Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Old age and motherhood

Sometimes I forget how old I am until I see a pair of perky 20-something moms pushing strollers along the street in cute little track suits that I have no business even pretending I could wear.

If I got pregnant today my child wouldn't be starting Junior Kindergarten until I was in my 40s.

A sobering thought indeed.

I won't be a young Mom. I know women are having children much later these days, and in fact the ER doctor who saw me while I was having my second miscarriage told me that the average age of first-time mothers is 33. That was great news at the time. I was 33.

But I'll be 36 the day after tomorrow.

I know that in many ways age is just a mindset. I've known old teenagers and young octogenarians. But the plain and simple fact is that being a mother is physically demanding work.

And I can barely stay up long enough to watch Saturday Night Live.

One of the reasons I'm attempting to lose weight is so that I'll hopefully have a safer, healthier pregnancy (if I ever manage to get pregnant again) but the other reason is that I'd like to be able to play with my child and do all the things those 20-somethings do with such apparent ease. Including squeezing into those annoyingly darling little track suits.

So I suppose since being a young mom is clearly no longer a goal within my reach, I'll have to settle for being a cool mom instead.

How unfortunate that I'm such a dork.

Maybe I lack youth and coolness, but what I do have is 20 hours worth of life lessons taught to me by my beautiful first-born son. I haven't forgotten what he gave me. He's not here to remind me of it every day, but I remember the feeling of loving someone more than life itself. I remember the exact moment I realized I loved him like I've never loved anyone before.

And that, I know for a fact, I can do again - no matter how old I am.


kate said...

Screw the 20-somethings showing off their beautiful bellies! Well, i admit i envy their naivite. But, i have been a 20-something pushing a stroller and i have been a 30-something grieving mother. Though it SUCKS to be grieving, i would not trade the experience of being Nicolas' mother for any amount of beautiful 20-something naivite....a word which looks totally spelled wrong, i guess i am missing an accent but i dunno how to stick it in.

Sherry said...

We are kindred spirits, indeed. ;-)

I was a bit concerned about being an "mature" first-time mom, but then I wondered if what everyone has told me is actually true: Having kids keeps you young. I really want to believe that's possible, so, like you, I'm doing all I can to be as fit as I can for when that time arrives, hopefully soon.

And, welcome to the 36 club! Have to admit, it's not half bad - I'm sure you'll do fine. ;-)

Bronwyn said...

One thing that losing a child has taught me is that things are never what they seem. Those perky 20-something stroller moms may be going home to a less than ideal husband, or they may be battling an eating disorder or have a family member who is fighting cancer. Or they may have a loving husband, an intact psyche and a healthy family -- for the time being. All of these situations are temporary, as we know all too well. You will be a great mom no matter when it happens. You will probably be a better mom for having had and lost Thomas, because you will value every precious moment you have with your children.

And I think you're a very cool chick!

jogger blogger said...

I too will be joining the 36 club (in July). So I constantly hear the biological clock pounding (and I'm not even married or ready to try to make a baby). But I do find it comforting to see who is on the Cool Mom club (Mom's having babies after 35 years old).

Cherie Blair (44)
Susan Sarandon (39)
Mimi Rogers (39)
Courtney Cox (37)
Rachel Griffiths (37)
Julia Roberts (37)
Sarah Jessica Parker (37)

And yes, many of these women are movie stars...but it gives me hope (for you and I, and all the other women who read your blog) that motherhood (and wearing yummy mummy outfits) is possible in our 30's and 40's

Shan said...

I'm older than you! :-) I love being a 30-something (above the age of 35) mom. Our experience with Ian has made our parenting with Carl that much more special. Hang in there. Your time is coming. :-)


Jules2pies4me said...

Welcome to 36...all the cool moms ARE 36, you're next! Have a super day and may all of your wishes come true. Sending every power I can muster up for that BFP!!