I gave birth to Sassi at the (ripe) age of 34. Quickly turning 35 a couple of months later.
Theres an array of interesting things you hear that make you stop in your stride and think twice about your tiny decisions snoring away softly in the middle of the night.
You’ll be so old when your child will still be in school
You won’t be able to run around with your child.
You will have zero patience because it wears off over time.
Your body will never be the same again (this one is regardless of age by the way. It’s like this one exists to make Mothers without any exceptions feel resentful about their offspring)
I can understand where they’re coming from. Masses have had a difficult time in life, I mean who doesn’t? We’ve all had that difficult spot if not a series of events in life that had us in knots. That’s how some become perpetual Debbie Downers. This is what they have to say and here’s how it makes absolutely no sense at all. I mean. What even?
1. Your Body will never be the same again.
Let’s get the age neutral one out of the way first. Everyone hears this.
Most of us are beyond teenage when we choose to procreate. We’ve seen plenty of mothers in our lives. Really think we don’t get it?
Two pronged approach. Your body has struggled
a) Yes it’s a struggle getting back in shape. More for some than the others but struggle regardless. As you age your jumping back to a previous size becomes more difficult as is so whether you have a real baby or get pregnant with Pizza, it’ll stick to your hips longer. Love it back. It’s food. Or your child. Hug that flab.
b) So why again are we putting a timeline on the body springing back to earlier shape? Unless we are royalty or in showbiz where our career depends on it, why must we get back to where we once belonged I.e in them jeans so quickly? Take your time really. It’s alright.
A mother is a mother. It’s a tough job being a parent. Let’s get that one straight but the little smile, that waddle, a word they made up themselves or that toothless grin that takes your heart away is more compensation than what you feel fits the bill.
The list goes on.
2. You will not be able to enjoy your child as much.
I really enjoy it when I’m sprawled across the sofa and tell my toddler to bring me the phone I left on the table across the room. I love her more for it if that’s even possible. Also. I’m 36, not dead. So sure, I can enjoy her. From her cradle to my grave. Boo yeah!
3. When you have a child earlier in life you get to grow with them.
It’s not like we begin to rot when we touch 30. We are still growing. Until we die. So chill please. I’m very happy growing into absolute intolerance for silliness as my child grows and I want to protect her so fiercely from all the stupid in the world we live in.
4. You’ll be too old by the time they’re in university or getting married.
As long as they don’t ask the graduating class’s parents to run a marathon for the students to be eligible for graduation, or Dulhan ki Amma (mum of the bride) needs to do Cart Wheels for the Nikah to be valid (Wedding to be solemnised) I’m good. Thanks for asking.
5. Your pregnancy will be very difficult.
You will have a difficult pregnancy if you are unhealthy. If you have exposed your body to undue stress from fad diets, steroids, hormone laden food or other harmful external impacts. The natural process of ageing has much less to do with that. I had a perfectly flawless pregnancy at the age of 34. So did the various women in my family before me. We’re all good. I promise.
So if someone is having a go at your life choices, send some love, light and (only virtual) chocolates their way and focus on the following ways I personally enjoy motherhood at my “age”. Here’s what I absolutely LOVE about being an older mum
1. My child has wiser parents.
Both F and I have grown through our lives. Just like everyone else does but don’t usually have the balls to admit. Somehow there’s a propensity for people to show they were born amazing and have always aced the thing called life. Yeah. We prefer saying we learned and grew into the people we are today and I much rather have had her be exposed to us now than a decade or two ago.
2. We are Financially in a better spot
Twenties are for struggles. Career being on top of that list. Balancing raising of a tiny human is something I think we are far better equipped for at this age when our careers and pathways are more settled in our ways. Money is a harsh and cold reality of life. In our forties and fifties we are less likely to be broke than we were in our twenties. So that’s a good thing.
3. We are more patient
With age comes patience and understanding of why most things happen. I mean for the life of me I still can’t figure why she loves to have her toenails clipped and cries because I can’t keep on doing them once they’re cut, yet bawls her eyes out the second I try to clip her fingernails but yes now I have the patience to enjoy these little tantrums instead of getting agitated. I’d hug her, hold her close as she cries and spits and hisses, and slowly just distract her towards something else while I enjoy the comedy of the situation. Meet me 15 years ago. Yeah. I’d have been hitting my head in the wall.
4. I am more protective and able to protect her.
A mother at any age is capable of protecting her child but I think my age and experience with human behaviour and interaction has made me an unapologetic prude. I will walk away from a situation or a social circle that doesn’t make sense to me or is potentially harmful for my child as opposed to 15-20 years ago when I was more likely to have smiled and sucked it up, even bear atrocities directed straight at me. Physical as well as emotional. I’m glad Sass wasn’t around then. I’m more capable of protecting her and tailoring my social circle according to what I feel the need is to raise a well rounded human being.
5. We happily accept the limitations that come with having a child.
Can’t travel as often? Done it already to death.
Can’t study further? My husband has a darn PhD and two Masters degrees. I think he’s even covered for my measly Chartered Accountancy and no further degree life.
Can’t go out and party more often? Been there, Done that and So over it for years even before Sass was a mere twinkle in our eyes.
Think of anything you hate about your life as a parent and it will not apply. Except the sleep deprivation. We’re all on that bandwagon chugging along merrily, my friends. Yup. No more no less. Equally tired of life, waiting for when they leave for college as we wipe spit up off our shoulder. Yep.
So yes. Not only am I a more experienced human being at the thing called life, I have worked on my own life enough to figure my own choices, define my own boundaries and live life at my own whim and will.
Here’s my child, the great grandkid of a bunch of people who won’t be seen dead at a Meelaad or Majlis, didn’t believe in visiting tombs or graves et al.
She’s playing with flower petals at a Meelaad, before reciting Salaam followed by a zealous “Yaa Ali”