I Love Being a Middle Aged Mom

In my spare time, I like to play the “What if” game.  I’m not talking about bashing myself over past mistakes or regrets.  I mean in it in a more positive sense, to help me appreciate my current reality, so to speak.  The topic of the “What if” game today is “What if I became a parent in my 20s rather than my 40s?”  What would be different about the experience?

In my 20s, I was much more active and would have been in shape when I got pregnant, therefore my young bod would have snapped back after I had my daughter.

My current over 40 reality? Gravity is not my friend.  I have lumps and bumps where they never existed.  Workout now?  Sure, if I didn’t throw my back out lifting my lanky 5-year old!  If I had realized I was going to go through an infertility journey in order to get pregnant, I would have totally shaped up before I packed my bags!  Those meds and the stress take a toll on you.  I like to think that my over 40 mommy body is a badge of honor.  I earned every one of those stretch marks and lumps of cottage cheese in my thighs.

In my 20s, I had a slammin’ wardrobe and was quite the label whore.  I would have been more likely to be a put together, fashionista mom.  I see all these young twenty something moms these days with their super cute maxi dresses and designer diaper bags.  They even look super hot while pregnant!!  That was what was important to me then too.  I wanted to look good for others; to impress them.  I would have done a damn good job looking good too!

My current over 40 reality?  I’m lucky if I have pants on when I leave the house.  I realize that it’s more important that my daughter is well cared for and has a decent breakfast in her before we leave the house.  It doesn’t really matter if I put makeup on.  No one dies on those days.  But if Zoey isn’t fed and given time to get dressed and doesn’t get to have little mommy time before I drag her to daycare then no one is happy.  I mean NO ONE!  A happy morning is a morning without whining and filled with giggly knock knock jokes!  That’s fine with me!

In my 20s, I was a reader.  I devoured books.  I would have read all the baby books while I was pregnant so I knew all the “right things to do” when the time came.  I was very impressionable then and probably could have been talked into any trend!

In my 40s, I am so…tired!  I never read any of the books by the “experts” except for the funny ones by Jenny McCarthy.  And you know what?  I’m probably a better mom because of it.  I tend to parent by feel now rather than by-the-book.  I learned what works for me and my child, not necessarily what was expected to work.  So far, so good.  (Although, I wish I had read a book on sleep training and been prepared to use it way before the screaming baby arrived and I was too tired to read past chapter 1!)

In my 20s, I was less of an activist or feminist.  I wasn’t even aware of what was going on in the world, or at least concerned enough about it because it didn’t directly affect me.  I ate without considering the consequences of my choices on the world;  I shopped without considering how my money sent a message to humanity.  And society’s impact on girls, whether it’s about them being “pretty” or “thin”–My head was totally up my ass about that for sure.

Now that I’m a forty-something mother of a girl, I have my eye on the world.  My daughter is going to be here long after I’m gone and I want to make sure I’m an example of compassion and what’s right with the world.  There’s plenty of time for her to be exposed to what’s wrong with the world, so for a while, I hope that I can shelter her.  I want her to be kind to animals and people because that’s just how we’ve always been.  It’s just what we do.  I don’t want her to know any other way to behave.

I could play this game all day, but I hope you’re getting the picture. It’s no use to look at what could have been without seeing what’s in front of you. This much is true: I’m a damn good mom, right here right now. I know myself so much better than I did when I was in my twenties.  I have so much more experience being me.  I’m so glad I can share who I am now with my girl.  I’m aged to perfection and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Who else but a 40s mom can have a kid who rocks out to tunes from the 80s on a boom box??
Who else but a 40s mom can have a kid who rocks out to tunes from the 80s on a boom box??

 

20 thoughts on “I Love Being a Middle Aged Mom

  1. I love everything about this article,,,except the moniker “middle aged mom.” You rock, Love, Nicky

  2. Beautifully written,,,,thank you….can relate …..your daughter reaps more benefits from a mother with a worldly perspective….also, I read somewhere that late bloomer parents have that extra amount of patience when ther child gets testy vs when younger ones.. (:

  3. Wonderful Post Kriste! I had my last of four daughters on the down slope to 40 and by that time the 20 year old body was long gone. It’s good to put all this into perspective, because at 62 I’m certainly not thrilled with my aging physique, but I know that I raised four great kids. Sounds like you’re doing the same girl. Kudos to you! Keep it up!

  4. I turned the big 5-0 this year and have no idea how that happened. I have 6 year old twin boys. It’s like I could have written this. I would have been in better physical shape to be a mom in my 20’s but I’m so much wiser now.

  5. Oh this is so great! My mom had me at 44 and she was awesome – full of wisdom and confidence. Now that I’m pushing middle age raising a toddler, I sometimes wish maybe I was a little younger. But then I look back and realize my life played out the way it was supposed to and that all of my experiences have made me a better, wiser mommy!

    1. Thanks MG! I love your first hand experience with your mom! And yeah, “wiser” is definitely the word I use for myself!

  6. Word! I had my baby when I was 44. I remember thinking I didn’t have to worry too much about pregnancy ruining my body since it was already going downhill 😉

  7. As a closing-in-on-40 mom of two littles, I’m so grateful for this perspective. Physically, having kids in my 20s would have been SO much easier on me. When my mom was 38, I was in COLLEGE. WHAAAAA? But, for so very many reasons — not the least of which was waiting to find the right partner — I’m so happy to be a mom now rather than then.

    1. Thanks Steph! When I was in the midst of Zoey’s infanthood, I kept saying “This motherhood shit is for a MUCH younger woman!” I was exhausted in ways I had never imagined. Just like I could bounce back faster from a night of drinking when I was in my 20s, I think it would have been easier to recover from the infant all-nighters in my 20s too! But you’re right, it was worth the wait.

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