“Are They Your Grand Kids?” She Asked
Blog - July 16, 2017

It finally happened.  The day I had been dreading. I was expecting it when my kids were in grade school, not while getting their pre-kindergarten check up.

Flashback to my makeup days working for Lancôme….Jacksonville.

The client was sitting in my chair while I was doing her makeup.  Highlighting, contouring, shaping, and doing all the necessary things to give the illusion of youthfulness. She was about 55 years-old.  In our conversation, she told me that she had a toddler.

My first reaction was, wow, she’s old- that poor kid.  How will she keep up with him?  What will his friends think when he’s older?

This concerned me.  At the same time, I wondered, what makes people want to have children later in life?  Do they think it through?  Do they think about how they will manage as age takes a toll on them?

The truth is that I didn’t really think that far ahead.  In my mind, when I turned 40, it was now or never.   I had never thought of having children before that.  I viewed them as an inconvenience. I also never envisioned getting married. That seemed even more of an inconvenience, lol. When I met my husband and we dated, we didn’t even discuss kids. Then we got married.  We went a long with our lives and our three animals and didn’t think much about it.

I thought being a mother was something that you knew you wanted.  I believed that it was an innate feeling that one had, and I didn’t have it.  I did not feel that “mother instinct”. But when I turned 40 I noticed that my friends and I had different lives.  They were having children and I wasn’t.

Should I have children, I thought? Would this enhance our lives?  So, I tried at 40 year-old and it happened.  After I had a miscarriage, I wanted it even more.  I was devastated.  I wondered about the family that could have been and being a mother suddenly took on a new meaning, whereas before it was like, “let’s just try and see what happens.” Now that I had seen the ultrasound, it suddenly got real, and when I lost the baby at 10 weeks, going through that kind of loss was like nothing I had ever experienced.  So, I was apprehensive in trying again because I wasn’t sure how long one should wait before trying again.  I didn’t want to dismiss the loss I had just had.  I could never forget what could have been.

When I had my first son, I was in love.  I couldn’t fathom such love.  Then we had the second boy when I was 43.  After such a difficult pregnancy and dealing with bad post-partum, I knew I was done.  Yet, just the other day, someone asked if I was ready for another.  At 46 years-old, I personally feel like it wouldn’t be a good idea.  I feel blessed with two.  I was told I might never have children, so why push it?  I don’t think my body could handle another pregnancy and I can’t handle another bout of post-partum depression.  My family needs me.  We are done.

So, now even though I got the question sooner than later about my age, these days women are having kids more in their 30’s and 40’s than ever. I applaud them for that.  But at what point is it dangerous?  At what point is it selfish?

In my case, my husband and I are only children and we really wanted our first son to have a sibling. Looking back, it is the best decision we ever made. Watching siblings interact is a beautiful process.

So, when I was asked if I was the Grandmother of my sons, I hadn’t prepared an answer.  I do have friends my age that are grandparents.  It is the reality.  So, I just said, “No, but I could be.”  This is the truth.  I could have had children thirty years ago.  In fact, a couple of my friends got pregnant between the ages of 16-18.  But my life took a different turn and I had my kids late.

And gratitude is a funny thing.  Life had a lot of lessons for me and I needed to go through growing pains for quite a while until I was ready for kids.  Through those lessons came pain, and through that pain came gratitude.  When I see young mothers, I am not envious.  I am grateful for my past.  I wish them well, but I lived many lives before having kids.  Because of those lives, I can be a present mother.  I have the wisdom to know the difference.

Funny, but my mother and father are still alive and very well, and my 92-year-old Grandmother is still alive.  On my father’s side, his parents have passed.  This is life.  We aren’t in charge of our destiny.  Life is fragile.  I believe that this was the plan.

As for the woman who made everyone’s head turn in the doctor’s office when she asked me if they were my grand kids, I was shocked when she said that she had triplet boys at 44 years-old.

The next question is, do people who decide to have children at 50 years-old force “the plan?”

8 Comments

  1. Very interesting, Father Cheistmas in England said something similar to my dad when he took my younger sister to see him, he said ” something about daddy or is it Grandad. I think he was 39 when my sister was born!

  2. Cool to see the other side! I started having children at 23. Then 27, then 30. With my first I was always insecure being the young mom. Would people think I was irresponsible? Or a bad mom? Over time I realized all of those fears were crazy. I’m absolutely sure people have thoughts about you. Thoughts about me. But it really doesn’t matter. When people judge others, it’s more about their own insecurities than the person they’re judging. Everyone has their own path. 🙂 Cheers!

  3. One of my nieces has a 16 yr old daughter at 32 the other niece has 10 month old girl at 30. People are having them at all ages

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