Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
I really do not feel old at all. But I was wondering, What is the hardest thing about being "older" and having babies?
Is it the lack of energy?
The lack of physical flexibility?
The idea of being "old enough to be a grandma"?
The worry of becoming incompacitated or dying before you children are old enough to remember you or take care of themselves?
Or is just knowing you are giving up your "ripe old age" to chase after children, a time when others are retiring, and you are adding more responsibility?
but....but...but....It's NOT harder, at least not so far! I'm the one with the 16 year age gap between my two youngest. I never wanted to be an "older mom" because most of my friends were at least ten years older than me and they just didn't seem up to the physical challenges of playing with they're children or the intellectual challenge of remembering their own childhoods well enough to see things from their kids' points of view.
The first problem is a fitness issue, not an age issue. i parked my car and rode my bike during my pregnancy and also took a dance class for fun. i don't work out, but i do appreciate the fact that my body needs exercise and try to work that exercise into my daily life. i'm also reaping the benefits of my "weird" vegetarian/whole foods diet, living with a dd who is a dance major and has completed the coursework to become a personal trainer, and some of it is just plain dumb luck, but my body works fine, probably better than it did in the days when i worried about whether or not it was a fashionable shape and weight. i wear ds several hours a day in a woven wrap, walk acrioss town twice a week, carry my own groceries home from the store, and greatly look forward to "rassling" with my little boy!
My second trepidation also doesn't seem like it will come to pass. i think i remember my own childhood just fine, but many incidents and issues have been seen friom the role of parent as well as child. i have had time to process experiences and put them in perspective, i.e., i not only remember what it was like to be a naughty little girl who misbehaved during martini hour and gave her father headaches, i also know what it's like to be an adult child of alcoholics in such a heavy state of denial that i'd rather blame myself than deal with reality.
i know how fast childhood goes and how deep childhood wounds can cut so i'm more inclined not to worry about the dirty house and disapproving strangers when my kids need me. i know that the bad times won't last, but neither will the good times. i know i'll never sing on stage again or change the world, but that i will get more pleasure out of sitting in a beam of sunlight or eating an apricot or looking at my baby smile than my 23 year old self could have imagined.
Sure, my parents and certain acquaintances probably wish they could force me to trade my purple patchwork for a navy blue polyester pantsuit and my salt and pepper pigtails for a little old lady poodle-doo in Miss Clairol #1678950780 but ther years haven't made me any less me and tghe criticisms have lost their sting as I look at their source and thank the heavens that I don't have to live the lonely lives those people have chosen for themselves.
I'm okay with being "old enough to be a grandma" and love reassuring people who mistake me for ds's gramma that it is an honest mistake, I am not offended, and that there is nothing to apologize for. I hope he does have a neice or nephew to play with when he gets a bit older.
I'm thrilled to find "children my own age" who have kids ds's age, buyt I also find that I enjoy the company of parents in their 20s and 30s almost as much as they enjoy me. I'm still open to learning from them so I do and it feels so good when they learn from my mistakes and avoid making mistakes of their own.
I can't get over how much easier the year of infancy is without all the undermining and disrespect that younger parents have to deal with. When dd was born, a friend knocked on my door, walked in with a television set in her arms, and started rearranging my bedroom furniture to fibnd an electrical outlet. When i told her that I didn't watch TV, she said, "You do now. Your favourite show is Oprah."
When ds was born and a friend asked if she could throw me a baby shower, I said I already made all the clothes he needed and I was very picky about toys. She replied that i was a wonderful, creative, and dedicated mom, told me to sleep well, and said she was looking forward to seeing ds when I was ready to go back to my office job.
I don't really think I parent ds that differently from the way i wanted to parent dd and ds1 and I don't really think that 23 is a "young mom", but it has been so much easier this time around that I want to laugh and then i want to go do some sort of volunteer work to help teen moms.
I was a SAHM with my older kids; I WOH and volunteer with ds in the wrap. I was married to my older kids' father; I am a single mami by choice with ds2. I am in a much lower income tax bracket now. It's still easier.
One concern you raised that is real and does make me wistful is my own mortality. It's a selfish worry, because I do know that people die at all stages of life and I'm sure that dd or ds1 would make a far better substitute parent than my mother would have if i had died in my 30s. The thing is that I want to live to see my children grow up and my definition of "grown up" has changed. I wanted to live to see dd at 23, and I'm pretty sure I will. I want to live to see ds2 at 45, which I may since I have had relatives survive into their 90s.
I'm sure he'll be an amazing man whether I live to see it or not.
Apologies for typos; I need to get off the computer now.