Motherhood in Midlife: Not Exactly What I’d Planned

I always wanted to have three kids. But I never thought I’d be 35 when I had my first. I thought I’d be in my mid-20s, and I’d be this cool young mom. Alas, life circumstances meant that motherhood was put off until I was 35 and 40—and I never ever thought I’d be pregnant at 40.

Pregnant at 35

When I became pregnant at 35, I was horrified to discover that I was considered to be a woman of advanced maternal age. I didn’t feel like I was at an advanced age! My birth certificate may have said I was 35, but I still felt like twentysomething me (with a little more education and a better job). In fact, most of the first-time moms I knew were in their early to mid-30s.

My pregnancy was uncomplicated. At 35 I became a mom to a perfect baby girl.

Motherhood at last!

Pregnant at 40

Since we waited so long to have our first kid, I thought that we’d have the second one right away. But I had no idea how exhausting parenthood would be! We even considered stopping at just one. Meanwhile, our daughter was declaring her desire for “another princess in the house.” I thought the one we had was quite enough, thank you very much! By the time she was three, my friends either had a second child already or had just announced their second pregnancy. Those announcements confirmed it for me—I wanted to be part of the gang that was pregnant again, too.

My goal was to have the second before I turned 40. I became pregnant fairly quickly, but sadly, miscarried at seven weeks. I finally got pregnant again late in 2006. By the time the baby would be born, I would be 40. Close enough.

Here I am, pregnant again at 40 . . . and feeling pretty good!

Being pregnant at 40 wasn’t so different than being pregnant at 35, but I felt slightly more deserving of the “advanced maternal age” moniker. I found the amnio harder the second time around, though. At 35, it was as close to a walk in the park as having a giant needle inserted into your belly can be. At 40, it was okay, but the cramping afterward terrified me. As did the thoughts of what I had to lose if things went south again. Luckily they didn’t, and my rainbow baby (a boy!) burst onto the scene after a relatively short labour and ten really intense pushes!

40 with a new baby–#goalcrushed

#momlife in Midlife

I just turned 50 this year. When my mom was my age, she already had two grandchildren!

Being a mom in midlife means you keep strapping on that snowboard!

Being a mom to school-aged kids in midlife keeps me feeling young (albeit more thirtysomething than twentysomething these days). I’m fitter and more active than I was in my 20s, when my only concern was being thin. My kids are out there biking and snowboarding and I want to be right there with them. In the car, we crank up the tunes and sing along together, whether it’s the Clash, Blink-182 or Panic! At the Disco—I’m a cool older mom!

Bonus for me: our boys are only five years apart, so I feel closer in age to niece Maman Loup than I do to my own sisters!

But there’s a downside. My son does what I call “future math.” He’ll say, “Mom, when I’m twenty, you’ll be sixty. When I’m fifty, you’ll be ninety,” as if it’s a sure thing I’ll still “be.” Then he’ll ask, “Why did you wait so long to have me?” And that makes me sad.

It’s All Good

My journey to motherhood may not have gone the way I had planned, but honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure, I could be slowing down, planning for retirement, and thinking about becoming a grandma. But I’m not ready for that just yet. I’ve got a couple of kids to raise, a snowboard to ride and music to listen to.

Loving the midlife #momlife

What about you? Did your path to motherhood take the route you thought it would? Tell us your story in the comments.

7 responses to “Motherhood in Midlife: Not Exactly What I’d Planned”

  1. Rekha

    The beginning of this is so me – my first was when I was 34, and I had thought I’d be done having 2-3 kids by then. And now, while we want #2, we aren’t trying yet – life is so tiring with just 1! And I see what feels like all my “May babies” group friends having their seconds already, and it makes me want one, but I just don’t think we’re quite ready for a second to join us. I quite like having just one little tot to scramble after! And she gets all the snuggles, too. And unlike my first pregnancy, I’ll probably do more genetic testing this time around, too…a strange feeling! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration, to #momlife in #midlife!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Rekha. When you’re ready for that second baby, you’ll just know! Enjoy these days when it’s just you and your girl 🙂

  2. Jillary

    I love this blog post, I had never looked at it this way in the way that you describe being 50. I’m currently 35 and will be 36 this August. I have 5 children and I really want to have just one more but I was thinking about my age. I’m worried that I will always regret not having that one more but I know I will never regret having one more. But thinking about my age was what was holding me back but now that I read your blog your absolutely right, at 50 I will be the best shape I have ever been in. I can crank the tunes, I can run with my kids and never think twice about slowing down because I will be able to keep up. I love how you look at things and how age is just a number. This post has inspired me so much in such a way that I definitely feel more ready now to have one last baby than I ever have. Thank you, for this wonderful story you have shared today.

    1. I’m glad this story inspired you! You might find more inspiration from this article from the Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/women-40-50-new-ageless-generation/

  3. Irene

    My story is very similar! I had my first at 36 and at 38 am 7 months pregnant. This after 12 years of happy marriage. While physically this second pregnancy has been exhausting, I think, mostly because I’m also chasing after a 21 month toddler, I am also glad we waited. In terms of my relationship with my husband, we know each other so well now that I think a lot of conflicts were avoided because we know each other’s ins and outs intuitively. I do have the same concerns as your aunt about being ‘old’ when my kids reach adulthood, but it’ll also keep me young too. Thank you for a great post.

    1. I really remember missing the ability to nap any time I wanted when I was pregnant the second time around! Congratulations on baby number 2!

  4. Angela

    Love this and thank you for sharing as I’m feeling the age gap now as I am about to turn 40 when my baby boy turns 1 and my toddler is just 3. Even though my kids are only 2 yrs 2 months apart…I felt a huge difference in th recovery from my 2nd and if anything it was the less complicated pregnancy and delivery. The body didn’t bounce back as quick anymore. But you give me hope as you’re right I’ll be skiing and singing along and active outdoors later in life as i play with my children!! That has to be good for longevity! I play the “if my kids wait as long as I did to have kids….will I be able to help them with their kids??” Age game…and you just reminded me I just might!

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My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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