Over 40 Mom Myths Dispelled by an Over 40 Mom

According to mom blogger Shari Simpson, in the past twenty years in the United States, the number of first-time mothers over age 35 has increased by 64%! With such an impressive and mind-blowing increase, you would think the misconceptions about first-time motherhood over 40 would have disappeared or decreased.

Originally in 2005, when I wrote Midlife Motherhood Myths Dispelled by a Midlife Mom I had no idea that these myths would still be strong as in 2011! Let's look at two of the most popular ones.

Myth: Mothers over 40 do not have the energy to attend to the needs of a baby.

Fact: This misconception must have been created by someone who never was a caretaker of young children!

The average newborn or toddler will zap the energy of any mother whether she is 22 or 42. I’ve had healthy strong parents in their twenties complain about being exhausted after spending a day with their toddlers!

Let’s talk about newborns. The average newborn cries more than any new mom ever anticipates. The average newborn sleeps from 15 minutes to 2 hours before waking up for feeding.

Translation: The best scenario with the best baby. Mom gets to bed at 11:00 p.m. She is awaken at midnight by the sweet whimper of her newborn. She is awakened at 2 a.m. by the sweet whimper of her newborn. She is awakening at 4 a.m. by the crying of her newborn. Baby does not want to go back to sleep until 5a.m. You tell me what woman whether she is 25, 35, or 45 wouldn’t feel zapped after getting out of bed several times at night to feed or just to hold and comfort her crying baby?

The truth is taking care of a baby is hard work and does require lots of energy. It’s important to eat healthy and, every now and then, to allow people you trust to watch your little one for an hour or two while you take a break.

Myth: Teenage children of older parents will be resentful or ashamed that their parents are not the same age as their peers.

Fact: The only thing you need to ease your fear about this misconception is a dose of reality. From August 2008 to January 2011, I worked at a diverse high school of 2000+ students. The students were from advantaged to disadvantaged backgrounds, racial groups, etc. (I really enjoyed working with these kids.) Believe me when I tell you that ALL teenagers think that their parents are old. In fact, most students think that young people who graduated from high school in the last five years are old!

As you age and your children become older, remember that most children go through rocky stages during their teens. This has nothing to do with the age of their parents. Hopefully, as an older parent, you will be able to use wisdom, love and patience to guide your child through the teen years.

Did you have any misconceptions about older moms when you were in your 20s? What were they?

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