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Women who become mothers after forty have a sordid laundry list of woes peculiar to their circumstances—including being labeled “advanced maternal age” by their doctor, having to befriend school moms who look young enough to be Girl Guides, or being mistaken for “the grandma” at the local playground.
A Baby After 40 Means You’re Old Enough To Be A Grandma
But there’s a good reason for such down-home misery: the truth is, women having children in midlife today are old enough to be grandparents. In fact, they fall victim to all of the vagaries of aging just like grandmothers do—from fading eyesight, to the fat-feeding fluctuations of their feminine metabolism.
There is, however, one exception: unlike grandma, the later life mom is stuck with the kids around the clock, and feels forced to remain tight-lipped about it. After all, she made her own creaking bed and has to lie in it, right?
Try this exercise: First, think of a grandmother you know. List as many reasons as you can why she might be eager to hand back her grandkids after a fun-filled day of “quality time”. Then, imagine that—instead of part-time granny-hood—she had actually volunteered to be a full time parent. At her age.
Are you inclined to pity or laughter?
An Older Mom Who Recognizes A Crowd Desperate For Laughs
In her blog about being an later mother (http://thedancingegg NULL.wordpress NULL.com/bio/), veteran New York journalist, Caren Chesler, manages to make us feel both, and with all of the humourous aplomb of a re-incarnated Erma Bombeck—an effort to poke fun at herself that I had to Digg!
Chelser, the other half of a midlife couple—who had her son at age 47—recalls how her toddler once mistook their 70-year-old neighbor for his “daddy”.
She enumerates the follies of being an older mother—like repeatedly redrawing her eyeliner until it’s thick enough to see in the mirror, or painting across her toes instead of each toenail, because she suffers from age-related macular degeneration.
Age, she also complains, has made her weak: “It’s not that I can’t lift the baby. I can. It’s that after I do, I can’t lift my arms. I think I’ve gotten arthritis from breastfeeding.”
If I consider what Erma might have said, had she been a midlife mother, I doubt she could have put it better.
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