Welcome, Mamma Crew, to another chaotic, exciting, but always beautiful day of an older mom like you!
And right now, I’m freezing in my patooties because it’s Florida! This place is psycho. It dips into the thirty’s, and then it goes up to the eighty’s in one day! And our heating broke last night, so we had to call the heating guy today about what’s going on in our equipment.
So, what’s up with older mom’s shaming? I’ve been reading a lot of articles that criticize our choices, and frankly, I call bullshit on that. I have a problem with these double standards. What do I mean by that? Do you ever see anyone criticize an older dad? No. No! No, you don’t. So, it’s bullshit—absolute bullshit to criticize an older mom.
As I was reading another article criticizing our choices, ladies (or our situations because sometimes it wasn’t a choice, it was a situation that was out of our control), it really pissed me off! Because I started seeing that story reflect my life. I get grilled continuously about my priorities. Why did I make my education a priority? Why did I make a career a priority in my life?
Do you think anyone ever says to my husband, “Why did you make those things a priority over starting a family?” No! But complete strangers are comfortable asking me those questions. Now, I try to be nice about it in the past, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more ornery (which is a lot to say because I was always ornery, to begin with.) And now I just tell people, “it’s none of your business. It’s none of your business.” I’m done giving people permission to judge my life.
I don’t judge other people’s lives because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the older I’ve gotten, it is that there’s a lot we don’t know or understand about other people. Now, I have to admit that I have a problem when it comes to parenting. I can be judgemental about that, and I’m working on it, ladies. I’m working on it. I’m conscious of it, and I’m working on it.
But as far as everything else, I don’t care, and it’s none of my business why people choose what they do or live their life the way they do. That’s none of my business. It’s none. And I expect people to extend me the same courtesy, especially when it comes to my ability to procreate. So, I was fertility challenged. That’s nobody’s business but mine and who I chose to share it with, okay? And just because I’m sharing it with somebody doesn’t mean that they have permission to judge it.
So, yes, I’ve noticed that people still question me about those choices, but they never question my husband. They never do. And my husband is four years older than I am, by the way. So, when I gave birth, and I was forty, my husband was forty-four. So, again, the bigger question to me is, “Why are you judging me, but he gets off the hook?”
I’ve even had women—women tell me that I should have made better choices. I should have known that the longer it took me to have children, the harder it would be and that I was taking certain risks for myself and my children by doing that. I looked at those women, and every single time my response has been the same, “I’m embarrassed for you.”
As women, we should support each other and our choices, and we should know that being a woman is not easy. And handling a woman’s body? It’s even less easy. We should be encouraging each other. What does it matter to you when I have my children? That’s irrelevant! It should be “I’m here for you,” “Can I help you?” “Do you need help?” If you don’t need help, guess what? I do! Can you help me with advice? Can you help me with support? We should be there for one another, not shaming each other because of our choices or our circumstances.
Now, one of the things that piss me off the most is when people judge me on the fact that I’m an older mom but immediately congratulate my husband and say, “Hey! You still got it!” What the hell? Listen—if there’s a higher likelihood that I’m not going to see my children in their forties, that likelihood is more substantial for my husband. Men die first, typically. And there is no difference here. We’re both parents with the same obligations—different types of connections with our children but the same kind of physical, emotional commitments. So, even though he’s older, even though he’s already more likely to die before me, he gets congratulated, and I get criticized.
And I was thinking, this is the year 2020! Why do we still do this to one another? Why? Why can’t we respect each other’s journeys? Now, I have to be honest with you. I wasn’t interested in having children when I was younger. And by the time I became interested, I first had to acknowledge that I had a medical problem, endometriosis. It was very difficult to acknowledge it because there’s so little you can do about it. I mean, have you experienced the treatments for endometriosis, or know someone that has gone through these treatments? They’re crap! They make you absolutely miserable and crazy. And there are only temporary solutions—temporary solutions with horrible side effects, with a lot of misery. But that’s not the only challenge that women have to their fertility today. There’s a lot of challenges that we have to that fertility.
And frankly, I wasn’t emotionally ready, prepared to have children in my twenties. I was barely beginning to deal with the open wounds that were my childhood—a childhood filled with verbal and physical abuse. I had to deal with so much baggage that had I brought a child into the world at that point, I would’ve been a not very good mother. How could I be more than that given the circumstances? It took me years to deal with the abuse.
Something as simple as laughing. There was a problem in my childhood home when you cried, you laughed, you took a breath. So, forever I would laugh, and no sound would come out. And then, when sounds start coming out, it sounded more like a shriek than laughter. I think I was in my late thirties by the time I started laughing like everybody else. And that was just one, one of the issues, had a lot of other issues.
It took me time to work through my issues, to heal, to accept. And to be honest with you, I continue to work with some of them. My dad being an alcoholic, my tendencies to be codependent, and I work on that every day, and I probably will work on them till I die. But really, the biggest issue that I continue to have is anxiety. I still suffer from anxiety. Thank you, Zoloft. I love Zoloft. It allows me to be me cause I don’t have to deal with that constant pressure from overwhelming anxiety, that feeling that everything’s going to fall apart every second of every day of my life. So, yes! Thank you, Zoloft. Love Zoloft! Too bad I discovered it so late in my life. But hey, happy that I discovered it at all.
So, I needed that time. I needed that time to grow up and become a whole person to have those wounds heal and become scars, to have those scars fade away. I needed time to deal with my diagnosis of endometriosis, which would have challenged my fertility at any stage of my life. And I needed time to find my husband, to find the right person with whom to have those babies.
Yes, I found the right person in my twenties, but he was ill, and he passed away. We knew all the time that we were together that was going to happen. He was not going to be there to help me parent if I had a child with him. And the second man in my life whom I loved and considered to have children with had some genetic issues. If our child would have inherited them, it would have made it difficult for our child. So, we made a conscious decision not to have children together, to love one another and accept our situation.
And then came my husband with his blue peepers—willing to do what it took to have those babies, and knowing that I had reached that emotional maturity that I finally needed and found the right man who came with that emotional maturity as well. Who also wanted to parent as much as I did. And who was willing to do what it took so that I could carry the twins and then, later on, the willingness to take two more children.
So, ladies, don’t give others permission to judge you and question your life. Know that things happen in your life when you are ready for them, and sometimes we think we’re not ready, but we are. We have found our sweet spot. I strongly, strongly, strongly believe that things happen to us when we’re ready for them. And as I say this, the one thing that has me really freaked me out right now is that I only have those four and a half years for the girls to be with me. They’re thirteen, and pretty soon, they’re going to be off to college. And you know I have people tell me, four and a half years is a long time, but it’s not. You know this, ladies! I mean, they were newborns, and then you blink, and they were walking and bringing things down, and then before you knew it, they were reading, and then it’s just everything happening so fast. But I know in my heart of hearts that I’m going to be ready to let them go to the next stage of their life when that happens because that’s just the way life is.
I really believe that things happen when they’re meant to happen, at the right time, when we are capable of dealing with the challenges, the grief, the joy, and what’s happening at that moment. So, you became a mom, when everything aligned, and you were ready, or you had that one more child or that surprise child came into your life at the right moment. You don’t have to, and you should not apologize, question yourself, or be allowed to be questioned by others that have not traveled your journey. Don’t give others permission to judge you or question your choices. You’re perfect the way you are, and your choices are perfect in their way.
And so when you have that moment (cause I have them too, believe me!), when you start to question yourself, remember what I said, Dr. B said, “Don’t question yourself cause you’re perfect, and what happened, happened at the perfect time.” I love you all, and I hope you embrace yourself and the gifts you have in your life. Not just at this moment, but always.
So now that I’ve gotten all mushy sentimental, I like to remind you to please subscribe to our podcast, blog, or YouTube channel, and if you have any ideas or comments you would like to share, we really love to hear from you!
So, remember, if you share an imperfect perfect journey to motherhood, please subscribe to our podcast, blog, or YouTube channel. For links and resources, please visit our website. Till next time! Toodles!
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