Top Ten Great Things About Being an "Old Mom"
Nearly once a day I hear a client tell me they never thought they'd "be an old mom." Now "Old Mom" is subjective. I say this because I've heard women say this about being a first time mom at 42 as well as 28. So it depends on your perspective. To me, "Old Mom" just means "older than I expected to have children." Mostly it's about shattered expectations.
So many successful women got that way because they had a plan. Many of my clients always knew what they wanted to be and made a plan to tackle their education and attain the career they'd wanted since they were twelve. They may have even factored in around when they'd meet a spouse and about how long they'd be dating/married before having a first child. When plans go awry, it's hard for these ladies to make concessions.
I know it's hard to think about being 59 at your child's high school graduation when you'd planned on being 52. See how I did that? Projected out 18 years, 52 and 59 don't seem all that different. And take it back to the decade of your twenties and thirties and account for what you actually accomplished in those extra 7 years before you'd mortgaged your heart to a child.
What does that mean for the benefits of being an old mom? Here are a few:
1. They took the time to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives.
2. They got an education. (And maybe even paid it off!)
3. They found a partner and had time to fine-tune the relationship.
4. They know how to take care of themselves.
5. They stay active and flexible longer because they're still playing with blocks on the floor at 40 while some of the younger parents haven't sat on the floor since they were 29.
6. They've learned to keep their cool in the face of patience-challenging events (like having a 3 year old).
7. They have a will to live even longer because they want to hold out for grandchildren.
8. They stay active and healthy because they know how meaningful it is to run around at the park with their 5 year old (at 46).
9. They are really good at their hobbies and can easily return to them 15 years later and their teenagers will be so impressed that mom plays volleyball or blows glass.
10. They have that much more wisdom to impart to their children.
In my opinion, being an "Old Mom" is a wonderful thing. The only thing that needs work is the shift in your own expectation about what your life was going to be. Will it be that much different to visit your child when she studies abroad in Europe as a 55 year old or a 62 year old? (And hey, who has more money and time to do those things?!) So you made it to your thirties or forties and thought you had life all figured out. Well for goodness' sake I hope not! Turns out there is much more to live, learn, and experience, and old moms can let their children teach them that.
Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and fertility counseling specialist in the Asheville area. She’s a member of Resolve, The Infertility Association and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility. Contact her to start feeling better.