Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Older Parent (revealing my age)
I've been thinking a lot about my age, as we prepare for the adoption of a second child. I thought a lot about my age when we adopted Snuggle Bug too. I was 36 1/2 years old when he was born. I've just recently turned 38.

I know, 38 isn't really that old. I certainly don't feel old yet. I'm able to be active with my son and I consider myself fairly progressive in my perspective, not set in my ways and inflexible as my own parents sometimes come across. What I'm doing though is mentally calculating how old I'll be when Snuggle Bug starts school (I'll be about 41), when he graduates from high school (I'll be about 54), or when he is my current age (I'll be 74).

I wonder, how will I measure up to the younger mothers of Snuggle Bug's classmates as he goes through school? Will I fit in or will Snuggle Bug be embarrassed to have older parents? I also wonder, will I be around to play with my grandchildren? How active will I be? What will my health be like then?

What really got me to thinking of this again was hearing of the second adoption lead, mentioned in Wednesday, August 16th post. The expectant mother that we've heard about is only 16 years old. I'm old enough to be her mother! When we adopt a second time, I'll be pushing 40.

My older sister, Tia, had her first child when she was 25 years old. My youngest brother became a father for the first time this year at the age of 26. My younger sister had her first child at the age of 28. My other brother, Cole, became a first time father at the age of 33.

Amongst my close friends, for the most part, I'm seeing a trend of couples starting their families later in life, becoming first time parents in their mid to late 30's as we did. One of my closest friend will be come a father for the first time at the age of 42 1/2, when his daughter is born in February 2007.

The reasons our friends have waited to start families are the same reasons we waited. We focused on college, establishing our careers, traveling, and enjoying the single or DINK lifestyle. I know other older parents out there didn't have a choice in the matter, infertility prevented them from starting families as soon as they would've liked.

Overall, I don't regret waiting. I've got my college degree, I'm financially stable, I've climbed the corporate ladder (now that I've become a parent I realize how meaningless all of that is, in the grand scheme of things because being a parent is far more important to me than a high paying job will ever be). I've traveled to Europe more than once and lived in several states. I've dated, partied, frivolously spent my money as a singleton. I got all of that out of my system so that when we made the decision to adopt, I felt prepared, confident, ready, and at ease with being a mother. I think I appreciate parenthood and my son so much more than I would've had I done it all earlier, although my siblings who had children earlier in life seem to have no lack of appreciation. They struggled more than I'm having to, but they still appreciate their children.

So, no, I don't regret being an older parent, but there are times when I feel a bit sad that I'm not going to have as much time with my children and grandchildren as I would like.

So, what are your thoughts on being an older parent, if you are one? And if you're not, what's life like as a younger parent?
8:47 AM
31 comments


31 Comments:
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Interesting perspective. I had my first when I was 20 1/2. Looking back I wish I'd been a bit older, more mature, esp when she hit the teen years and could have used that. I have a dear friend who had a surprise baby at 38, when the next youngest was 10. The rest of us are empty-nesters and hers is in 3rd grade. She cant imagine life without him, and all his siblings love on him like nobody's business. Guess there are pluses and minuses either way. My husband's mom was 38 when she had him. He's 56 and she's 93 and going strong! She's a great-grandmother in spite of getting a late start.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Ann Clegg said...

My mom and dad were 38 and 44 when they had me. My only sibling was already 12 years old! So we both sort of grew up as 'only' children, but that's another issue. I never much noticed that my parents were older than those of my friends. And I never felt embarrassed, although it was on my mom's mind as she used to ask me if was embarrased by them.
I think of the time we have with family (parents, kids, etc.) is all a gift. We don't know how long any of us is going to live. Some people die by illness or accidents at very young ages. So it seems to me that it makes sense to just live and love and enjoy the time without worrying about when we might lose a loved one.
Here I am, a first-time newlywed at 37, trying to start my family. If God will bless us with children, we will cherish them for as long as we can.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger sheri said...

Being the youngest of 4 myself and there is 13 years difference in ages between myself and the oldest daughter, my dad was 38 years old when I was born.

I don't know how I came to have the perspective on the situation that I did, but it was fun for me.

I used to brag to all my friends that I had the oldest Dad and believe it or not, I had those kids envying me. Ha.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Interesting post/topic for discussion!

I always thought I would have kids much younger than actually happened. I know I'm not considered "old" either, I had Kayla 2 wks before my 30th birthday. But here I am at 33 waiting to have another child. With the group of friends we have who have kids around Kayla's age I'm the oldest...there is only 1 other person even in her 30s. Sometimes it does feel strange, but even though I'm 5-7 yrs older than some of the moms I know, I don't feel much older and we get along great.

I think you'll find moms you'll connect with - not just because your kids are in the same class, but because of similar parenting styles and interests...and age doesn't usually play a part!

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Barbie said...

You seem like such a great Mommy, I'm sure your age won't matter to snuggle bug. He will love you and enjoy because you are fun and you love him, not because of your age. I had my first at 26, but I have plenty of friends who were older. I think it Makes you stay younger to have children when you are older. Atleast that is how it seems with my friends that are. They don't seem any diffrent then myself.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Catch said...

I had my last baby at 35....that would be Ashley. I had my oldest son at 20 and my second son at 26. So now Ash is 23 and I am 58. I spend a lot of time with my little grandchildren.... the 2 little boys are both 3, and Pacey is 4 months. I do a lot of things with them. When Zack comes he likes me to play in the pool with him, Gaige and I go for walks. I know I am 58 but I dont feel 58. I am a very active Grandmother. I still go out with friends and party...I meet my gfs for breakfast or lunch. Healthwise, none of us know from day to day what will be. But that could happen at any age. I guess it all depends on you. SOme people are old at 50, some people are still young at 70. I hope to be the latter. Life is good and we are very blessed to be here. I have always had fun with my kids and at times they have drove me up a wall, but I think thats part of life. One time my second son was about 14, and he and his friend Robert wanted to take the car down past these girls they were trying to impress ( who knew he was not old enough to drive) So....I was driving the car but I got all scrunched down in the seat and he looked like he was driving!! LoL...we drove past the girls and he and Robert waved ( we couldnt stop b/c they would have seen me!) and we could hear the girls saying...look at Ben and Robert!!! they have the car!!!...that was just one of the fun things we did. I hope long after I am gone they will remember the fun things! I think I have kinda grown up with my kids!

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger macboudica said...

I became a mother at 17. I graduated high school, then college. I had one other son at 26, then twin boys at 28 (and a step mom to two older boys--yes that is six kids in all). I am thirty now and I will have no more children. I wish I was not so young when I started having kids, and I am kind of sad not to have any more, but also relieved. Basically, I have been a mother most of my memorable life. Eventually these kids will grow up and I will have some time with my husband to enjoy things we couldn't as young parents. But it is nice that I will be able to spend so much of our lives together.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Here's how I see it. It's all good. There are no minuses about being a mother. To me, age has nothing at all to do with being a good mother. You either are or you're not and it you are, it doesn't matter if you're 17 or 47. And I can guarantee you it won't matter to your kids either.

I do think if you're an older mother it's important to take care of yourself. But in the end, you're Mama no matter what your age.

I assume this is a photo of you. You'll laugh at this but for some reason I pictured you as a tall blonde.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger Magi said...

I've always wanted children, but life just didn't work out that way. Now my husband and I are waiting to adopt our first child. I never thought I'd become a mother at 45. (I think I win.) Everyone guesses my age at least 10 years younger, and I feel the same as I did in my 30's. The only thing that worries me is if I end up having to by Depends and Pampers at that same time. :o)

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

LOL at Magi. I had mine at 24 & 26. I think I would be a better parent now, but I don't know if I'd have the energy I had then. Thing is, almost everything I know about parenting I learned from my kids. Barb hit the nail on the head.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger DeAnna said...

Although maybe not considered old to others - I also was older than I had expected to be when having children. When Isabella was born I was a few months over 30, then Amelia 32 1/2 -- not old, but sometimes I do wish I could have been a younger mother. A dear friend of mine just turned 30 this year and she has 5 children and is finished. I love that my husband and I had several years together before children, but I like you, look down the road and hope that I can take care of myself to be able to enjoy my kids and grandkids. I do like hearing of others that are older than me because we would love to be able to adopt again, but then I think - will we be too old? I like Barb's statement above - it definitely doesn't make you any better of a mother being younger, we just might feel better about it.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Magi said...

Okay, apparently I've lost all ability to spell. Buy, not by. :o)

Now, aren't you afraid that I'm out there molding young minds?

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger MugwumpMom said...

Wow, great post and great question!
I know several older parents - people who have "kids" my "kids" age..or younger, who are on average 10 or more years older than Jim and I. Our "kids" are 20 and 17, and he and I are 44 and 42 respectively. We did it backwards, on purpose..had them young, so that we can boot them out now, and still be young enough to travel, and have fun, with money. However, people I know who did all their travel etc when they were young, and have young children now, in their 40's and 50's have no regrets either...they feel they are emotionally more capable to be parents. Emotionally, I believe I would have made a better mother to babies now than when I was 25, but I am equally glad that as a "younger" mom to a teen and young adult, I can relate to them so easily. There are pros and cons to both sides, as with anything, and all you can do is "follow your heart", which sounds to me you've done. You're definitely not old! And by the time you are blessed with your second child, you'll still not be old. And if you're as great a mom to them then, are you are so evidently now, your teenagers will value and be proud of you whether you're 40, 50 or 60, it won't matter to them, honestly!

That dream was funny. I don't own a restaurant (but my aunt and uncle do) used to want to be a lawyer but not now, and I live in Vancouver, so yeah, definitely a city you'd want to visit!! Let me know when you're coming...LOL

 
At 6:55 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

I am "middle aged" for moms....not in my 20's (although I was late 20's when I was pregnant with Boo) and now 30 with our second. I think being prepared, intellectually, emotionally, physically and financially are all every important. It all seems to work out "right" for us in the end. I would not change a thing, even losing the baby I lost ... it all happens for a reason ...

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Pamela said...

Children are a gift from God. My hubby comes from a family of ten kids and he was the oldest at 18, when his Mom 38, had his baby sister.

"Kids Keep you young", they'd say and boy did they.

As Gparents, we are so much more patient, however, we loved having our kids young. You have to remember, people live longers now too...

 
At 7:27 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Well, this is how I look at it....I was 21 when I had Madison and 30 when I had Miller.....what a difference......but I'm more mature and more patient with Miller,,,,there is no right age...all they need is our love
jen

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Exactly, Jen. There is no "right" age. I am 30, with my kids being 7, 4 and 10 months old. I have parent friends that are much younger than me and much older, and the kids are what make us end up being the same. Children are an equalizer.

Plus, if you hadn't done the DINK thing and traveled etc. etc., you wouldn't have your Snuggle Bug!

 
At 8:01 PM, Blogger Trisha said...

Some words of advice from my FIL- If you are waiting for the perfect time you'll just keep on waiting. What I mean by that is things happen when they are supposed to happen. We make think we make all the decisions and hold all the cards, but really it has already all been decided. As long as you love your kids and do the best you can it really doesn't matter if you are young or old. Kids keep you young anyway!

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Trisha said...

Forgot to tell you- you asked how old Bailey is. He will be three in November.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Well, I was 17 when I had our first and 43 when we had our little man (through adoption). I love it . I recommend it highly!!! ;D

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

I am SO an older parent! My first was born at age 36 and my second at age 39. I am now 43.
I like to think I'm a very young 43 and holding up pretty well. But recently, I've been at the playground and feeling very old! Other parents are starting to look like teenagers all of a sudden! (OK, maybe a few of them really are teenagers, but that's beside the point...) ;)

However, it's a paradox because having such young children makes me feel really young! For example, having a nursing baby took the edge out of turning the dreaded 4-0. I figured, who could be old when they're nursing a baby?

Seriously, I am SO grateful for my children. And I think as somewhat older parents we really can bring something special into it...hopefully some wisdom from life experience...maybe some added patience we might not have had when we were younger.

So blessings to you as you prepare to adopt your second child!

 
At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Mieneke said...

My Mam was 19 when she had me. She and my Dad were married and I was planned, but in hindsight, I think that maybe she was a bit too young. In her particular case I feel that she could have done with a bit more emotional development.

I was 24 when I became pregnant and 25 when I had Munchkin. She's 2.5 now and I am very happy to have had her at the age I did. I would really, really love to be able to have our second one before I am 30. I think I would be a better mother for it. I know me and I know I would make a better mother that way.

One of my closest friends just had her 3rd baby and she is 26. She is an amazing mother and I am very proud of her.
Both she and I have to deal with people clucking dissaprovingly when they see us with our kids.
You see, in the Netherlands, we are considered very young to be mothers. (You want to hear some of the stuff she has to deal with when she takes her kids to the hospital etc.)
Whereas here in Ireland, my other friend was classified as an "older" mother at 29!

But, I really don't think age matters at the core of it. What matters is that you are *ready* to become a parent. A cliché, but true all the same.

When I read about your family, I strongly feel that Snuggle Bug couldn't have timed his entrance in to your lives any better. He and the second little 'un are very, very lucky to have two parents with so much to offer.
Am looking forward to seeing Snuggle Bug become a big brother!

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

I was 30 plus a month when I had Rylan, our first. He's 4 months old now and it feel perfect. We're university grads, financially secure, own a home, can invest for his post secondary education, have complete 100% medical coverage for anything that pops up...I would have been a good mother younger, but it certainly wouldn't have been so easy!

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger GiBee said...

I am an older parent. Hunter is 10 mos old, and I'll be 39 in November. I think I'm a better parent now than I would have been in my 20s, but I certainly worry about what it will be like as we get older!

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

It is amazing how our priorities change in life. I had my last child when I was 25, my first at 24. I think we REALLY enjoyed out last child more than any of the rest. We were more relaxed, more stable, more sure of our selves and we really appreciated him as a true blessing from God. We really felt after we had him that our family was complete. Now I am so enjoying out little granddaughter. God is so good and know that you are in our prayers!

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger txmommy said...

I'm 38 too, my oldest will be 19 next week and I will probably be a grandma in my young 40's. For her I was always the youngest mom around. My baby is 19 months old. For her I guess I'll be the oldest. Other than a number though I don't know that it has to be that big a deal. I am friendly with moms who are older and younger than I am and we all want the same things for our kids. For them to be happy, healthy and loved.

Althoug I will say that my own parents continued to have kids until my dad was in his mid 50's and my younger siblings have parents who are tired and old and a little too lax as a result. They def. seem like grandparents. That was a huge factor for DH and I to decide our baby days were over. We wanted to make sure we were up to par not only now while they are small but when they are teens too.

38,BTW, is NOT old :)

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger curious servant said...

I was 38 when we adopted our two boys. I think older parents parent more wisely. The stamina is the real issue!

God bless!

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Tammy and Parker said...

I had my first at 25 and I am now 44 with Parker, who will be 2 in November.


Nobdy ever thinks I am as old as I am either. Hopefully they base that on my looks and not how I act. ;)


I have read articles that studies have been done and they have discovered that women who have their babies later in life actually live longer. Now whether that is because it will take these women until they are 100 to get caught up on their laundry or not remains to be seen.

Good topic!

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Jeannine said...

My husband and I had our first when I was 23 and he was 34, and we had our sixth and last a week before I turned 38 and he was 49. I feel like I've been a young parent and an older parent and by the time our youngest is a teen I'll feel like an even older parent. Of course by that time maybe I'll also be a youngish grandparent. :-)

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Perri said...

Good question - I'm mom to 6 kids -- 23, 22, 9, 7,7,6. The youngest 3 are adopted because the 9 year old was quite a surprise blessing from God.

I also became a grandma last week.

I don't really notice that much of a difference between 20 years ago and now once the kids are here. Big difference in pregnancy. Plus as an added bonus, my younger kids get great older siblings to do wild things with that I don't want to do.

It's the best of both worlds.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

I know I’m getting old, but my 3-year old makes sure I feel it, too. Especially:

• When someone asks my 3-year old how old he is, he flashes three fingers. When another asks him how old his daddy is, he sits down, removes his shoes and socks then flashes both his hands and feet.

• When my 3-year old and I play tag, he outruns me and says, “Bye, bye slowpoke!”

• When I ask my 3-year old if I could watch Backyardigans with him, he looks at me, thinks hard then says, “But you’re old people, Daddy.”

Oh, well.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com

 

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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

I'm back from an unplugged camping trip!
Five Ingredient Friday (Raspberry Crème Brulee)
Spiritual Nourishment, that's long overdue!
Follow up to Long Shots post & another adoption le...
Works-for-Me Wednesday (cake decorating tips)
Pictures from this past weekend
Five Ingredient Friday (Grilled Bell Peppers)
Several recent pictures of Snuggle Bug
Works-for -Me Wednesday (unique way to stay connec...
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