As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday, I came across a post from Brain Child Magazine. They were sharing an article from a woman named, Estelle Erasmus. The title of her article was, I had a baby in my 40s. Part of my job is preparing my daughter for life without me.
Now, as a writer, I know that the headline is the magnet and this writer wanted to draw the reader in. The headline made me angry. I knew what the article was going to say and I was right. I wrote a comment from my heart under the Facebook post since I could not leave a comment on the article. In seconds I started to get likes and comments with people agreeing with me and sharing similar stories.
So you might wonder why I was so upset by the article. I am going to tell you. There are a few reasons. First, just because a woman is in her 40’s when she gives birth does not mean she is going to die when her child is young. There is no reason she should be living her life preparing her daughter for a life without her. Why do that? That is not living with a positive outlook on life nor is it a realistic outlook either. Do you know how long women have been having babies in their 40’s? It is nothing new.
So many women in my own neighborhood growing up had one or more babies in their 40’s. While it was usually not their first child as it was for this woman, they were still having a new baby in their 40’s. No one treated them as if they were at death’s door either. In fact, I was born to a mother who was 2 weeks shy of her 44th birthday.
When my mother found out she was pregnant with her 5th child at 43, her doctor told her it meant she was young and healthy. Never once did I feel my mother was doing anything to prepare me for life without her. My mother had great genetics, her father, my grandfather was 82 when I was born and he lived to be almost 102. He was healthy and happy right to the end of his life.
My mother had her first child at 21 and her last at 44. Having babies later in life kept my parents young. Various studies have shown that women who have babies later in life, live longer than those who don’t. This is due to the fact that being able to conceive and carry a child to term at that age shows their bodies are young and healthy.
Having a baby young does not guarantee that child will not lose their parent at a young age. I don’t think any parent should spend their time preparing a child for how to live without them based on an age. What kind of life is that? It is morbid and depressing. They may spend energy doing that only to find they are still going strong at age 100 while their child is nearing the age of 60. All that wasted energy could have been used for better things. Often the things we worry about and lose energy over never happen.
We all know that age is a number. There is no guarantee that a younger mother will outlive an older one. My best friend growing up was born to a younger mother. She lost her mom at a young age from cancer. Another friend lost her mom at a very young age in a car accident. A mother having a child at 23 may find out she has cancer and die at age 24. On the other hand, a 40-year-old mother may live to 103.
We don’t know, life has no guarantees. Why should we waste a moment of it trying to prepare a child for a life without us if we have no terminal diagnosis? We need to embrace our children and life at any age. Children are a blessing and it does not matter if we are 20, 30, 40 or beyond.
Life happens and we have children on God’s timing. Many woman are trying desperately to have a child and would not waste one moment thinking about such things as preparing their child for a life without them. Instead they would lavish every moment of life with their child.
Life is not predictable. Anything can happen at any time. Age does not hold iron clad guarantees of any kind. In the blink of an eye, a young mother or a more mature mother can be gone. We just don’t know. Our thoughts are so powerful. Shouldn’t we enjoy life and think positively? Why go through life preparing your child for something you think might happen?
Why not harness the power of positive thinking and believe you are going to live to a ripe old age? Visualize yourself living a full life, leaving a great legacy and a child who qualifies for the senior citizen discount at Target. As a mother in 3 different decades of my life, I can say, be thankful for the experience of Motherhood at any age, it truly is a blessing.