Monday, November 3, 2014

Parenting across the ages

So I just read that it's National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and that a lot of bloggers are committing to posting daily in November. I'm getting a late start. It's November 3rd, but I thought it would be a good reason to get back to this blog. It's been sadly neglected as I work on deadlines for my writing jobs, concentrate on the food blog, do volunteer stuff that I somehow get myself into and you know, those other things that fill my time - like five kids. It's not that I have nothing to write about. At least a dozen times over the last couple months there have been moments that cause me to think, "This would be a great blog post" and then life marches on and I don't take the time to type it up.

So, let's count this as my November 2 post and I'll see what else I can come up with later today because November 2 was a fun day. My nephew, Eli, turns 1 today and yesterday was his party. My sister Becky is just two years younger than me, but there was a long time between when I became a mom and when she became a mom.

My oldest will be 21 in May. He was born in 1994 just before I turned 22. Becky turned 40 this year and became a mom for the first time at 39. So, naturally, I was at Eli's birthday party thinking back on my early mom days and how easy it seemed. I don't mean it was EASY. Parenting never is. I mean that I'm now 42. I've got a few more pounds on me than I did at 21. I've got a few more aches. I get winded a little easier when I'm running or going up and down the stairs. Let's face it. Energy is much more abundant to a 21-year-old than a 42-year-old. I felt glad that my days of chasing toddlers and sleepless nights and changing diapers happened long ago.

My mom had six kids with a 20-year span from oldest to youngest. She had her first at 19, followed by two more in the next 2 1/2 years. Then she had me the week before she turned 37 and then twins at 39. As we were growing up, my parents always seemed so tired. Can you blame them? Keeping up with kids isn't easy at any age and I'm sure it's even harder when you are in your 40's and 50's.

While other kids' parents took them to the beach, the pool, camping trips, amusement parks, it just didn't happen for us. We made a lot of good memories at home. Our parents just weren't the on-the-go type and maybe that was just them and not really an indication of age. Anyway, I've always been an on-the-go type, so I had the intention early on of having my kids while I was on the younger side. I wanted to be finished with having kids by 30. My youngest one was born when I was 32, so I had 5 kids over 11 years.

As I was pregnant with my youngest one, the other twin was pregnant with her first. Her youngest was born when she was 39. So, both of my little sisters have had their kids in their 30's. I think they may have started sooner if Mr. Right had appeared earlier, but it just happened that it didn't happen until later on. And I'm so glad that it happened for them when it did. Although there are some increased risks as expectant mothers age, the age for first time moms has increased over the years. A lot of parents plan it to be later and I certainly understand the many reasons - you want to feel ready, you want to have an adequate home, you want to feel like you can financially care for the baby or you just want to live more and see more before becoming a parent.

Also at the party was my sister's best friend. She also recently became a mom for the first time. Her daughter is two and she has another one on the way. When I commented that I couldn't imagine having a baby at my age, she retorted with, "Well, I couldn't imagine having one when I was younger." It is really an individual thing. Her oldest sister just became a mom for the first time at age 47 and it was a big surprise to them and such a big blessing. I'm so happy for her. Motherhood is the best, whether it happens at 21 or 39 or 47.

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