I clicked on this thread to see if I was in the "older" mom category...and I am.
Life goes by so quickly.
It seems like yesterday I was 22 and just getting out of college and getting married, thinking I had years to start a family.
Well, I guess I did back then. But years go by so quickly and then when you are ready, your spouse might not be ready, or there might be other things that happen out of your control.
I sort of always planned to graduate from college at 22, and I did, then I got married right away, and I felt that it would be pragmatic to establish a career. Initially, I felt that I would wait 5 years or so, establish a good career, settle into marriage, and then have a baby at 27, leaving plenty of time for a second baby if I wanted one, which was always in the back of my mind as a goal.
I really felt that by working at least 5 years and by saving money, I'd have a good resume to fall back on and some money in place to make things a little easier on my husband. I always felt it would be important to have the option to stay-at-home for a time because I felt very strongly about attachment parenting and especially breastfeeding and I knew that I was going to attempt to breastfeed for a minimum of two years and that it wouldn't work out so well with my career which required quite a bit of travel, meetings, and after hours presentations.
DH, I guess, never put much thought into any of it. He sort of faltered in his career for a while and he just doesn't want the stress of being a provider for our family. So, 27 came and went. Then 28. Then 29...
Now I'm sort of in the range where biologically it probably won't happen that we'll have two kids.
Our marriage has really suffered the last decade or so because having one baby with no support while being expected to maintain the same level of "career" has wiped me out.
In the stress, DH has said and acted in ways that make me never want a second baby with him anyway, but it is still an emotional blow to have started having children so late that two or more children isn't really an option.
It makes me a little sad for myself, but more so sad for my child who will not have a sibling. There are some benefits to that, but obviously I feel a sense of loss that we couldn't have done things differently and more in the line of what I had hoped for.
One child is a joy, and major work, and my career certainly has been set aside for a time as the priority in life. I maintain due to DH and economic circumstance, but it's not ever going to be as important as a child.
I'm really torn by that. I believe women can and do do anything they want in a career, and I've loved mine, and I'm a proud feminist, but it really is an inner sadness I feel that at this point in my life - mid-thirties - that I can't focus a little more on just mothering without derision from my husband and his parents by extension. It really bothers me that more value isn't placed on just raising a family at this point since I put in so many years being a breadwinner for the family. If not now, when? I think being a mother is never going to be valued as a solitary venture in my circle of family no matter what you do before or after.
As for being tired, I am exhausted most of the time and I feel like it is due to age. Also, my pregnancy wasn't the easiest and I attribute that to being older too.
I look back now and wish I would have had a baby earlier, but then again, maybe not. You never really know how things will turn out.
Do other "older" mothers who have just one child also think about losing that child? This is probably my greatest fear. I don't think losing a chid would ever be anything less than devastating, but I read a book once where the character had only one child, and the child passed away, and she regretted not having more children to ease the loneliness and pain. It would be so devasting to lose a child, but maybe more so if it were your only child. This really struck a chord with me. Do other mothers feel this?
Also, as an older mother to a younger child, I feel like the risks at my age of having a child with special needs make it a huge gamble - if I had a special needs child (as I already do) take more resources away from my existing child, resources that are already constrained, is that selfish? Is it a selfish venture to bring another child into our family?
I am no where near having a second child, but I do feel sadness and a sense of loss as the years go by and the possibility is less and less likely.