I never thought I would have a child at the age of 42. But I guess therein lies the problem. I just didn’t think. I was the oldest mum in my mothers’ group, and I’m definitely the oldest mum at school drop off.
A few years on, I can see that perhaps being an older mum was not the brightest idea. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but a recent and hilarious tweet from Wendy Harmer summed up my feelings exactly.
When I gave birth to Maeve at the age of 44 … Perhaps didn't envisage she'd have me in pink boxing gloves working out to Taylor Swift's "The Man" in my 60s.
Let this be a lesson one and all – have your kids early if you can.
— Wendy Harmer (@wendy_harmer) September 26, 2019
Being a (great) older mum
In Wendy’s wonderfully comic style, her tweet absolutely nails the plight of the older mum, while painting a funny and heart-warming picture.
“When I gave birth to Maeve at the age of 44 … Perhaps didn’t envisage she’d have me in pink boxing gloves working out to Taylor Swift’s “The Man” in my 60s,” she wrote. “Let this be a lesson one and all – have your kids early if you can. Ow!!”
It may not be what Wendy thought she’d be doing in her 60s – but what a great mum she is for doing it!
The trouble is you can’t control these things in life. I didn’t meet my now-husband until later in life, which meant that babies also came later than expected. I had my first daughter at 38 and second at 42. I was lucky to have two great pregnancies and speedy births but unlucky to have miscarried three times in between the two. This meant my second child came even later than hoped.
I’m now overjoyed to have my two wonderful girls; however, there have been one or two exhausting and sleep-deprived moments when I’ve wondered if perhaps parenting really is a young person’s game.
I’ve just turned 50, and I have two kids in primary school, one of whom is in year two. When my mum turned 50, I was 20 and had just moved to Paris. And I was the last to leave home. By the time I’m kid-free, I’ll be well into my sixties. Even older, the way the Sydney real estate market is going.
And I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to work, but I’ll probably be approaching menopause somewhere around the time my first daughter hits puberty. Now that definitely wasn’t part of the plan and sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Couldn’t have planned it better
For me, though, (and Wendy by the sounds of things), the timing was perfect. I’m so happy to be the mother of two beautiful and very young girls, and I’m doing my best to keep up with them.
Like Wendy, donning her pink boxing gloves and working out to a Taylor Swift song, being an older mum certainly keeps you active and on your toes. Being around youth is energising, and not just because of the kids – but also the other parents you meet at school.
Having kids later in life meant I was personally ready to be steeped in family life. I’d been out and about for so many kid-free years that I appreciated, more than ever, my chance to be mum. The timing couldn’t have been better.
Oh, for a busy life!
If Wendy’s tweet is anything to go by, my life is only going to get busier. Some parents of my generation might be slowing down, approaching retirement, holidaying more, taking things easy. But that is all a way off for me. And I couldn’t be happier about it.
So rather than be an older mum, I’m going to think of myself as an active mum. But first, I’d better get some pink boxing gloves. I think I’m going to need them.