I’ve been thinking a lot about my age lately, and it probably has something to do with the fact that I’m officially in my mid-30’s. I’m at the age where I once thought my parents were “old,” and I pretty much feel the same as I remember feeling in high school. It’s true, that age is really only a number. Despite being much older than many of my mom friends, I wouldn’t change having my daughter in my 30’s. A woman having kids past her 20’s is becoming the norm, and there are plenty of reasons why. Here are just a few of mine.
Photo Taken By The Wonderful Sam & Kate Photography
1. We Are Financially Stable
Getting married in our early 20’s and then waiting to have our daughter until early 30’s meant my husband and I had a lot of time to work and save. We are not millionaires, but when we decided to have our daughter, it was not a big jump for us financially because we had been preparing for years. It makes me very happy that we can afford to give my daughter swimming lessons and take a small vacation every year. If she grows out of every pair of shoes she owns overnight, we can afford to buy new ones. Money isn’t everything, and you can definitely raise children on less than what we have. But for a couple who tends to stress over finances (ahem, my husband and I), I am so grateful that our 30’s has brought us financial stability and one less thing to worry about on this parenting journey.
2. My Husband And I Enjoyed Life As Just A Married Couple
I love our little family and would never change it, but I’m glad my husband and I got to spend almost 8 years of just being a married couple. As much as I don’t want to think about becoming an empty nester one day, that time will come where it will just be us again. I feel like strong marriages make strong families and my husband and I had our share of both joys and trials before our daughter came into the world. I’m grateful for those experiences, and the memories we had of being spontaneous, traveling and learning our roles as husband and wife. We got to be frivolous with our time, money and resources and didn’t need to worry we were messing up our child in the process.
3. I Got To Be A Career Woman
I had the opportunity to use my entire 20’s to pursue being a career woman. I worked for the same company for 8 years, wore suits and panty hose, was a part of strategy sessions and business meetings. I had company lunches, made community partnerships and networked. I enjoyed being able to do all those things and not have to split my time between my job and family. That’s not to say that woman who do that are wrong or horrible mothers- in fact the opposite. You all are super women! Now that I have my own daughter, I realize how difficult it must be. But it’s also made me so grateful that I had that experience of being a young professional without feeling like I was missing time with my child. When the 8 years was up, I was more than willing to move onto the next phase in my life, but forever grateful of having experienced it too.
4. I’m A Relaxed Parent- More Than I Thought I Would Be
As an older mom, I’m not as concerned with parenting the “right” way as some of my younger mom friends. I don’t spend my days reading parenting books (that’s not to say I haven’t ready ANY), worrying if the other moms on the playground disapprove of my disregard for the various parenting styles or if the bag of goldfish my daughter just dropped on the floor is now contaminated with germs (it’s SO not, and I’m not wasting an entire bag of goldfish, thank you very much). I’m not worried that every bump or bruise is a life threatening illness (I’ve also learned not to Google much of anything) or that a tantrum means my child is going to give me a lifetime of bad behavior. I’ve had enough life experiences to realize that not everything is a big deal, and I really don’t need other mom’s approval to know I’m a good mom.
5. I Found My Identity As An Adult First
Emerging from college brings a slew of obstacles, the least of which is figuring out who you are as an adult. My husband and I got married a year after graduation and then it was on to learning how to be a wife and household manager. I am SO grateful we held off on having kids because it gave me a chance to root my identity in adulthood- not parenthood. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom. I never thought I wanted to have children, so no one was more surprised at me how natural the motherhood hat fit than me. However, I don’t want my life to ONLY be about being a parent. I’m more than that, and my daughter deserves a mom who has her own passions and skills.
For all the reasons I have for waiting to have children until my 30’s, there are even more blessings that have come with just being a parent at all. So no matter when you have kids, I hope you enjoy the ride and joy that only your kids can bring.