I’ve become an older mom. Ugh. I didn’t see that coming!
I first realized I’d rounded the bend when I was reading a book by an even-older-than-me mom who reflected that she would love to sit and visit with young moms, but they seemed to find her reminiscence annoying. I was thinking I’d be thrilled to sit and visit with this particular seasoned mom and glean her wisdom when I realized that at nearly 40, I probably don’t exactly qualify as a young mom anymore!
How sad is that?
A few weeks later I ran across a discussion on a local moms Q&A forum and a younger mom suggested forming a separate group for moms under Twenty-Five because older moms can seem to be so judgmental toward young moms.
Having only just identified myself as an Older Mom, I was a bit defensive. Why wouldn’t you want me in your group?
I’m not that old!
And hey, I know some stuff.
I’ve got three kids under my belt!
But then again, I always hated when my mom or mother-in-law would take it upon herself to tell me how I was feeding my baby solids in the wrong order, or didn’t have her dressed warmly enough, or that in her day babies wore wool stockings up to their diapers.
Excuse me, Nosey Old Lady, you haven’t had a baby in thirty years. We have central heating, and I read ALL the books!
Really though, Young Mom, even though the unsolicited advice can be annoying and even set you on edge, most older moms are not judging you.
We just want to save you from making the same mistakes we did. We want to help you avoid unnecessary worry, expense, or even just save you some time.
We have been there!
We’ve spent hours in the waiting room and paid the three-hundred dollar emergency room bill only to be told that our baby has a harmless heat rash.
We’ve worried that our toddler was too skinny, and shelled out big bucks for the chocolate nutrition shakes, only to be told at our next Pediatrician visit, that it’s usually okay to just let the kid decide how much real food to eat.
We’ve stayed up all night with fussy infants, and dropped hesitant Kindergarteners off for their first day of school.
Some of us are even still in the trenches with big kids, little kids, toddlers, and babies.
We really just want to meet you where you are, and share what we’ve had to learn the hard way.
So next time an older mom mentions a nifty trick she’s learned, or has the audacity to suggest that you may not need to worry about the occasional sniffle, remember that she has had a wealth of experiences (translation: mistakes and sleepless nights) which she is merely trying to share with you in order to save you a bit of trouble in the long run.
You don’t have to take every shred of advice she gives you. You don’t have to take any of it. She doesn’t really expect you to.
Goodness knows I didn’t.
Just don’t be so quick to assume that we Older Moms are looking down our noses at you.
Give us some grace. We love to talk about our babies, and what has and hasn’t worked for us as much as you do.
Enjoy the connections you make with moms your age. They will be your tribe.
But please remember that ultimately we are all in this together, and Mom is a more important part of the title than Older or Younger.
PS: Guess which textile I discovered I LOVED to dress my last baby in, even in summer?
Who knew, right? Well, my mother-in-law, that’s who!