45. Older moms were plentiful in history, and they are today.
I look forward to being a grandma…several years from now! I believe we’re each given our children when we’re meant to have them. With age, though comes less energy, but more patience. Probably a good thing with this strong-willed child of mine!
Are there any other “older” moms out there who’ve experienced these questions? How do you handle them? How do you keep up with your child’s energy and curiosity as they grow, yet take good care of yourself?