Old mum versus young mum
Is the ‘old mum’ versus ‘young mum’ divide a myth? Blogger and mum Maria from Feisty Tapas shares her experience of being an older mum and asks if the divide is something much more hands on.
When I first got pregnant I was very aware that I was going to qualify as an older mum, my midwife was quick to reassure me that nowadays 36 is not old anymore and that, in fact, mine wasn’t even automatically considered a high-risk pregnancy. At first I thought she was just trying to put my mind at rest but, as my pregnancy progressed, I realised that she wasn’t kidding: the extra years, wrinkles and grey hairs (oh, who am I kidding, they grow white) didn’t really matter.
Once my daughter had decided to put in appearance I started comparing myself and my exhaustion to that of younger mums, thinking back to tales of friends who had had kids both in their twenties and their thirties and who had found that bouncing back after labour was much harder in their thirties. Yes, younger mums seemed much more likely to get out and about and seemed to pull their non-grey hair out less.
The real divide between mothers
However, I quickly realised that the problem wasn’t as much the decade or more in age difference but the proximity to family and help in general. You see, we haven’t really had anyone to help with our daughter until we found our wonderful childminder only about three months ago and I could see a huge difference between those mums who had someone (be it family, friends or paid help) to take some load off them from day one and those of us who just didn’t.
Add to that work and the inability to book a doctor or dentist appointment unless my husband takes some time off or unless they can fit me on a Monday or a Friday when T is being looked after the childminder and… well, things slip. Not to talk about the state of my hair, my skin, my nails and, last but not least, my poor tired mind and the brain it’s lodged in.
I find it strangely reassuring when I find other mums in the same situation, there is one particular lovely mum who is in a similar situation and she is so understanding.
So narrow is the young vs. old mum divide that the mother I have found so far with a kid with the most similar personality to my affectionate little girl was a mum we met at a playground, she had hardly reached her twenties, dressed like a Spice Girl, with huge platforms and a whole lot of make-up as opposed to my flat shoes, comfy clothes and bare face; however, she seemed to be of my own outlook on motherhood. I found this a huge surprise.
That day at that playground the young vs. old difference disappeared and I was left with the “my mum lives round the corner and looks after the kids anytime” difference (as well as a kid a year older than mine, she also had a young baby).
Then there are the Facebook updates of friends regularly going out on movie nights or to concerts, regularly leaving the kids with the grandparents.
That, right there, is the biggest difference: the last time I remember going to the cinema was to watch Limitless when it hit a theatre near you. That was a while ago, wasn’t it?
What is your take on the old versus young mum divide?
Do you feel different to Mums of a different age from you?
Is the with help vs no help whatsoever a bigger divide than young vs old or is this just my own experience?
Photo: FaceMePLS @ Flickr