Once upon a time, I was a young mama with a newborn. Then, I blinked, and suddenly I'm the "old mom," dropping my third child off at preschool. Since I'm approaching 38, people are often shocked to learn I may even want more kids, and I hear pretty interesting comments about my "geriatric" status. Some are eye-roll-worthy, others just uniformed, and still more are so funny I nearly spit my (false) teeth out. Kidding.
1. Referring to me as AMA. For the uninitiated, A.K.A. young moms, this insultingly-antiquated acronym stands for advanced maternal age. I mean, really? I'm over 35, not 85! It's not as if I needed a walker to make it into the delivery room last time. Yet in the medical field, AMA is how women are referred to once they're a day older than 34. I guess OTH (over the hill) was already taken.
2. "Are you doing fertility treatments?" I've never had anyone inquire about how I conceived my kids, but I know several older moms who have been, especially if they birthed twins after 35. In some cases these women underwent IVF, but in others, their babies were conceived the old-fashioned way. Because contrary to popular belief, us "elderly" folks can still have sex! Many of us get pregnant, too!
3. Telling me how old I'll be when my child goes to college, gets married, etc. I'm no mathematician, but I am fully aware that when my youngest is old enough to drink alcohol, I'll be almost 60. When she turns 30, I'll be pushing 70. These notions are just as disturbing to me as they are to you, so please stop reminding me!
4. "I wanted to have kids young." Hey, me too! That's why I had my first at 29. But then I had more kids, and I don't want to stop just yet. At least I'll be a really well-rounded mom.
5. [Shudder] "I'm so done having kids." Women my age say this all the time. And the fact that I'm the only mom who is still TTC at 37 makes me feel pretty lonely. I wish I knew more mommy hopefuls in my age bracket, but that doesn't change how my husband and I feel about growing our own family at this stage of our lives.
6. Regurgitating facts about how risky pregnancy can be after 35. It's true that having a baby after 35 does carry more risks for both mom and baby, such as chromosomal abnormalities and gestational diabetes. But there is another side of that coin. A recent study found that women who have babies later in life may actually be smarter. And another study showed women who have kids later in life have a lower risk for developing ovarian cancer. So ha!
8. Asking if I have enough energy. Motherhood is exhausting no matter how old you are! But yes, there are many mornings I seriously don't want to get out of bed, and by 5 p.m. I'm ready to drop. That's only because I'm trying to do it all, like moms of all ages these days. In the end, the benefit of being an older mom is that even if you are exhausted, you are more sure of yourself and your decisions. Plus, you gain perspective about a lot of things, like that teething doesn't last forever, and that you will lose the baby weight...eventually.