It’s my 40th birthday this month, and my daughter turns one year old just four days prior. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant and knew I would be an “older” mom. There was shock, joy, and then fear. I had waited a long time for that moment. I dealt with decades of female health and fertility issues, and without fertility treatments I had about a 3% chance of conceiving.
But there I was, 38 and pregnant.
The comments started rolling in from people who didn’t know my story:
“You’re going to have to use a cane at her high school graduation!”
“People are going to think you’re her grandma, not her mom.”
“Wow, you’re just getting your family started?”
I was born to a teen mom and always loved having young parents, so being an “old mom” was worrisome to me (and still is). Although I think maturity and life experience has its major pros in raising a child, the cons of being an older mom are still there. I want to be around when she graduates from high school and college, when she lands her first big job, when she gets married, and when she has her own children (if that is all part of her journey). I don’t want to miss a thing and pray daily that I stay healthy and strong, to ensure I am around for many years.
Being an Older Mom Changed My Mindset
Finally becoming a mom, and an older one at that, has shifted my mindset.
- I am not willing to waste time on things that don’t matter. My time has become much more precious than I could have ever imagined.
- I am much more selective about the people that I have in my life.
- My authenticity is at a whole new level and I am willing to share — the good, the ugly, and the funny. Because, solidarity!
- I am ok saying NO now. That was a hard word for me for many years. I constantly over-extended myself.
- I have someone looking up to me now that I will do everything in my power to not let down.
Speaking of letting people down, I started my business in 2012 and always said that branding was my baby, until I actually had a baby. My business is extremely important to me and I was worried about letting my clients down, but I allowed it to take a backseat so I could focus on my daughter. That, too, was scary. I worked hard to build it. I didn’t really get a maternity leave, as she came three weeks early and I am a solopreneur. So, I worked when she slept or wrapped her up on my chest and worked while we cuddled. I knew I was living moments I never would again.
Benefits Come with Age
Being an older mom brings its benefits. Some I already knew or guessed. Others I came across in this article, which got me even more excited to turn 40. I’m not fearing 40. I’m focused on the good and setting loftier goals than I had before. I have two little eyes watching every move and two little ears listening to everything I say. So I dance silly, sing loud, cry, laugh, work hard, love harder, protect, learn, have fun and freaking give it my all.
Being a parent is the most influential job a person can have, in my opinion. In fact, I am also a proud bonus mom to two boys (12 and 14). Sure, I may look like I came straight from the set of the Golden Girls at my daughter’s high school graduation, but I plan on living my best, young at heart, Betty White life, hopefully leaving my daughter saying, “I want to be just like my mom when I grow up!”