Chatting with Iain Lee on BBC3C Radio about Mum’s ages – Is it selfish to be older

The other day I was on BBC3 Counties Radio chatting to Iain Lee about wether you are ever to old to be a Mum.

Check us out here:

 

I’m and ‘older mum’

Living in Hertfordshire means that there are lots of ‘older mums’.  Whereas when I fell miraculously pregnant with Curly Headed Boy at 36 I was considered ‘geriatric’ in Peterborough (I wasn’t meant to be able to have kids).

Falling again at 40 with Little Dimples, the difference in my body has been REALLY noticeable.  Plus it’s been very tricky since getting Fibromyalgia.

But I’ve often thought I would have been a great ‘young mum’, awful 20’s-early 30’s Mum, and am glad that it happened to be later.

 

What did everyone else say?

When I asked on twitter and facebook, I was really surprised that the age limit people were talking about was 40.  I was expecting them to be saying late 40’s as the upper limit.

 

Being the child of older parents

My mum was 43 when she had me (my brothers are 20yrs older than me).  That’s not a problem in itself, apart from the fact that I was a ‘young carer’ for both my parents from around 5 years old.

Some responsibility and learning about empathy and taking care of people is good.  The mistake they made was relying on me totally for things and not getting proper qualified help at times.

My Dad died when I was 20.  I didn’t have an adult relationship with him.

My Mum died when I was pregnant with Curly Headed Boy.

They smoked, drank a lot, didn’t keep fit or eat healthily.

They didn’t make sure that someone else was lined up to ‘watch over me’.

There is no one on the worst days or the best days to call.  There is no one who cares enough to listen to the boring, repetitive minutae of my life.

I’ve found the lovely Nanny Bets in Tesco’s who is like an adoptive grandparent for the kids (and gives me lovely hugs), and one of my brothers makes a big effort with his new wife.

Most of the time it’s OK.  Sometimes it isn’t.

 

So yes, I do think that it is selfish to have children when you are older, if you don’t try your hardest to be healthy.

Of course, this is why I am ‘ME’.  It’s why I’m so passionate about keeping yourself healthy.  It’s why I’m so good at my ‘job’ as I learned so young.  I wouldn’t change ‘me’, so why would I change this?

 

What do you think?  Do you worry about it?

Or do you think that a woman has the right to have a child whatever age she is?

Even push the boundaries of science and have them when her body has gone into the menopause and she is in her 50’s?

 

 

10 comments

  1. My husband’s mum was 42 when she had him, his dad 62 (big age diff). Meant they were more like ‘grandparents’ especially his dad.I was 34 when I had Hannah, and I wish I’d been in my 20’s as I’d have liked for her to have had brothers and sister. Didn’t happen. I think bodily, we are better prepared in our 20’s, financially, in our 30’s. Mentally in our 40’s. Hmm….

    1. @Carol yep, if only we knew what we know at 40 when we were 20 and we’d be the perfect parents heh! Sorry you didn’t get to have any more kids, two is fun, but for some reason seems to be quadruple the trouble ;o)

  2. My parents are older, my Mum was 40 when she had me and my Dad was a few years older than my mum. So now that puts them at 70 and 73. I love my parents dearly but what with my Dad having health problems and has done since my mid 20s I have felt as if I have missed out a little. I know that anyone can get ill whatever their age but I do sometimes wish I had younger parents. I am 31 now and have a three year old and am pregnant with my second child so I am younger than my parents and if it didn’t take me a year to get pregnant, I would just be turning 30!

    1. So glad you were able to have your kids younger than me @Kelly, so at least they get grand parents. It’s weird isn’t it – I think being the child of older parents means that we do have a ‘different’ view of life sometimes, maybe more perspective? But it definitely does have it’s downsides. I was REALLY pissed off nursing mine after my O levels finished – that’s when I started smoking (not the worst thing I could have done!!).

  3. I don’t think it is selfish at all to be having children when you are older, or more specifically at age 40 and beyond. I understand it is not the norm but a lot of women do have healthy children in their 40s, and sometimes, late 40s. As Carol above commented, there are pros and cons to have children at every age group. Parents in their 40s tend to be more secure both financially and about themselves. Everyone’s life path is different. As long as we can provide love and good care to our children, it’s not too old or selfish.

    1. @Kate it’s so tricky isn’t it – I’m definitely saner than I would have been in my 20’s. If I didn’t have Fibromyalgia I would probably consider a 3rd child now, making me the same age as my Mum. I can only hope that I do a better job of keeping healthy and keeping around than my mum did bless her – atleast she knew I was pregnant.

    1. Yes, @anya I agree – I think that’s what we need to remember – being more relaxed and a bit wiser is definitely an advantage and we can make up for the ‘older’ bit if we are aware of it.

  4. Thanks Lisa, this is a really interesting debate. My own parents are 87 and 90, but to my two teenage children, that age has never been an issue. They get spoilt rotten in terms of time. When we see them, hours are spent playing board games and other sedentary pastimes. I think older parents/ grandparents just bring different aspect to the relationship. Of course, good health is a blessing for us all, yet young doesn’t always equate to healthy. As Kate said, it’s the love and care which is most important regardless of age.

    1. Ahh it’s lovely that your parents are still around @amanda, and I totally agree – they bring a great different relationship to the kids. Little Dimples runs into the little old lady’s house really excited and they certainly aren’t playing crazy energetic games. (could be the amount of treats and spoiling she gets there though!).

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