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Aside from the very presence of my children, few miracles of nature give me greater happiness than witnessing the stereotypes of later life motherhood joyfully crushed beneath the boot-heel of reality by the a tender simplicity of an empirical truth.
It is like finding a blushing rose in the blackened fields of nuclear ruin. A chronological conundrum. A permanent paradox. Fate’s humorous twist.
When they label us “older” mothers, immediately the image of a rheumy-eyed and bespectacled granny—doddering precariously on her twin hip replacements, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel—is conjured in the minds of the general public.
It’s proof that stereotypes formed through the litmus of narrow-minded judgment are usually the creations of a moral simpleton.
Today, I’ve found the youthful flower in the fields of our ancient dreams. The panacea for prejudice against “advanced maternal age.”
She is 43-year old Michelle Remy, from Modesto, CA.
Quite simply, Remy, a freelance writer and over-40 mom-blogger (http://advancedagedmommy NULL.blogspot NULL.com/), has the sort of sultry, Cleopatra visage you point to and say: “I want to look like her when I’m a midlife mother!”
With Remy, who launched her blog—ironically entitled Advanced Aged Mommy (http://advancedagedmommy NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)—because she turned 40 only ten days after giving birth to her now 3-year-old daughter, age does not proceed before beauty; it exults in it.
What’s more, her views on motherhood caused me to wake up and smell the winds of change. Remy is the forerunner and foreshadowing of the new wave—the next rising generation of over-40 motherhood.
“I didn’t feel the traditional call to motherhood”, she says. “I lived a very active, social single life in the Bay Area and was very content.”
In fact, when she found her social circle drifting towards “couplehood,” Michelle and a friend decided to try internet dating as “more of a hobby.”
But she ended up meeting a “wonderful guy” whom she married in 2005.
“I realized I wasn’t in my prime baby-making years,” Remy admits, “but decided to try to conceive anyway.”
“Since my desire to have a child didn’t necessarily mean giving birth to one (I was always open to adoption) any concerns I had were really minimal.”
And for Michelle Remy, conception proved to be as easy as falling off a birth control pill.
“I didn’t have difficulty conceiving—in fact it only took three months after I got married!” she remembers.
However, while conception was a breeze, Remy was at the mercy of a round dawn-till-dusk morning sickness well into her second trimester, laced with antenatal depression for which she had to be medicated.
When she was finally C-sectioned after 10 hours of fruitless labor, she was quick to say “I didn’t have a problem with not having to push!”
Now with more than 3 years of over-40 parenting under her belt, Michelle has what is evolving into the seasoned outlook of the initiated.
“I do like to imagine how I would have handled motherhood in my 20s,” she says. “I think I would have definitely had more energy back then, but I have to admit I have way more patience now.”
“Also, my very laid back husband has taught me not to sweat the small stuff—something I couldn’t have done in my 20s.”
And the most significant sacrifice of most later life mothers, she acknowledges: “I let go of my infinite amount of ‘me-time.’”
Having met with an ever-growing pool of the new generation of over-40 moms, I also see the pattern in reflected in Michelle Remy’s perception of time, growing up and growing older.
“The challenge is my age and the benefit is my age—my energy level has declined as I’ve gotten older, but the wisdom and experience I bring to motherhood is invaluable,” she observes.
“I value the time I have with my daughter because I’ve seen my nieces and my stepchildren grow up so fast.”
“I don’t take for granted the small amount of time I have with my daughter.”
Ultimately—like the growing number of new mothers over 40—Michelle Remy is grounded and much less questioning than her forebears in her decision to be a later life mother.
“I feel I make a better parent now than I would have at a younger age because I’m more grateful for the blessing of motherhood,” she says.
“I waited a long time to have a child and I appreciate it more than I would have if I was younger.”
“I believe no matter how old a mother is—whether she’s 25 or 45—she brings her own unique perspective and skills to the job,” argues Michelle.
“I have mom friends of all ages and each one experiences her challenges and triumphs. It’s all in the attitude.”
Notes for this blog:
You can find Michelle Remy’s blog at:
http://advancedagedmommy.blogspot.com/ (http://advancedagedmommy NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)
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