In this era of #mommywars, us moms face a lot of criticism. From the time you announce your pregnancy until, well, forever, it seems like everyone has an opinion about how you're supposed to do things, and they often feel the need to tell you when "you're doing it wrong." I have found that when you wait to have kids until your 30s, people have a lot to say about it, and there are so many ways you don't realize you're shaming older moms, too.
I had always planned to wait to have kids until I had a chance to finish my graduate degree, buy a house, establish my career, and have some financial stability. I also selfishly wanted to have a chance to travel, enjoy being married, and have some kid-free fun. Flash forward through five years of child-free marriage, and we had crossed everything off our pre-baby checklist. What that meant, however, was that I had my first baby right before I turned 31.
A lot has happened in the past nine years. I had two kids, got divorced, was a badass single mom, got re-married, became a stepmom to two more kids, completely changed careers, and then recently got pregnant and had a baby with my new husband. If it sounds exhausting, it's because it totally is. I have experienced so many raised eyebrows, judgmental comments, and shame while wearing all of these hats but, surprisingly, much of it has to do with being an "older mom."
While our culture has shifted to, for the most part, accept working moms and different family structures — and medical technology makes it possible for people to have babies later in life, either because they choose to or because life happens — it seems like we still haven't fully gotten to a place where we entirely accept that it's OK for people to wait to have kids. Or, that waiting might even be the best thing for you and your family. It is so commonplace to question this particular life choice that people don't often realize they are doing it, and that it can be really shaming.