Older Moms page
INFORMATION/HUMOR FOR OLDER MOMS
Hello to all you moms who are considered “older moms” — you’ve had a baby when you are at the age of 35 or over. Some of you are first time moms while some of you are an older mom this time around with your youngest child. But all of you can relate to the rewards and challenges and yes — stigma of being an older mom. Welcome to this page of resources and humor for older moms. Below is the introduction to a humor book I’m working on that will explain my feelings about being an older mom. There are also some websites and books listed that might be of interest to you. There are also some brief excerpts of my humor essays about the topic.
According to a 2010 study based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, motherhood in America changed a lot from 1990 to 2008. One of the differences that stood out was:
Birth rates for women aged 35 to 39 increased by 47 percent, and rates for women aged 40 to 44 increased by 80 percent over the time period. (from Pew Research Center study)
Introduction to Sharon’s book manuscript about older moms, A Mom of a Certain Age: Stories of a mid-life mother who hopes she’s not the oldest Mom n the PTA!
Motherhood is not what it used to be. More moms are having their children later in life than every before, either due to choice or circumstance. This book is for all those moms with that deer in the headlights look who suddenly discover that breastfeeding and AARP membership aren’t that far apart. For me, it was indeed a startling revelation that I had to navigate my son through kindergarten while at the same time deal with my body going through changes and challenges I’d never envisioned.
But what should people call that group of older moms? An article in The Arizona Republic by Barbara Yost in 2005 highlighted the fact that the number of older moms was steadily increasing and that the medical community had “dubbed” these women ‘advanced maternal age.’ So there ya have it: we have been dubbed. I hate being dubbed, don’t you? Especially when it’s with a title like “advanced maternal age.” The first time in my life I’ve been advanced at something, thank you very much. .” What about Above Average Age moms? Or hey, how about just something simple like “older moms”. “Advanced maternal age” makes it sound like a chronic illness, not simply women over 35 who have babies. Some websites call us later in life moms or seasoned moms, both of which have a much nicer ring to it than advanced maternal age. Anything with the word ‘maternal’ in it is not going to be self-esteem building or flattering – conjures up images of women in plain, brown Little House on the Prairie sack-like dresses. Sexy! I’ve even heard us called – get this – geriatric moms. That one sounds like we are putting in dentures while nursing our babies. Word choice, people, it’s all about word choice. Some folks in the medical community could definitely use a thesaurus.
Let us dub ourselves please. There are plenty of choices here, medical community, so take notice! Is there such a moniker for men who father babies when they are older – sometimes much, much older than the average dad? Oh yes, that’s right – stud. What a double standard that is! Exactly who is this “medical community” that gets to label us older moms?
Yep, moms are getting older, and even though it is a struggle at times, I’m proudto be one of them. Many of these moms have older children and then have another child years later, like I did. When I had my last son at age 38, my husband and I had two other children already, ages 9 and 6. I loved the newest addition to our family, but there was also a sense of ‘Been there, done that.” After all, how many years of Cub Scout meetings or t-ball games can one person endure without going totally off the deep end?
Some of these older moms are first-time moms, taking on the novice territory ofparenthood later than most. Yet, there is a common bond that all older moms share: they are facing the challenges of raising children while they themselves are in the midst of physical and emotional changes that growing older brings. It’s about taking care of a child while tending to the needs of an older self.
Excerpts from Sharon’s “Mom of a Certain Age” essays:
From “Kindred Spirit”:
So there I was finally, walking into a PTA meeting filled with parents who probably couldn’t even vaguely remember the Nixon administration and probably first watched The Brady Bunch in syndication, rather than the original run of the show on Friday nights on ABC. I was from another generation there amidst the cute, bubbly women in form-fitting jeans and capris with tans and no age spots. Moms with no spider veins. Moms who didn’t need to hold the meeting agenda at arm’s length to be able to read it. Moms with genuine enthusiasm for the upcoming magazine fundraiser. Before the meeting started, I hung around near the back of the room, trying not to draw attention to myself. Don’t speak unless spoken to and that kind of thing.
. . . And then I saw her across the crowded room, sitting near the stage. (Cue violin music). A kindred spirit. She was an attractive brunette, but it was obvious from some wrinkles and bit of turkey neck sag that she was at least as old as I was. Maybe – dare I say it – older?? My heart started beating fast like it did when I used to see a cute guy taller than me out at the nightclubs in college. I had to meet her.
From “Where the Hell Did That Come From?”
When a woman enters her mid-40s as I did several years ago, she becomes increasingly aware of those apostrophe-shaped lines on the sides of her nose. Just as she begins to accept those, lo and behold, more little apostrophe lines appear only this time they show up on both sides of her mouth. . During an infomercial featuring Cindy Crawford’s skin secrets, I learned the proper name for these is ‘marionette lines’, which sounds way too pretty to describe these dastardly little wrinkles. These are so called because they resemble the lines which enable a Marionette puppet mouth to open and close. It was good to finally have an official name of the thing I detested so much, though I did wonder who got the naming rights to these and how they got that authority. I’d like to someday name a sign of aging, but I would not call it something poetic sounding like ‘marionette’. A better fit would be ‘the OMG” lines because every woman that first notices them, says something like, “Oh my God!” or “WTF?” or in my case, “WTHDTCF?” Where the hell did that come from?
I remember distinctly the morning I made the alarming discovery of my first marionette lines. It was July 15, 2007. Approximately 7:15 a.m. I went to bed without the wrinkles and woke up with them. That fateful morning I was brushing my teeth in front of the bathroom mirror when I froze, my toothbrush stopped in mid-brush, staring in horror at my face. And once more that phrase came to me: “Where the hell did that come from?” These are words that women over 45 will mutter to themselves or sometimes scream out loud throughout the rest of their lives. Ladies, have we paid our dues yet for Eve eating that apple? I should think so.
From “Don’t Call Me Grandma, Buddy!”:
The store clerk took Jason’s hesitation to mean that he didn’t know the answer to the question and was looking to me for help, so the man nodded toward me and said, “If you don’t know ask your grandma.” I froze immediately as I was reaching for a pack of Mentos, and my horror-filled eyes met the clerk’s who must have sensed he’d made a mistake. “Mom?” he asked, correcting himself. But it was too late. The damage had been done.
I’d never before thought I had symptoms of acid reflux, but I felt at that moment that I just might barf. I smiled. “Yes, it’s mom, not grandma,” I replied, trying not to call attention to myself or the situation.
. . . We drove along in silence, but I was reliving the convenience store episode in my mind all the way home. The man had called me Grandma. The thing was I’d thought I’d looked pretty good that day; I had on make-up and clothes that matched and even had time to put self-tanner on my legs. As the afternoon and evening went on, I replayed in my mind what the clerk had said and actually started wondering if perhaps he really had been kidding with me as Jason had suggested. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part. He was the talkative type and maybe he was having a little fun, spicing up what I’m sure was a rather boring day behind the store counter. I tried to recall the exact tone of his voice, the flicker of his eyes, to determine if he had been serious. And if he had been serious, what specifically was it about me that made him think I was Jason’s grandma? I knew I could not wonder about that moment the rest of my life. I knew I had to find out. I had to go back.
From “The Age Gap Between Kids”:
The main thing about being an older mom with age gap children is that I’ve already been there and done that, so to speak, and sometimes it’s tough to go back. Re-adjusting to elementary school traditions can be especially hard for those moms who’ve gone on to middle and high school. For the love of God, do you know how much I dread writing Valentines for all the kids in the class and making a shoebox for Jason’s mailbox? This is a craft to me, and craft is a four-letter word in my book. How many years must I do this? Is there not some type of maximum on parental torture? And I love reading to Jason and his friends during lunch time at school each week, but how many more times can I read Dr. Seuss books aloud before I’m officially declared out of my mind?
And there are those field trips where I have to make conversation with the moms of the other kids, who while very nice, are all probably a decade younger than I am. I stand there and listen politely as they talk about going to their 20th high school reunion or how their mother just turned 55. As I’m listening, my mind is automatically doing the math and figuring out an estimate of how much younger than me the other mom is. Me, an otherwise math idiot, can expertly do math in my head at lightning speed in this situation.
MORE MEDIA ABOUT OLDER MOMS:
“The National Center for Health Statistics states that in the 24 years between 1980 and 2004, the number of women giving birth at age 30 has doubled, at age 35, tripled and after age 40 has almost quadrupled. Forty is the new twenty.”
“Today, one in seven babies is born to a mother at least 35 years old. In 1990, one in 11 had a mother in that age group.”
- Celebrities who are older moms include: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman, Nancy Grace, Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Sheryl Crow, Felecity Huffman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Lisa Marie Presley, Annette Bening, Juliane Moore, Chrissie Brinkley, Geena Davis, and Marcia Cross.
Videos about midlife moms:
htpp://www.motherhoodlater.com -Sharon is a blogger for this site.
Provides resources for moms who have children later in life. The site also provides readers an opportunity to sign up for a free newsletter. There is also the possibility of providing material for an excerpt to be used on the site, as the site has a call for articles written by older moms. In addition, momslater.com has organized groups for older moms, and there are chapters nationwide. The developer of the site is also head of the New York chapter with over 500 members to date. There are chapters listed in: Anchorage, Alaska; Bermuda; Fairfield, CT; Greenville, SC; Mount Pleasant/Charleston, SC; Portland, OR; Wichita, KS; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; St. Charles, MO; New York City/Long Island; New Jersey – Central; New Jersey – Northern; San Francisco/Bay Area; South Florida; & Toronto, Canada.Also has newsletter
http://just-for-mom.kaboose.com/being-an-older-mom.html funny essay about being an age-gap mom
Books About Older Moms:
Midlife Motherhood: A Woman-to-Woman Guide to Pregnancy and Parenting by Jann Blackstone-Ford, 2002
But I Don’t Feel Too Old to be a Mommy – the Complete Source Book for Starting (and Re-starting) Motherhood Beyond 35 and After 40 – by Doreen Nagle, 2002
Midlife Motherhood: A Woman-to-Woman Guide to Pregnancy and Parenting by Jann Blackstone-Ford, 2002
Hot Flashes, Warm Bottles: First-Time Mothers Over Forty, by Nancy London, 2001
Ready: Why Women are Embracing the New Later Motherhood), by Elizabeth Gregory, 2007
Secrets of a Mid-Life Mom by Jane Jarrell, Navpress Publishing Group, 2004
.Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood After 35, by Beth K. Vogt, Revell Publishing, 2007
Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five: Mid Life, New Life, By Michele C. Moore, MD
And four books just on pregnancy after 35.