I am an old new mom.
There are so many reasons why I’m actually glad to be an older mom, but I think the main reason is that I feel like I’ve done a lot of stuff before I had my baby and now I’m so happy just to be with him. Sure, there are still some parties or dinners I’d like to go to and get a sitter for, but wow, I really went out a lot when I was not a parent. I was out every night, I think…
When I started thinking about being a mom solo, I was in my mid to late 30’s and I knew that now that I was older, as soon as I had a baby, I’d lose interest in other things. I knew myself. I knew the maternal beast was just brewing and ripening and that when it was released, I’d be the gooeyist, most loving, child obsessed lady in town. I pretended that I’d continue interest in the projects I had going, but I knew deep inside all I would want was to snuggle and sing songs about bumble bees and buy soft blankets.
And of course, as soon as Spenser was born, I thought “Shit! I wish I was a younger mom because this is everything I’ve ever wanted and I wish I could have had this happiness sooner and then had 5 more babies!!!” (I was pretty hormonal when I thought of 5 more.)
I have always been the person who didn’t want to miss anything – any event, party or gathering – I was there. Social, busy over comitted. How would I ever be able to stop to have a baby?
And, as I got older, it all became clear…. I didn’t really have to stop – I just wanted to.
You know how sometimes people say, No one is ever ready to have kids… well, I was. I was READY (even though I was scared to take the first steps, doing it solo and all)
Yesterday I was at an audition (trying to get some work to support my baby) and I got into a conversation with another woman auditioning for the same part – a mom of a teenager. She was saying that she was 35 and she would have had to had the baby at 20 to be this mom. “I told my husband I want to wait till I’m 40 to have a baby,” she said. “There’s so much I still want to do.”
“I understand,” I told her, “I had my baby at 42.”
She looked at me funny*. “How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
*She may not have really looked at me funny, but I like to think she was baffled by my oldness/young appearance.
“I’m 44,” I said.
Wow. I’m not sure if I’ve even said that out loud yet. I’m 44???!!! Crap! That’s old. And yet, I really feel better than ever – even with much less sleep and very little time for myself and running around on my knees and eating leftover highchair food.
I think about being in my 30’s and how I was very busy, very social and also struggling with back pain and neck pain and depression. I felt old, in my 30’s. Was it just emotional suffering? Was I aggrivated by the stress of not knowing if I’d ever be a mom because every guy I dated was such a story to tell at bars?
“I’m glad I am an older mom,” I told her, looking down at the fake diamond wedding ring I was wearing, for the audition to play a married mom. Wow. Even my hands looked old.
Before I got pregnant, I wondered if I’d want to wear this ring when I was pregnant just to make myself feel normal. I didn’t. I actually never even thought about it maybe because feeling normal wasn’t a concern, because I was so happy.
I was at a party with friends, who had older children. The kids were all off playing by themselves and I was running all over with Spenser as he climbed stairs and chased after balls and big kids. He was having the greatest time. The other parents were in different groups sitting, standing, chatting, drinking and eating – not chasing.
One of the dads said to me, “Don’t worry, just a couple more years and you’ll be able to sit and have adult time.”
I smiled and nodded and pretended that what he said was great… but that was not AT ALL good news to me. I am in NO rush for adult time, because you know what… I’ve had about 22 years of adult time. I’ve had SO much adult time that I seriously WELCOME and ADORE non stop baby, toddler and child time… and yes, this time will go by fast and I know I will miss it and I won’t be relieved to have aldult time back – though I LOVE my adult friends, don’t get me wrong.
I LOVE YOU GUYS !!! (if you are reading)
photo by Mara Casey