I became a first-time mom at the age of thirty-five. While many of my friends were having children in their twenties, I was a late bloomer when it came to the parent club. Now that my son is almost four, those same friends have children who are graduating from high school! So, how is parenting different at an older age? What are some of the challenges older parents face, and what are some of the advantages of having more life experiences when it comes to parenthood? Let’s check out some of the ups and downs I’ve experienced over the years!
Related: How To Deal With Your Biggest Parenting Challenges
The Ups & Downs of Being an Older Parent
Your energy reserves aren’t as bountiful as they used to be!
When it comes to the amount of energy required to raise a child, you can’t possibly understand it until you’re in it. There’s no trial run for parenthood! Needless to say, when my son was born, I was more fatigued than I could have ever imagined. For the first time in my adult life, I was able to fall asleep anywhere instantly. But from chatting with other moms, I realized this is the case for all new parents, no matter what your age.
Now that my son is almost four years old, unfortunately my energy stores are still pretty much as low as they were in the newborn stage! And I know that my thirty-year-old mommy friends do not feel that way! I literally crave sleep constantly. As far as I’m concerned, one of the most difficult parts of being an older parent is learning how to function when I don’t feel rested in the least. This is where my copious coffee consumption come into play! At the end of the day once my son is in bed, there is nothing left in the tank for me – let alone my husband. Definitely the most challenging aspect of older parenthood, for me personally.
The transition is a bit rockier at times
Adjusting to parenthood is extremely hard, but I do wonder if it’s harder for the older parent. I still find myself almost automatically being drawn towards things I used to do before becoming a mom, almost instinctively. I can’t help but think that simply because I lived my life a certain way for many, many years, the transition to parenthood was more difficult for me. In talking to a good friend of mine who is in her forties with a three-year-old, I know that both she and her husband feel exactly the same way.
You have far more patience than you might think!
One of the things that did surprise me about being an older parent is how much my life experiences have shaped me as a mother. I have had many different jobs over the years, and have had to be flexible and accommodating with clients and bosses alike. Because of this, I have so much more patience with my son now than what I would have if I had become a mother in my twenties. To say that I have a temper would be putting it mildly (I blame my red hair!), but I don’t fly off the handle like I used to now that I’m nearing my fortieth birthday. I’m no expert on parenting, but I do know that being a mom with a short fuse is pretty much a disaster waiting to happen!
My many life experiences have made me what I am today and have shaped me into the mom that I am. As challenging as it is to be an older parent, with age comes both security and stability that in the end can only make me a better mother.
Are you an older parent? What ups and downs have you experienced throughout the years? Share in the comments!
12 thoughts on “The Ups & Downs of Being an Older Parent”
I would add physical ailments to this list. I had my son at 32 and my daughter at 36. I noticed with the second pregnancy, it was physically harder on my body. Post-partum is proving the same. When I carry my daughter up and down the stairs, I have hip and knee pain. Lots of sports in my youth along with being a mom has physically caught up with me. However, I work harder now to stay in shape as an older mother, knowing I need to be my best physical self to keep up with two littles. I think they keep me young!
I second having more patience. I know in my 20s I would not have been the mother I wanted. I would have been impatient and selfish. Now, I’ve lived life a bit and so I’m ready to just enjoy my kids and commit to them.
I really enjoyed reading your article because I too had my first child in my 30’s. I’m now 45 with a 10 & 7 year old. As with any parenting there are always ups and downs. For me, I’m pretty good on energy and keeping up with them (thankful for green tea) but when my head hits the pillow at night, I’m out. It has so much to do with mindset. I choose to be an intentional mom that exposes my girls to a lot of wonderful experiences live theater, etc. I’m grateful that they get to join me in this season of my life. They are truly my inspiration and I wouldn’t change a thing! Great article.
I think as a parent you are always going to have some ups & down anytime and you just have to admire it & move ahead as parenting is all about patience. As you become older, we have to adopt to few changes which is going to be bit harder, but that is what life is all about!
i just had this conversation this morning that i’m glad i had my kids when I was young. I do however often say that it would be great to have had them now and be able to blog about them….lol.
But, whatever age you are when you raise them, kids are a blessing. Enjoy!
Great post – thank you for sharing! I’m about to become a first-time mom to twin girls, and I’m 33 🙂
I say be thankful that you became a parent, no matter what age. My mum was born to my grandmother when she was 50 years old. So inspired by this I did a blog post on having children after 50. I believe it is a blessing to be able to get pregnant – whatever the age
I honestly think being and older parent has more ups because you’re more prepared to become one. I’m not saying that younger parents aren’t, it’s just that your mind is there and you’re ready for the things that the child may bring to your life. It was nice reading this though.
While I don’t have children yet and have been waiting until at least 30, I know that there will be up and downs with it. I will always wonder if I should of had them at a younger age but I want to be able to provide for my children very well, which I would not of been able to do in my early 20’s.
It does have its pros and cons. lesser energy levels is a con but also in terms of financial stability and maturity this is a pro. Probably you can do more for he child because of this.
It’s not much of a struggle although some women do have issues with being pregnant when they’re older. But all in all, I think it’s how you handle your kids, regardless of your age. One advantage is that you’re more mature especially when it comes to making decisions.
We were in our mid/late 30’s also and chose to wait that long. The real benefit is you should be much more stable financially and your child will certainly benefit from it!
I was blessed with a father that had me at nearly 51. Love the insight in this.