To My Daughters: Sorry Your Mum Is So Old

I went to my husband’s office holiday party last week 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 seat at the edge of the room for most of the night. That’s because I’m 44 and pregnant and I’m 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 captures my situation, except I feel guilty characterising this 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 am 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 the baby I am carrying celebrates her sweet 16, I will be…60. Sweet fancy Moses, that’s old!  

As I get ready to have this baby, I’m gearing up for another round of “Who brought the grandma to playgroup?” 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 mums to newborns, we all looked the same: exhausted, flabby and confused. Then, as the months passed, the mums in their 20s and 30s morphed into supermodels before my eyes–skinny and fit with smooth, glowing skin. I didn’t. Losing baby weight has been an uphill battle, and my forehead is marked by deep grooves, as though a child has been repeatedly dragging a matchbox car over my face. (Maybe my preschooler has actually been doing that and I’ve simply slept through it, on account of being so tired?)

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 travelling. I also have more life experience, giving me the ability to put things in perspective (“This too shall pass” is a favourite 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 mums who are surely more concerned with graduating high school than cord blood banking. And I really envy their stamina for games of tag. 

So, to the beloved baby in my belly, I am sorry that your mum is so old. But look on the bright side:

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

I will never bat my eyelashes at your boyfriend.

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

Love, Mum x

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Photo: Getty