I have always felt like a late bloomer. I didn’t date much as a high schooler, and finally felt like I found my groove in life in my late 20s. So I suppose it makes sense that I was an older bride which led to becoming an older first-time mom. The decision to become a mother weighed on me. I wondered if pregnancy was even possible, and after my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I worried about it even more. I didn’t know if I could be brave enough to try again. My husband and I prayed and pondered and decided that due to my age, we better start trying sooner than later.
Throughout my pregnancy with my firstborn, I added all of the worries about being an older mom to all of the concerns that are a part of being pregnant. It’s probably not a surprise to hear then, that an overwhelming theme of my pregnancies was all about worrying. Looking at it now, I wish that I could have allowed gratitude to crowd out the worry. I was indeed so thankful to be pregnant, but, unfortunately I just couldn’t enjoy my pregnancy and wanted to fast forward and get straight to having the baby.
Although I definitely had plenty of anxieties about becoming a mother, I feel they were balanced out by hope. My husband and I had prayed for, hoped for and dreamed of becoming parents. When the day finally came for my scheduled induction, I was so relieved. The birth experience was exactly what I was hoping for and I just couldn’t believe that perfect little baby was mine! The worry and anticipation completely washed away. Our hopes turned into reality as I was just 3 months shy of 35 when my first son was born.
While my emerging motherhood may have started with double the anxieties, becoming a mother a little later in life also gave me double the life experiences to forge my adult identity before it would be transformed into a new identity of motherhood. I had many powerful experiences under my belt that had opened my eyes to the kind of parent I hoped to be, and the confidence to admit my shortcomings, regroup and try again. I can’t help but think that the many experiences I had before I became a mama gave me a unique perspective from which I parent.
My most recent challenge in being an older mother is that I have entered into the “Sandwich Generation.” My parents are aging and require a little more support from their kids than they have ever before. While I recognize that this could also be an invitation to worry, I’m choosing gratitude and hope. I’m grateful to have them just a half a mile away. I’m thankful that their influence on me and my family is a gift and I can’t help but want to glean every ounce of wisdom they have.
The hope I have clung to since before I became a mom continues to sustain me. My oldest son is now a kindergartener and my youngest son is just 18 months younger. My gray hair and age spots are balanced out by the life experiences and wisdom I have gleaned from mothers who have gone before. Despite the fact that I’ve been a late bloomer, I can see that when the flowers bloom they’ll be downright gorgeous.