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By Cynthia Wilson James, founder of InSeasonMom.org.

“I mean, like when the kid is 25, the mother will be 65!” As I read her response to an article about first time moms over 40, I could almost picture the reader’s facial expression.

She would probably grasp that many of us older moms have the audacity to have not only one baby, but two after age 35 (http://vitals NULL.msnbc NULL.msn NULL.com/_news/2012/04/11/11147633-more-older-moms-dont-stop-with-one-baby-new-study-finds?lite).

Although women giving birth or adopting a baby in their late 30s and 40’s is becoming more common, the reader’s comment is just a reflection of the many people who exercise age bias against new older moms.

Like any other bias or prejudice, I believe her’s (assuming the reader is female) is based upon one of three possible causes: not knowing many new older moms, a personal negative experience with a new older mom or believing all the inaccurate data about older moms.

I would ask the reader to consider the following:

1)  A 25-year-old is no longer a “kid.” A 25-year-old is a young adult and is often married and may have a kid of his or her own.

2) While I know that all moms play a vital role in their children’s lives (whether the children are adults or preschoolers), I assume that my child will be more independent at age 25 than she was at age 5.

3) Finally, and most importantly, I would encourage the reader to get to know a 65-year-old. Many lead active productive lives.

When my grand aunt was 65, she was getting married for the first time.

The real “Cha Ching” (urban slang) or money didn’t start coming in for Harland David “Colonel” Sanders until he was 65 when he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the Little House on the Prairie, didn’t publish her first novel until she was 65 years old.

Edith Wilma Connor entered—and won—her first bodybuilding competition at the age of 65.

My grandfather who has children over the age of 65, celebrated his 101st birthday in May. Last year, at his 100th birthday party (http://inseasonmomreflections NULL.blogspot NULL.com/2011/05/over-40-mom-myth-shattered-at-my NULL.html), he not only gave acceptance speeches for various awards, but he danced!

I encourage younger moms to keep an open mind. You never know what the future will bring. After all, if you are 20-something and have a child, one day you may have to assume custody of your grandchild. Then you will realize that being a good new mom is based on love and not age.

Notes for this blog:

Cynthia Wilson James, a former childbirth educator, conceived naturally and gave birth at age 42 and 44 to two healthy daughters, is founder of www.InSeasonMom.org, which provides support to first time moms over 35 and 40 through coaching, blogs and Mom of the Month articles.

9 Responses to Too Old To Be A Good Mom At 65?

  1. Amanda (After Forty Mom) (http://www NULL.afterfortymom NULL.com) says:

    Gosh this is so timely for me and THANK-YOU for addressing the topic professionally and with super examples of people who are achieving well into their 60’s!

    My daughter is 17 months and I’m 45 and I’ve been deep in contemplation about her having a sibling of close age for her for today but also for years ahead when her dad and I are in our 60 and 70 and 80 and older.

    This article brought about some great points for my dilemma even though the target was different :) Thanks Cynthia (and congrats to your grandfather!)

  2. Lylas says:

    My son will be fourteen when I’m sixty five – wow, I’ll be retired so I’ll be able to see all his baseball games, band recitals, plays, dance recitals… The list goes on and on. I’m sure the responder will faint when she sees all the ‘old timers’ proudly watching their high school aged kids at their events. We’ll be sure to save her a seat.

  3. Annachestnut says:

    There is so much ageism/sexism in this country. Slamming older women who give birth is just an excuse to exercise ageism/sexism. Try finding a job when you are over 55.

  4. Lisa C (http://thesprog NULL.blogspot NULL.com) says:

    There are so many advantages to being an older mother. I feel like having that extra ten or twenty years to learn, read, travel & have fun before having children can give a parent great perspective. Also, when I left the late-night partying behind me, I felt like I’d had my share of it & wasn’t missing out when baby arrived. As a new mom in her late 30s I’m a lot mellower than I was in my early 20s. I can better deal with the stress that accompanies parenting.

  5. Buffymom9 says:

    Just think how wise and self content a 65 year old woman can be and imagine the power that will have on her child. It’s like a gift.

  6. Michel says:

    Thanks I needed this. Sometime as I continue to try for my first child in my 40s I think I am crazy. This reminds me that I am not.

  7. Janet says:

    Thanks for this. I loved the examples of the achievements of those in their 60’s. I am in my late 40’s and have a toddler and would always worry about not being able to ‘keep’ up, but now I have a much more positive ‘picture’ of what that could look like when I am 65.

  8. Amy says:

    Michel you are not crazy! I had my daughter (naturally conceived) just 2 weeks shy of my 43rd birthday. Best thing my husband and I ever did. By the time we tried again for a sibling, it was too late for my bio clock, so we adopted 2 boys ages 2,8 from foster care. Lovin being a parent. During my quest I got so much flack about being too old that I taped a quote from the tv show “Scrubs” on my fridge that you might find helpful: “Don,’t worry what other people think. Just go out there and do whatever the h?ll makes you happy.” life is short and getting shorter. do what you love. You won’t regret it!

  9. Carolyn (http://www NULL.mommyinthmiddle NULL.com) says:

    Amy, I love your quote and am inspired by your story. Like you, I had my son too late (46) to provide him with a sibling. We tried, but now that it’s clear I’m well into menopause, we’re looking at adoption.

    Like you, we’re pursuing a domestic adoption and we’d like a child around two years younger than our own who’s now six. (He’s been bugging me for a baby brother or sister ever since he saw all his little friends getting one, but now we’re past the baby stage!)

    Sometimes I think we must be nuts to consider another child when I’m now 52 and almost ready for the senior discount.

    But Cynthia reminds me that for some people life begins at 65. Thanks for the inspiration, Cynthia!

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