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6 Reasons to Embrace Parenting Later in Life

There’s a positive side to having kids earlier in life, but there are also plenty of benefits in starting a family later on. Mighty Mommy shares six reasons parenting as an older mom can be just as rewarding and beneficial.

By
Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #383

Reason #4:  Having More Time

Though we certainly didn’t plan to become parents later in life, because we had so many years of infertility, we were afforded the opportunity to do lots of traveling, explore our area for a neighborhood that really fit our needs and grow our careers simply because we hadn’t been blessed with children yet.

Once our family did start to grow, a large handful of items on our “young-married life” bucket list had already been crossed off, so when our kids did start up in school, the time was right to become involved with PTO, classroom activities, and, of course, extra-curricular clubs that required “hands on” time from mom and dad—all without the guilt of having to choose between home and work.

Reason #5:  Not Hovering

Although having our first few kids in our thirties didn’t necessarily stop me from checking to make sure my newborns were breathing in the middle of the night or still want to hold on tightly to their hands when we went to a public place like a large department store or a busy park, we definitely felt a lot more relaxed in regards to letting our kids find their own way in situations such as learning to share toys during a playdate or actually let them take charge of their own science project rather than lending too many helping hands so it would be worthy of the best grade possible.  With age comes the ability to chill out a bit more, and that means it’s easier to step aside and let our kids learn without us breathing down their neck and monitoring their every move.  Not only is this healthy for our kids, but it’s down-right freeing as a parent to watch them beam with pride regardless of whether their handpicked outfit is a combination of ghastly stripes and plaids.  See Also:  How to Stop Helicopter Parenting

Reason #6:  Making Self-Care a Priority

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent through the years, it’s that the best gift we can give our family is always making the time to care for our own personal needs. There will never be a perfect parenting regimen, but there can be a much better balance if you’re willing to make tradeoffs in certain areas of your life. A large part of the successful balance equation is when Mom finally realizes that she must tune into her own emotions as well as her physical, and mental health requirements, and as an older mom, this was definitely something I understood because I had been able to nurture myself for the many years before I was finally blessed with my family. 

Somehow, today’s parents (moms in particular) are wracked with guilt and determined to make all things relating to the child, regardless of the toll it takes on them personally, as the top priority. We have a fear that doing anything else might be considered a failure in this role.  Listen up—that is just not the case, in fact, it is the total opposite.  No matter what age you were when you became a mom, by nurturing and caring for our own needs, and setting boundaries with our kids to create some personal space, we are able to be healthier, happier, less resentful parents.

What are your thoughts about becoming a parent later in life?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook pageor email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Also visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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