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Claire Hegarty and her son, Ciarán

Claire Hegarty and her son, Ciarán

There was a time when mom-blogger Claire Hegarty from Dublin, Ireland (see link below)—who had a surprise pregnancy at 41—thought motherhood meant being trapped while the father “got off scot free.”

“I didn’t feel I wanted children for a long time,” says Hegarty, who is now 44 and mother to 2-year-old son, Ciarán.

“It may sound selfish to some, but I was terrified—I equated having children with being trapped and felt the whole process was humiliating for a woman,” she continues.

Hegarty recalls watching her own mother struggle raising children—as well as many of her peers who had children at a young age—and believes it made her “phobic” about motherhood.

While her friends were growing families, Hegarty was busy building a career in tourism as she “partied” her “twenties and thirties away.”

It was during one of her trips working away from home that Hegarty met her future husband. Together they also “partied for a few years” and returned home to Ireland to marry when she was 34-years-old.

“Children were still at the bottom of my list,” insists Hegarty. “In fact, they weren’t on my list at all.”

But it all changed when she turned 38 and the Big Ben of her biological clock made a gong show of her baby phobia at long last.

“I started ogling babies and taking more interest in my nieces and nephews,” she admits.

“We were overwhelmed with longing for a child and started trying.”

Despite being driven by Mother Nature’s deepest urges, however, Hegarty felt destined for disappointment when she miscarried.

She began to blame herself for being unable to conceive or carry a baby, believing that all of the years of shunning motherhood were now coming home to roost.

“I had spent so many years telling myself that I didn’t want kids that I felt I had willed my body not to do it,” says Hegarty.

Despite the longing, however, she decided not to pursue IVF, having witnessed how the process “took over people’s lives and affected them mentally and emotionally.”

Instead, at the age of 40, Hegarty chose to accept that motherhood was just not her “path” and to concentrate on her career in tourism and a part-time pet-sitting business she had launched.

Then, at 41, Mother Nature chimed in and Claire Hegarty was in for a big surprise.

“When I had totally put it out of my mind, I discovered I was pregnant,” she says.

“I was over three months on before I even realized—I had lost track of my cycle because I hadn’t been thinking of pregnancy at all.  We were overjoyed!”

When she was just shy of 42, Hegarty’s son was delivered by C-section and she began the enlightening journey of over-40 motherhood.

“I sometimes feel awkward around younger parents,” she says. “When they hear you are a first-time parent in your forties, many either think you are mad, brave or they are simply aghast!”

She’s also had the ‘granny-mom’ experience—a sort of (less than charming) ‘christening,’ or ‘advanced maternal rite of passage’—that many of us, who became mothers after 40, have journeyed through before her.

“At a mother and toddler group, I was once asked if I was my son’s grandmother.”

“It made me realize that even when I am not thinking about my age as a mother of a young child, others often are.”

“I wish other people would be more sensitive when dealing with older parents,” she adds.

“When I see someone who looks older, I always assume they are the parent and not the grandparent.”

And when it comes to age, Hegarty is sanguine about growing old and the potential of being around for her children as they become adults.

“Our family on both sides, old and young, are all in excellent health and have lived into their 80’s and 90’s,” she explains.

“I know plenty of younger parents who are not as healthy as we are,” insists Hegarty, “and as my mother always says, ‘you don’t have to be old to die!’”

Since having Ciarán, she’s elected to take a career break to spend time with her son and ‘follow her dreams.’

As part of that process, Hegarty launched her blog—Forty Something First Time Mum (http://www NULL.fortysomethingfirsttimemum NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)—because she often feels lonely being an older mother.

“Many people of my age have older children or no children at all—I wanted to try to connect with others in similar circumstances.”

“As I am concerned now,” says Claire Hegarty, “motherhood is a blessing no matter what age you are.”

Notes for this blog:

You can find Claire Hegarty’s blog at:

http://www.fortysomethingfirsttimemum.blogspot.com (http://www NULL.fortysomethingfirsttimemum NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)

14 Responses to Over-40 Mom Blogs From Ireland

  1. Cindy Bailey (http://www NULL.fertilekitchen NULL.com) says:

    Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Laura Callan says:

    Beautifully told, Ciaran is a lucky boy!

  3. berniegloster@hotmai says:

    love it it is so true and honest

  4. lucy_thornton@yahoo. (http://lucy) says:

    hi claire gret story xx

  5. Corinne Rodrigues (http://www NULL.everydaygyaan NULL.com) says:

    Hi Claire – Yours is truly a lovely story and one that gives a lot of hope to many childless women (like me!) who choose not to go down the somewhat aggressive IVF path.
    That’s a lovely picture of the two of you :)

  6. Lisa says:

    Very frank and honest view of being an older mummy, thank you for sharing, Lisa – who became a mummy at 36

  7. c_hego@hotmail.com says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments ladies. And thanks to Angel for writing up my interview so well. Hop over to the main flowerpower mom site for a treat and of course, don’t forget to keep an eye on my personal site too!

  8. Amanda Hogan says:

    A truly inspirational story,it is admirable Claire,that you had such a respect for motherhood,I know you call it a fear,and maybe it was,but so many pay as much attention to future pregnancies as they do to buying a burger!! You had a fantastic respect for motherhood,you knew it is a huge life-changing event,not to be taken lightly,we are responsible for the life of another human being,I feel there is such an irresponsible attitude out there towards motherhood,your story is so open..well done.

  9. jessica says:

    I love the fact that you created this blog and are so willing to share your experience. I became a mom again at 45, and Yossi is now several weeks away from his fourth birthday. I was hit and nearly killed by a drunk driver when he was a mere 4 months old, and he has had to witness me getting back on my feet and learning how to live again-he and I parallelled a lot in that first year of his life…and now, we are both literally growing up together on one awesome adventure with a lot of challenges…aside from the accident, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Older mothers have more wisdom and experience than those much younger-I was a first time mom at 24 with my older sons. We have more patience, more to offer our kiddles. Here’s to older mothers…we aren’t going anywhere, so get used to us. And don’t look down on us either-a Mom’s a Mom, no matter how old she is!

  10. Abby Wynne (http://www NULL.abby-wynne NULL.com) says:

    Great to see you spreading your wings, Claire. You’re certainly not alone in over 40’s motherhood! I’ll look forward to reading more of your posts over the coming months xx

  11. Claire (http://www NULL.fortysomethingfirsttimemum NULL.blogspot NULL.com) says:

    Thanks for all the comments! And Jessica, I hope you are better now!

  12. Peppy Richard says:

    Many thks Claire for sharing yr wonderful story.I’m a mother of 3 and despirate to have the 4th one after 6yrs. Felt I didn’t enjoy the last three pregnancies due to family problems and I just really want to feel young again. All the family are in support of the plan but I hv been trying for 4 months now but no luck yet. Don’t want to go the route of IVF. Can U advice please?

  13. Peppy says:

    Hi Claire, sorry Peppy is 43yrs old now.

  14. Liska (http://newmumonline NULL.blogspot NULL.com/) says:

    I find your story very empowering and I thank you again for following my blog. I am not that much younger than you and also had my first born, also a son. I am also Irish :-) xxxx

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