I was never one of those girls who spent their childhood or teenage years dreaming of the day I’d fall in love with a wonderful man and have children and live happily ever after. Of course I always acknowledged that as a possibility, but it was never my main goal.
So it was no surprise when I turned out to be a single, young adult with no plans to marry or have kids. I loved it…nobody to consult with about how I spent my money or my time…I was free to do whatever I wanted! It was awesome!
In my mid-to-late twenties, however, I began to fall in love with a man that I had actually known for several years. We eventually got married and decided to start a family. I’ve since discovered that married life and mom life is also awesome!
I was 30 and he was 35 when our first child was born. At that point, most of the couples we knew who were our age had already been married for several years and had kids significantly older than ours. So from the start, I’ve always felt like an older mom. The other kids that are the same age as mine usually have younger parents. Our third child was born just a few weeks shy of my 35th birthday and my husband was already 40. We have already calculated what our ages will be by the time our children graduate high school and we know we won’t be spring chickens at that point. Let’s face it…we aren’t spring chickens anymore right now.
Parenting at any age has its ups and downs. While these points can ring true for some younger parents too, in my experience, being an older parent rocks for several reasons!
- I don’t care as much about what other moms think about me. There have definitely been times that I’ve felt judged as a mother and been upset about it. Let’s face it…mom judgement is the worst! Why do we do this to other moms??? But, overall, I’ve found the older I get the less I care about other people’s opinions of me as a person and as a mom. That’s huge because chasing after a toddler or caring for a newborn baby does not leave me with adequate time to let other moms make me feel bad about myself.
- I felt more prepared financially to have kids. I was a little older and established in a career that paid decently by the time I got married (as was my husband). Although we have still had our share of financial struggles, we were never a typical poor, young married couple and felt very capable of financially preparing for a family. I will admit that I did underestimate how much children cost but it’s been so worth it!
- I’m more mature now than I was when I was younger. Duh…almost everybody can make this claim. Obviously growing up and growing older changes you in many ways. Becoming a parent also changes you in many ways. But I had the opportunity to be young and carefree in my adult life. As I got older, I changed. I felt more prepared emotionally to be a mom at 30 then I would have been at 20. When you’re a mom, you have to be able to put the needs of others above your own.
- I’m more laid back. My husband will argue with this…he’s the laid back one and I’m the high-strung one in our relationship. We balance each other out in that way. But, really, I’m more laid back now then I was when I was younger. Although I still worry, I worry less about things. Whether it be from my own life experience or observing others, there are things when it comes to my kids that I can laugh at or not worry about. I get upset at times and yell at my kids when maybe I shouldn’t…but I take more time to just create fun experiences and memories with them.
- I’ve seen my friends, siblings, etc parent through stages before I got there with my own kids. Observing my friends & family helped give me ideas of what to do or what not to do. Of course, everyone’s a smarter parent before they have kids or before their kids reach certain difficult periods in their lives. But it’s nice to have had the chance to observe others before I got to jump in myself.
It’s becoming more of a norm these days to wait longer to have kids. So I know I’m not the only one my age who is still parenting newborns & toddlers. What other things are great about being an older parent?