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30-3-2012 - Oldest Mom in the Playgroup? Why it Could Be a Good Thing okMy mood while writing this blog:

If you decided to become a mother later in life, you may feel out-numbered by the energetic twenty- and thirty-something moms in your child’s playgroup. Take heart, and take a wider look around. You may notice what recent statistics reveal about birth trends. There are now a greater number of women who are delaying parenthood until their mid-thirties or later. The number of women who are giving birth over age 40 has more than doubled in the last 20 years. And, there are some advantages to being an “older” parent.

Advantages of Older Parenting

Wisdom and maturity – You are likely more confident and relaxed than you were in your 20s and 30s, with a deeper understanding of yourself, which can make you a better parent. Your maturity and life experiences will enhance your parenting skills.

Financial stability – You have probably achieved greater success and a higher salary in your career, or managed to save some money, which can reduce some of the anxieties that younger moms have about supporting a child.

Emotional stability – You are more likely to be in a settled relationship where you have worked out some of the bumps that many couples face in the early years. If you are single, your maturity may make you feel more comfortable with your status as a single parent, and you may have worked harder to establish a supportive network of friends and family.

Commitment to parenthood – You have likely put in more effort in order to have a child at this age, so you are more committed to putting in the time and patience required for good parenting. It is also likely that you have completed your education and career training, and are ready to put your child at the top of your list of priorities.

Challenges of Older Parenting

There are some challenges to older parenting, but there are measures you can take to overcome the potential pitfalls.

Stay healthy longer – Eat right, exercise regularly and try to get regular medical check-ups. This will help you manage health issues that come up as you age, and will help you stay young and active longer!

Stay trendy – Keep up with what is going on in your child’s life by being a good, supportive listener. Read up and stay on top of issues that are important to your child and his peers.

Think young – If you feel too tired to play with your child at his or her level, encourage him to act his age and make efforts for him to spend time playing with kids his own age.

Find similar families – Seek out organizations for older parents and try to connect with other “mature” parents in your community. You will get support by spending time with similar families, and your child will be less likely to think that having an older parent is not “normal.”

Prepare for the future – An older parent is not likely to be around as long, so do what you can to build a network of younger family members and friends who will be there to offer your child support and help out when you can’t. You should also plan ahead to get support for issues you will face through the years, such as caring for your own elderly parents. Make plans to cover financial burdens by investing in solid retirement and college funds that will help after you stop working.

Comments on Oldest Mom in the Playgroup? Why it Could Be a Good Thing

Natalie (2010)

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