Most of my friends that made the decision to have children by and large tended to have them in their late ‘20s to their early ‘30s. As far as I can tell, it has been pretty rare for anyone amongst my circle of friends to either plan on having children after they reach the age of 35 or know of anyone that is an older mother or father.
In contrast, while my mother was about the same age as my friends were when she gave birth to me, my parents waited eight years before having a second child and therefore, my mother was in her late ‘30s when my little sister was born.
My mother will be the first to tell anyone that asks that there was a huge contrast between her experiences being a mother at a younger age and being a mother in her late ‘30s, since when she was pregnant with my little sister she had to go through more tests to make sure that everything was well.
For mothers planning to have their first child after they hit the age of 35, the following list of tips and recommendations to keep in mind will help make the transition to dealing with a baby a little bit easier.
20 Getting Pregnant Is More Difficult Than It Used To Be
USA Today points out that after age 35, it is much more difficult for women to get pregnant than it is for their younger counterparts. This is due to the fact that they ovulate less frequently than they used to do thanks to Mother Nature being a massive pain in the neck.
Younger women may not look forward to ovulation because it is a forerunner to "that time of the month” and all of the menstrual cramps that come along with it, but who knew that once they’re older, they might miss it?
Women can’t get a break—either there are menstrual cramps that hurt when they are younger or less frequent ovulation interferes with their life plans to get pregnant at an older age.
19 Freezing Is A Good Backup Plan
USA Today points out that if a woman is planning on getting pregnant at an older age, many fertility specialists suggest that the best course of action is to freeze either her eggs or embryos before the age of 35.
That way, she’ll have a higher chance of a successful pregnancy and will be able to become a mother despite the odds being against her.
However, fertility specialists also warn that while technically eggs or embryos can be implanted in women up to ages 55, they say it is best to undergo the process as early as possible in order to increase the chances of having a successful pregnancy.
18 Save Money For A Few Years Before Planning To Have A Child
USA Today adds that if parents plan on having their first child after their mid-30s, they recommend it is best to start saving money a few years before they want to begin their family.
That way, parents who have a stable job can put aside money for their child’s schooling and create an emergency fund, just in case. It’s not just colleges that have gotten quite expensive in this day and age; you’re also going to wind up paying a pretty penny if you want to enroll your child in a prestigious private elementary or high school when they are older.
17 Think About Your Child's Future And Make Plans
USA Today adds that it is also important that parents, especially mothers, who are over the age of 35 when they have their first child make plans for the future. This is because they will be a bit older than other parents that had children earlier when their kiddos are ready to go to college.
It means making provisions for who will help take care of their children in an emergency, especially if their own parents will be too elderly and too infirm by the time their little one is an adult. They might also want to make preparations for another member of the family to help take care of them so they don’t have to put that burden on their child.
16 Come To Terms With Asking Family Or Friends For Help When Your Child's Older
When it comes time to making provisions for the future and possible backup plans, USA Today writes that it is important to come to terms with the fact that you will have to ask your family and friends for help at some point in time.
It can be difficult for some people to lower their pride and ask for help from either their friends and family. But it should be done so that way you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if anything should happen, your child will have someone to help take care of them.
15 Be Realistic About The Generation Gap
Nowadays, it seems as if younger parents want to be “cool” and strive to be able to easily relate to their child by building up a strong rapport with them.
USA Today warns parents who are thinking of having their first child after they pass their mid-30s that they have to keep in mind that there is going to be a generational gap between themselves and their child. Depending on their future child’s personality, they might easily adjust to the huge generational gap, but there is always the chance that they might have some issues and parents need to be prepared for that too.
14 You're Going To Feel More Tired Throughout Your Pregnancy
Let’s face it, pregnancy is absolutely exhausting for women no matter what age they are. After all, you’re carrying a fetus and preparing your future bundle of joy to be able to survive outside the womb. The act of labor is also rigorous.
I’ve heard plenty of stories from my mother’s friends about how they felt so tired after giving birth that they wanted to sleep for an entire week.
Parenting adds that for women that are in their mid-30s and older, pregnancy can be even more exhausting due to the fact that they’re a little bit older and all of the hormonal changes that are going on in their body.
13 It Might Be Difficult To Request Time Off Of Work
Romper points out that moms planning on having their first child in their late ‘30s or older need to be aware that it might be a bit harder to take time off for their job and focus on their family.
In the United States, maternity leave is either really short or companies just don’t offer it at all, as sad as it is to say. Some bosses might also get annoyed at all the constant time off for doctor’s visits and the work accommodations required for a pregnant woman too. For this reason, it can be quite tricky to balance one’s job and desire to start a family.
12 Your List Of BFFs Might Be Slowly Getting Smaller
Romper notes that as people get older, their list of friends that they can count on being a support system tends to grow smaller and that could be an issue—especially if you need your pal to be a reliable on-call babysitter in an emergency.
In high school, college and even in their early ‘20s, people, in general, tend to have a larger group of friends that they are close with. Those friendships can start to drift once everyone’s in their ‘30s since people tend to get more involved with their own lives and could even have families of their own that they have to worry about by then.
11 Your Child Might Have A Different Relationship With Their Grandparents
USA Today points out that older parents might have to deal with the fact that by the time they have their first child, their little one’s grandparents might be too old to help them out with babysitting duties or they are not in the picture at all, which could be difficult for their child to process.
My mother was in her early ‘30s when she had me, but I still grew up most of my life without any real grandparents due to the fact that they either had passed away years earlier, had health issues that made it difficult for us to see them very often or there were issues in the family and we didn’t talk to them.
I’ll be honest—it was hard for me growing up and having no grandparents to speak of; I was always really envious of my friends that had a close relationship with their grandparents because I wish I had that too.
10 Juggling Work And A Child Is Going To Be Extra Stressful
Romper points out that it can be very difficult to juggle your job plus your new pregnancy, especially if you wind up getting morning sickness or feel tired all the time due to the hormonal shift.
Once the baby is born, it can also be tough to balance an already established job where everyone is used to you being able to work at all times while trying to put aside time to raise your child.
It’s a huge culture shift that can take some time to get used to, especially for older moms that are already “set in their ways.”
9 Being A Mom At A Late Age Can Lead To Improved Health
Romper adds that waiting to have a child until you’re in your mid-30s can actually lead to improved health. Many folks in their ‘20s don’t always have the best eating and sleeping habits, but older parents tend to engage less in certain behaviors (like staying up all night and partying with their buddies) and are better at regulating their eating and exercise habits.
There’s also the fact that older moms are generally more in tune with their body and if they think that something is wrong, they will head to the doctor ASAP in order to get a check-up and make sure that everything is a-okay.
8 Older Moms Are Less Likely To Reprimand Their Kiddos
The Huffington Post writes that a group of researchers in Denmark performed a study and discovered that older parents tend to have more patience when it comes to raising a child.
Older moms, in particular, are less likely to scold their kid for doing something wrong or use strict discipline on their children.
Due to the fact that older moms use more positive reinforcement, the researchers also found that children of parents that had their first kid after their mid-‘30s had fewer behavioral and emotional issues from age seven to age 11. Although that also decreased once they hit their teenage years, likely because of all the hormonal changes and peer pressure.
7 There Might Be More Financial Stability
The Huffington Post says that older mothers tend to be more financially stable when they have their first child due to the fact that they were able to advance in their chosen job without worrying about being a working mother young in life and the fact that they had more time to go on to higher education.
Graduate school and the like is no walk in the park, which is why it can be difficult for young mothers to balance their education schedule and raising a family. Older mothers don’t have to worry about that since they’ve already graduated with a degree from higher education and have been entrenched in their job. Plus, they can also plan a few years beforehand and start saving up money even before they have their first child.
6 Older Moms Can Often Live Longer
Psychology Today writes that some older moms feel that being a first-time parent in their mid to late ‘30s can actually help them live longer, partially due to the fact that having a child pretty much forces you to stay active.
Toddlers, in particular, are pretty rambunctious, and you have to stay active yourself if you hope to even be able to keep up with them at least half the time. There’s also the fact that doctors tend to be fussier over older mothers that are pregnant for the first time, which means that any potential health issues will likely be noticed ASAP.
5 Think About Optional Prenatal Tests For Older Mothers
WebMD recommends that if older first-time parents want to make sure that the pregnancy is going smoothly and both baby and mother are healthy as can be, they can always talk to their doctor about optional prenatal tests that are specifically designed for women that are over the age of 35.
It’s a good idea to at least consider the pros and cons of undergoing this test; if you do decide to go through it, at least you’ll be able to have some peace of mind that everything’s going well. That means less stress for the parents, which will help the pregnancy go a bit smoother
4 You Might Not Bounce Back As Quickly
The Pinterested Parent points out that one of the downsides of being an older mom is that you might not bounce back from the ordeal of giving birth and recovering from pregnancy as quickly as a younger mother might.
As we get older, our healing capabilities tend to slow down a bit. For example, both my father and I got sick with a stomach virus recently. I recovered within three days, while it took him an entire week before he even felt relatively normal and able to go back to work.
There’s a good chance that it might take an older mother a little bit longer than usual before they feel 100 percent recovered after giving birth to their first child.
3 There's A Chance You Will Have Only One Child
Psychology Today notes that one thing older moms need to come to terms with when they are pregnant with their first child is the fact that this might be their “one and only.”
It can be difficult to conceive after a woman hits the age of 40, and infertility treatments like IVF can run up a pretty penny, which means their savings are going to take a hit. Some parents might like the idea of having two children, but there’s always a chance that Mother Nature and the woman’s own biological clock is going to put the kibosh on that idea for good.
2 Older Moms Have To Undergo Extra Tests During Pregnancy
Today writes that even though there are optional prenatal tests that older mothers can either agree to undergo or decline to have done on them, there are other tests that they won’t be able to get out of taking.
Many doctors are very cautious when dealing with an older mother pregnant for the first time and they want to make sure that everything is going smoothly.
That is why older moms might have to prepare themselves to undergo extra tests due to their age and juggling what feels like a constant stream of doctor’s appointments with work, family, friends, etc.
1 You're Less Likely To Give Into A Bored Child's Whines
Baby Center points out that there’s always the stereotype in popular culture that younger parents—especially Millennial parents—will give into their bored child’s cries and toss a mobile device, laptop or a smartphone at them so that they can entertain themselves by playing with an app.
In contrast, older parents grew up without all the cool gadgets and remember what it is like to be a bored child.
In general, older moms are likely to be more apt to let their children play outside and use their imagination to entertain them rather than have their little one stare at a tiny screen all day and not getting as much fresh air as they should be.