The Advantages of Being an Older Parent
“My mum really is my soul mate and I can’t ever imagine life without her. However, if I were to lose her tomorrow, at least I would be thankful for the 18 years of love, support, security, and companionship that she has given me. It’s quality of time that is important, is it not? I’d rather have a few good years with a mother like mine, than a lifetime with a mother who didn’t really connect with me.
“I’d like to have children myself one day, but there’s no hurry. I’m beginning university this year, following which I hope to establish a career, so starting a family is not on my agenda for at least 10 or 15 years, maybe more. I have to find a partner first! Who knows, maybe I won’t start a family until I’m in my 40. Do I feel comfortable with that? Yes, definitely, and I have my mother to thank for that.”
The Wisdom of the Ages
After transcribing these interviews, I found it difficult to think of any disadvantages of being an older parent. Any of the negative issues that one might raise in argument against having a baby later in life could be immediately quashed by many of the comments made by my interviewees.
Not many older people enter into parenthood lightly. It is generally a well-thought out decision and, consequently, if the parents concerned did not think that they would be able to cope with the emotional, physical, and even financial strain of having a child, they wouldn’t proceed, would they?
When I was expecting my daughter at the age of 39, someone with a grown family asked me, “Why would you want another baby at your age?” to which I replied, “For the same reasons that someone would want a baby at any age.”
The above interviews have been included in Jan Andersen’s book, You’re Not Too Old!—Pregnancy and Birth at 40+.
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