At iBelieve.com, we strive to offer authentic and real life stories for women in all stages of life. Being a mom can be one of the most rewarding yet most challenging time in a woman's life. Find timely advice for raising your children to love God and follow a Biblical worldview while escaping for moments of mommy encouragement and refreshment! Whether you’re a mom of 1 or 10, single mom or step mom, we want to supply you with the tools you need to be an effective example of God’s love and grace in your home!
I sat in the floor of my toddler girl’s room, my 25 week pregnant belly making “criss-cross-applesauce” a difficult sitting position, and put together the tallest Lego tower a two-year-old can fathom. They are the Mega Bloks Legos, so it doesn’t take long to build a tower taller than she is.
As I sat there I thought about how much fun motherhood is – hard albeit, but fun nonetheless. This led me to think back to my twenties when I lived in a one-bedroom apartment, alone, still worrying about what I was going to wear that Saturday night and if my date would end up being “the one.” I then began to envy, again, all the women who don’t have to go through the dating scene for a whole decade or longer and get to move right into marriage and motherhood.
I did some quick calculations in my mind and realized that when my toddler is twenty years old, I’ll be 56. When she’s thirty, I’ll be 66. And when she’s forty, I’ll be 76.
So when she’s my age I’ll be almost 80 years old.
Tears came to my eyes as I thought about the years I could possibly miss out on just because I’m an older mom. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to know my grandchildren, but great-grandchildren? It’s unlikely.
To console myself I began making a mental list of the advantages to being an older mom.
I can think of a dozen reasons why being a younger mom, and by younger I mean a mom in her twenties, is better. So when I write about advantages to being an older mom it’s not with the endorsement culture gives women to wait to have children to pursue a career, travel, or earn a high-paying income. I am not an older mom by choice. Even though I did go to college and graduate school, my plan was to get married immediately afterwards, have children, and be a full-time mom.
But like all polar facets of life, there are advantages and disadvantages to being both a younger and older mom. These words are to encourage those of us who find ourselves as the latter.
My best friend is the youngest of six kids. Her mom was 42 when she had her, and in the 1970’s this was almost unheard of. But her mom was as active as every other mom throughout our years growing up. I remember seeing her one Christmas when my friend and I were home from college. For the first time I noticed that she had aged.
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As the cliché goes, “You do what you have to do.” Being an older mom forces you to stay active longer. Outside of a debilitating illness, you don’t have a choice. Which leads me to my next point.
As I enter my forties with a preschooler and a baby, I am more aware than ever of the importance of staying physically healthy. Not only does biology make me aware that my body is different than it was in my mid-twenties, the calendar does too.
I can’t neglect being a good steward of my health because I have many more active years ahead of me. The stakes are higher for me now. The sobering reality is that I want to be around to see my children grow up. Although God has complete control over my life and death, my habits affect my overall health.
I would be lying to you if I told you that I don’t sometimes get caught up with “keeping up with the Jones’s” – the Jones’s being other moms. I struggle in this area, too. But I’ve noticed that my struggles are typically short-lived.
My twenties were years when image mattered more than an eternal world-view. Had I been a mother back then, big birthday parties, excessive extra-curricular activities, multiple learning experiences, elaborate toys, and decorated rooms and playrooms would have impressed me. However, as I’ve progressed through my thirties, my worldview has changed. This is partly because I’ve grown in my relationship with Jesus, but it is also because of maturity that comes with age. Time and money have become more valuable commodities.
As a mom in my late thirties, I see the value in spending as much time as possible with my child. My social life is no longer a priority. Long rocking sessions, plans that revolve around naps, and meeting my child’s developmental needs replaced my previous on-the-go lifestyle. I slowed down.
Because I am at home full-time with my daughter, managing money well has also become more important. My conviction is that the money I could spend on birthday parties, or even preschool, is better used if saved for college or for when she’s older and can truly appreciate the experience. I ask myself the question, “How will this benefit her as an adult?” when making decisions about spending money.
My change in perspective has caused me to sacrifice jobs, money, material possessions, and even friends, but having an eternal worldview makes it worth it.
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The other day my toddler was at our friend’s house playing with her two little girls. The house was loud and bustling with activity. One minute my daughter was in the mix, playing and having the best time. Then, about ten minutes later she was off playing by herself. She still seemed content and happy, but she was no longer engaged in the activity around her.
It is scenarios like this one that give me a glimpse into my daughter’s personality and temperament. As I’ve learned about my own personality over the past several years, I can identify characteristics of my daughter’s personality. This helps me to be content with who she is as a person and who she’s becoming. It also helps me meet her needs through the way I interact with her and the opportunities I provide her.
Getting married and having my daughter later in life gave me a unique perspective into my sin nature and the areas I am most vulnerable. I was faced with a myriad of experiences that I would not have had had I started a family sooner. My personal struggles, and the lack of mentorship I received during them, gave me insight into the struggles my daughter will face, as she becomes a teenager, young adult, and possibly single adult. Being an older mom, I am better equipped to mentor her well.
I am also better equipped to go to battle for her through prayer. Daily I pray for the abolishment of specific generational sins that may affect her. I pray for her protection, strength, and wisdom.
Even though not my choice, being an older mom has been a blessing.
Brenda Rodgers considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus. Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single. You can also read more on Brenda’s blog, www.TripleBraidedLife.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.