I never planned on having kids in my early 40s, it just happened. But now it has, I couldn’t be happier. Of course, whenever you to choose to have babies is the right time, but here are the reasons why having kids later in life really worked for me:
1. I’ve done my travelling (for now)
I love travelling and haven’t had a chance to do much since we had kids but in my pre-baby life, I traveled a great deal. I studied in Paris, I holidayed in Europe, I lived in London and I spent time in Asia. By the time baby number one came along, I was only too happy to stay put and become entrenched in my local community – which is so much a part of having a family. Now the kids are growing up, we’re looking forward to doing a bit of travel with them, but that will be a very different experience. And I’m glad I had the time to have plenty of the baby-free variety when I could.
2. It keeps me feeling young
There’s nothing like being around youth to keep you feeling young. Most parents in our community are much younger than me, so simply by hanging out with them, I feel no different, just one of the ‘young and happening’ crowd. Plus having young kids keeps me in touch with a younger generation, which makes me feel young in both mind and heart.
3. I’m fitter than ever
As an older mum, I feel like I need to be extra fit to keep up with my kids. They like to go running and bike riding and I want to be able to go with them – and set a good example. So, being a little older, I have more focus on regular exercise. And since family life is so busy, there’s much less time for procrastination. I want to keep my muscles and joints all in working order, so exercise must be done, no excuses. I simply get up a little bit earlier so I can fit it into my day.
4. I have more patience than before
While I’m now older, I wouldn’t say I am that much wiser – but I’m definitely more patient. Maybe it’s something parenting quickly teaches you, but I’m much more more patient now than I was in my 20s or even 30s. I like to think that years of life experience, dealing with different situations that the years have brought my way, has helped me to slow down and listen with more patience and understanding. Life with young kids can be frustrating and I’m not sure I would have been able to deal with it as well when I was younger.
5. I’ve calmed right down
When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I always had to be doing something, going somewhere and achieving something amazing. Or so I thought. I also hardly slept and worried about everything. I now feel calmer and more emotionally confident to able to care for my children. And even though there’s probably more to worry about when bringing up kids, I feel better equipped to deal with it all and actually worry a lot less than when life was just about me.
6. I focused on my career before kids
Having kids at a later age gave me the time I needed to concentrate on my career. There was so much I wanted to do and achieve before having kids, so by the time it happened I was in a place where I was happy to take time out. I’d reached a certain point and a baby wasn’t going to change that. I was also in a better position financially and had bought my first property, which helped us when we needed to move to a bigger house.
7. I’ve enjoyed a full life
Becoming a mum later in life also meant that I managed to do all the things I wanted to do before kids. I know what it’s like to live a single baby-free life, which also made me realise that I didn’t necessarily want that for my future. And now I’m so happy to be a mum and my children have my absolute focus. Rather than always wishing I was out and about, at social functions or overseas destinations, I find myself desperately wanting to just be at home with my family.