To My Daughters: Sorry Your Mom Is So Old

Back when I was pregnant with my younger daughter (kid #2), I went to my husband’s office holiday party wearing a cute black maternity cocktail dress and the flattest flats you’ve ever seen. Despite the strategic footwear, I couldn’t stand and mingle long, adjourning to a banquette for most of the night. That’s because I was 44 and pregnant, and so damn tired.  

I expected to be tired during the first trimester, like everyone is. When I hit the second trimester and still needed a nap every day, it occurred to me that I might be too old for this sh*t. Yes, Danny Glover’s most memorable line from the Lethal Weapon movies perfectly captured my situation, except I felt guilty characterizing my much dreamed-of pregnancy as “sh*t.” 

What can I say, I got a late start making babies. Although I would have loved to have met my husband sooner, that’s not what fate had in store. I was incredibly fortunate that I was able to get knocked up twice in my forties. I just hope my kids will see it that way. When baby #2 celebrates her sweet 16, I will be…60. Sweet fancy Moses, that’s old!  

As I got ready to have my second and last baby, I geared up for another round of “Who brought the grandma to Mommy & Me?” With my first child, I was the oldest mama in their midst by a longshot.  At first, I didn’t notice the disparity because, as first-time moms to newborns, we all looked the same: exhausted, flabby, and confused. Then, as the months passed, the moms in their twenties and thirties morphed into supermodels before my eyes–skinny and fit with smooth, glowing skin. I didn’t. Losing baby weight was an uphill battle for me both times, and my forehead was (and still is, honestly) marked by deep grooves, as though a child had been repeatedly dragging a matchbox car over my face.

There are, of course, several upsides to older mothering. Without a doubt, I am more focused, patient, and committed than I would have been at a younger age when I had mad wanderlust and couldn’t get enough of partying and traveling. I also have more life experience, giving me the ability to put things in perspective (“This too shall pass” is a favorite mantra). The downside of all that life experience is that I worry more because I’m so acutely aware of everything that can go wrong. Sometimes I envy the teen moms who are surely more concerned with prom than cord blood banking. And I really envy their stamina for games of tag. 

So, to my beloved daughters, I am sorry that your mom is so old. But look on the bright side:

I will never try to buy a matching outfit with you at Forever 21.

I will never bat my eyelashes at your boyfriend.

I will always be grateful for every minute I have with you.

Love, Mom

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Photo: Getty