Welcome!

Welcome!

This blog addresses various emotional aspects of experiencing infertility. It is written by a clinical psychologist who specializes in infertility counseling. Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your journey!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thoughts on "older" motherhood: delayed parenthood after infertility

One things that many women who experience infertility find is that their entry into parenting is delayed...often by several years.  Such was the case with me.  Despite all my efforts to the contrary, I have found myself in the older mother camp, having my last child at age 42.  (With lots of help, of course.  Let's be real here.)  My parents and grandparents both had their children in their early twenties, so it's kind of mind boggling to me that I can remember when my grandmother had her forty-fifth birthday!

People have lots of opinions on what age someone should be when they have a child, and particularly about entering into parenthood in the forth decade and beyond.  I can't tell you the number of times I have heard women tell me that they never wanted to be "old parents".   I hear them often express a fear that it will not be fair to the child to have older parents, and that it somehow isn't "right" or "natural" to have a baby later in life.  And yet, like me, they find themselves in that very situation.

The impact of having older parents on a child is an important issue.  Like so many things in life, there are no clearcut answers about the effect having older parents may have on a child.  It is true that the child may have less time with their parents, although there is never a guarantee of longevity no matter when a person begins to parent.  On the other hand, older parents are usually more financially stable and emotionally ready to take on the exhaustive and difficult task of parenting.  I think the main thing is to recognize that there are really no ideal situations for children.  Every child will receive blessings and face challenges based on their circumstances.  The most important thing is to try to help a child cope with and work around the limitations of their situation.  For example, if you are worried that your child will be alone later in life, you could make the effort now to ensure that there will be other supportive adults available to them.

As for the actual experience of parenting after forty, I would say that I have noticed I have felt out of sync with my peers.  Some of my high school classmates have grandchildren the same age as my youngest child! As their children are older, they are getting back into the swing of adult life--focusing more on careers, and having a more active social life.  Meanwhile, I'm still sleep deprived and changing diapers.  Sometimes I feel a bit envious of their relative freedom, but then again, I still have a lot more of my parenting journey to anticipate.  Many of my friends have noted some envy of me, as they miss the baby stage and the cute entertainment small children can sometimes provide.  Perhaps in the end it all balances out?

 I also have noticed that many of the parents of my children's friends are quite a bit younger than I am, and that we don't perhaps have as much in common.  The older parents I know tend to congregate towards one another with a sense of relief, perhaps feeling that another older parent will better understand their experiences.  But I think this may be our own insecurity, as I've never had a younger parent say or do anything that would indicate criticism or a lack of acceptance.

For me, I think the most challenging part has been the physically grueling nature of parenting a young child.  My husband and I both agree that the sleep deprivation after our youngest child was born was devastating, more so than with our oldest daughter a decade earlier.  I think we were so sleep deprived that we couldn't even realize that we needed help.   Thus, I highly recommend night nurses, grandparents, friends, or anyone you can get to help you at night.  You can fake a lot of things over forty, but dealing with lack of sleep isn't one of them!  

As for the rest of the physical demands, I've had to make sure that I exercise consistently in order to be able to keep up with my children.  I think that base level of fitness keeps me feeling and acting younger, which I need because my son is at a stage where he enjoys running away and hiding...and I need to keep up with him.   Exercising also helps me feel like I am doing something to increase my chances of living a long life, so I will be around for all of my children's milestones.  I also see my doctors for my annual checkups religiously, try to eat a balanced diet, and do whatever else I can to reduce my risk factors for early morbidity.  Although we cannot see what the future holds for us, trying to live a healthy lifestyle reduces some of my anxiety around leaving my children too soon.

I haven't yet had the experience of being mistaken for my child's grandmother, mostly because I keep a hairstylist in business trying to get all my grey hairs hidden from sight, but I feel that may be coming soon.  I don't suppose there is much any of us can do about that one.  After all, throughout my journey to parenthood, I have endured many tactless comments, and I guess it only makes sense that it would continue.

For many more thoughts on parenting after forty, I recommend this blog A Child after Forty, which has lots of great stories and resources.

Thanks for reading!  I welcome any comments or suggestions for future posts.  Feel free to comment below or email me at lisarouff@gmail.com.





11 comments:

  1. I am really enjoying see your posts again. Clearly as a therapist you have a great way of getting to the heart of the matter without all the bullshit and trite things you hear from those that haven't actually experienced IF - our doctors and specialists would do well to learn this sometimes. Keep posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been searching this post,, at last i found this glad it helped out, thanks
      sexology treatment in chennai

      Delete
  2. Hi Lisa,
    It is really interesting to know your view and experience on older motherhood however I got pregnant at 25. I think, it was too early.
    Thanks
    Geneva Reed

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would like to say thanks for your sharing this useful information. Nice post keep it up. Hope to see you next post again soon.
    With Regards,
    Clinical Psychologist | Clinical Psychologist in Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  4. The diagnosis of infertility is often very overwhelming for patients. Indira IVF Reproductive Specialists believes in creating a partnership with the patient and we have found that the most successful partnerships occur when the patient is well-informed and can play an active role in their treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing also for more information related Infertility .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Many women start giving up on the concept of motherhood as they think they’re too old for the IVF treatment. women in their late 30s and early 40s can savor the joy of motherhood through IVF. The only flip side is that the success-rate of IVF among women in their late 30s and early 40s is tad lesser than the ones in their late 20s and early 30s.

    Medicover Fertility is one of the top IVF Clinics in India. The fact that every 5 hours, a Medicover child is born worldwide is a testimony to its superior success-rate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great Post!

    Now a days because of this competitive world most of the women are career focused and they avoid getting into motherhood in their early 20's but as the one grows older in age the chances to conceive also lowers. IVF treatment is the most effective solution to bless you a baby in late 40s

    Jaipur Fertility Center is the best IVF treatment center of Rajasthan and is the first center to deliver the first IVF baby of Rajasthan and North India

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great information...Your post the very informative i have learned some information about your blog thank you for Sharing the great information.....IVF Centre in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks a lot for this particular material about "Thoughts on 'older' motherhood: delayed parenthood after infertility" I had been browsing all Search engines to find it, and finally I found the best article here. Thanks for sharing this great guide with us.

    Best Chiropractic websites design and marketing solutions for chiropractors in America.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dr.Thomas Fertility Center offers best IVF treatment and help childless couples to experience the parenthood.

    ReplyDelete