Note - I was a lot younger when I wrote this post. I was 40. I'm going to be 42 in a week. SMILEY FACE.
I'm 40 going on 41 and I have 1-year-old twins. CHRIST ON A BICYCLE WHAT HAVE I DONE? Just look at these two!
They are constantly on the move. And believe you me, I don't have any fun at all dressing them every day. NONE. Could you just die?
The bending and the constant up and down and the lugging and alligator diaper wrestling and the hugs and the tackles and the sloppy bitey kisses and the tickles and the loves. I may be too old for this mommy nonsense. But here we are. I'm not complaining. I'm an old mom. And I'm far from alone. There are a lot of us running (ack god, don't make me run) around out here nowadays and to you I say, OLD MOM HIGH FIVE.
If I start to do the math on how old I'll be when they are in college (start looking for scholarships now) and getting married and having kids of their own, say if they wait until they are 40? Well, you catch my drift. We just go with where we are and try not get too caught up in the what ifs and the future, as that's not living in the moment. We've got such incredible moments right in front of our faces.
There's definitely a multitude of multiples lately - a babies boom if you will - and much of that is due to In-Vitro and fertility drugs and yes, that's me! But I really believe there is something to this LET'S GIVE MULTIPLES TO ALL THE OLD LADIES UP IN HERE who had to struggle to get knocked up. Hear me out - TWINS ARE SO GREAT FOR OLDER MOMS.
I have no idea what it would be like to have had babies in my younger years. I mean, if you had asked me 20 years ago if I wanted to be a mom, my answer would have been, "HELL NO. Kids are for chumps." You could say I wasn't ready. Some women are born ready to be a mom. I was not one of these women. I had some bad decisions and hard living to do. The beautiful thing about this life is that if we live long enough, we can go through all sorts of phases and change our minds and become different people with different behaviors. It's quite miraculous.
My Boss said to me the other day, "You are just about everything you said you wouldn't be when you first started here. Married. Settled. Kids. Looking for a house." And yes, yes he's right. Somewhere along the way, I learned never to say never and when you are open to change, the universe provides. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
So, I don't have any idea what it would be like to be young and spry and able to jump out of bed instead of dropping and army crawling when you hear a cry in the night. Because DAMN my back hurts. All this is to say, there is no comparison between old and young moms. I'm simply saying these are the benefits I've found in being a 40-year-old new mom. There are many benefits to being a young mom, but I ain't that. So I celebrate what I am.
I'm wise. I'm patient. I'm calm - mostly. I'm confident. I'm more at peace with who I am and what I want and don't want.
I don't freak out nearly as much as I would have as a young mom. I remember what I was like at 20 - highly insecure and unsure of my every thought and reaction. I would have raced these kids to the emergency room every time they hit their chin on the coffee table. As it is now, I bust out the owl ice pack and we sit and rock and assess the situation and find that most incidences are within our capacity to handle without a doctor's care and nary a freak out in sight.
That food that's been under the couch for 2 days? Yeah, you go right ahead and eat that as I am not going to make you cry by taking it away from you and who really cares. You know how much dirt we eat every day even in so called non-couchified food?
I've got some stability in my life today that I couldn't possibly fathom 20 years ago. Hell, even 10 years ago.
You want to take off running your drunken toddler arms flailing down the block while I to grab your sister because she's diving head first into a mud swamp puddle all while the neighbor is out staring the whole time? You go right ahead my darling. We got this. You and me and your sister. I will scoop you both up and cover myself in mud and snow and you will laugh at me because I am ridiculous. So then I laugh at me. And then the neighbor's face turns from concern to amusement and we are all in on the joke together. Dignity, always dignity.
I don't worry nearly as much about what other people think of me. When we are out and about and I get looks or people want to say shit to me about whatever, it's like water off a duck's back. I just don't really care. I'm doing the best I can and if you have anything to say about that, online or in real life, you just go right ahead as that has more to do with you than with me. I will give you a hand if I can, or just an encouraging look or word and I appreciate it in return. Thank you.
Which brings me to my next point - encouragement. I have friends now. I didn't really have friends when I was younger. I didn't have a community and I certainly didn't have a village. I have friends who are moms and we are all supportive of each other. I have sober friends and we get it. We don't have any competition or weird need to obsess over what the others are doing. Who has time for that? I don't give a flying fig how or what you feed your baby or what your sleep method is or if you swear in front of your kids. I surround myself with encouraging folks these days. We are all just doing the best we can and nobody loves their kids any better or worse (aside from obviously abusive situations) than anybody else.
As far as twins go, people always ask how I do it and isn't it so hard and you have your hands full and JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE RUNNING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. Yes. It's crazy and when they are unhappy we are all unhappy, but 90% of the time, they ENTERTAIN EACH OTHER. When they were really little, it was hard. But now that they are 1 they take so much of the burden off this old mom. Which is why I say, multiples are really a gift for us old moms. We aren't the only thing they have because they have each other. And I'm telling you, nothing and nobody makes them laugh harder than each other. Believe me, I try! It's not good for my comedic ego that they find each other more hilarious than they find me, but it's one of my greatest joys to watch.
Now, the downsides are really, MY GOD I AM TIRED. I'm tired all the time. I ache. I'm not spry and I'm kinda crabby sometimes. But it is the sweetest exhaustion. I catch myself sometimes daydreaming of what it would be like to have had them years earlier. But I wouldn't have been ready. I wouldn't have gone through all I went through to be here. To be their mom.
I get to be a mom. I get to be a kick ass mom. I don't take that for granted for one second. Would I like to have a bit more pep in my step to keep up with them? Yes. But I wouldn't trade who I am today for anything. I am an old mom. But I am also the best version of myself. Trade offs, you know? I am the best old mom for these two tiny freeloaders. Luckily there are a lot of us old moms out here today to help carry the load and damn, the load gets heavier by the day doesn't it? Here, let me give you an OLD MOM HIGH FIVE. Oh wait, my hands are full. FULL OF BLISS. And also maybe some diaper cream. Here's a burp rag to wipe that off. When you're done with it can you put it back on his head please? He likes that.
See also - In Defense of IVF
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