I recently turned [gasp, eek, crikey] 40! At this age, I’ve vowed to be kinder to myself starting now and to think a whole lot less about what “people” think of me once and for all. In my quest to embrace this new decade, I made a list of the top reasons why being a new mom at 40 (which has been my experience) is actually a good thing, as well as considered the top challenges. Also, since I’m a teacher and lifelong learner at heart, I’ve discovered some resources for coping with new motherhood at “the new 20.”
I know myself better now.
Parenthood requires a thick skin. I’m glad I’m fully confident in myself to weather the certain upheaval that comes with suddenly chauffeuring a fussy small human around 24/7.
I’m older and hence (hopefully) wiser.
I’ve been around the block a time or two and have learned much from my life’s adventures. Now I have more interest, patience, and ideas for focusing more fully on my new little person.
I’ve found the fountain of youth.
Though I’m not quite the spring chicken I used to be, I’ve got great motivation to stay healthy and energetic. I have to keep up with this active kiddo!
There’s no way to stay set in my ways.
Maybe my husband and I were starting to get in a rut after a decade of marriage. Now everything old is new again with our little critter calling the shots. There is no time for things to get stale!
BEING AN OLDER NEW MOM (KINDA, SORTA) SUCKS BECAUSE:
I can be mistaken for my child’s grandma.
Okay, fortunately this hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’ve had more than one friend who’s had to gracefully handle this awful faux pas.
There is real potential for additional fertility challenges and health risks.
These topics should certainly be explored with your doctor and should not be taken lightly.
An aging you presumably means an older family member support system.
If your child’s grandparents are in a position to play, they may not feel as agile and energetic as they used to.
The inevitable changes to the daily routine can be tumultuous.
The relationship and lifestyle shake ups that occur after the addition of a new baby are not always easy, predictable, or for the better.
RESOURCES FOR OLDER NEW MOMS
Meetup Groups: Meetup groups are categorized based on interests. Some are very specific. When we moved to Portland, I joined an excellent Meetup group that is matched exactly to my child’s age and my own age. How cool is that?!
Websites: Scour the internet for support. Sites like AChildAfter40.com are packed with useful information, from expert advice to social group forums.
Alumni groups/social media groups: I can tell I’m 40 on Facebook, since half of my high school classmates have kids who are grown and half are just beginning their parenting journey.
Playgrounds: Yes, I usually am that perky mom who tries to be friendly with everyone but does pay special attention to her fellow grey-haired madres at the park.
The discussion shouldn’t end here. What would you add to these lists?