I read an article in the Daily Mail yesterday about mothers who choose to wait until after 40 to reproduce. In the article, it said that 'children of mothers over 40 are healthier, more intelligent and less likely to have accidents'.
The full article can be read here: Daily Mail: Children of mothers over 40...
Now I know that the DM is hardly the most accredited newspaper, most of it is tabloid trash but occasionally they do have a few good reads. This article stuck out in my mind because of the last line, and I quote '‘The evidence suggests that when the enormous difficulties of pregnancy and birth are over, they can make better mothers,’ he added.'
I really would like to know where they get their statistics from. Women over 40 make better mothers? How can they even make a statement like that, what makes a better mother? Money, possesions, career status?
I had my children early so this can be a sensitive subject with me, but in my opinion I don't think that waiting until 40 makes you a better parent. By the time your children would be ready to marry you would be 65, and can you see yourself running the parents race at sports day aged 50?
In no way am I trying to offend older mums here, but for me, a mother who is 40 has NO advantage over me, apart from maybe a mortgage and a more demanding job. I have been through so much in my short time in this world, I probably have more life experience than a lot of 40 year old women.
My parents were a little bit over 30 when I was born, married, ran their own business and we lived in a 4 bedroomed detached farmhouse with 2 acres of land. I had the best clothes and holidays, went to a good school and did lots of extra-curricular activities. I am very close to my parents and my mum is my best friend.
Here are my advantages of being a younger parent to an older one:
- When my daughter hits 18, I will only be 32 (35 when my son reaches 18). We we still be able to enjoy the same activities, share the same interests and I will still be young enough to relate to her (and Sam with our son). I can't see a 60 year old and 18 year old sharing many interests or enjoying the same things.
- I'll live long enough to see most of the life of my children, watch them get married, have children and hopefully still be around to watch my grandchildren mature into adults.
- I'm healthy and active enough to participate in energetic activities with my kids for longer periods of time.
- I am interested in fashion, beauty and hair and keep up to date with what's on trend. My daughter will appreciate this when she hits puberty.
- We are young enough to be 'cool' parents. Now that statement seems very immature, but this is actually really important to kids, no one wants to have embarrassing, old-fashioned parents.
- I can start my demanding, responsible career in 4 years and put my all into it. Mums who choose careers first often end up quitting after they have their first child. To me that seems a bit backward - why start a great career to throw it all away after 15 years?
- I have never had to give anything up for my children as I never had anything to give up. Older mums have to sacrifice more.
- By the time my kids have left home, Sam and I will be able to do the things we always wanted to do, and hopefully by then we will be earning more than ever, so we will have the money to enjoy life.
- Pregnancy and birth is on average easier for younger parents. I could fit into my size 6 jeans the day after delivery and both my labours were normal with no stitches.
There are always exceptions to the rule, and in this case there seems to be many exceptions.
Of course it is down to personal choice and circumstances, many mother do not choose to become older mums as such, it just works out like that...
So, in conclusion.. In my experience there is no advantage to being an older mother.
What age do you think is ideal to start a family? To the younger parents - do you wish you had waited before starting? To older parents - do you wish you had started earlier?
All comments are appreciated, I would like to get more of a perspective on this...
Thanks for reading, Kim.