I didn’t think waiting until I was 30 to have my first baby would really matter. I mean, yes I would have liked to have started a family when I was in my mid-20s but it took some time to get a career going, get married, travel some and actually feel ready to have a baby. Now that I’m 35 with a 5-year-old and a 3-year old who have boundless amounts of energy, I’m ready to have another baby but I hesitate because I’m an "old" parent, and I'm honestly afraid I can't keep up with my kids.
I am a millennial but I feel waaay older. My knees crack when I bend down, I can’t last an entire night dancing in high heels anymore without my feet aching the next day, and hangovers are not so easy to shake off. Greasy food and Gatorade no longer cut it; it’s more like spend the next day in bed. Am I feeling my age or am I over-thinking it? Maybe a little of both. Either way I consider myself an “old” parent, especially when I see moms in their mid-20s at the park looking stylish and not the least bit run down.
I’m glad that people tell me I don’t look my age but hate that it’s one of the questions asked within the first 40 minutes of conversation. When I tell someone I’m 35 and hoping for another baby the response is always the same — “now is the time, don’t wait too long.” Because many women of child-bearing age who have to worry about their fertility know that age 35 bumps you into the advanced maternal age (AMA) category. Sarcastic yaaaaay!
The worst part? I want another baby but I’m worried that I won’t have the energy to hold it all together if I add one more to the equation. trying to conceive in my late to mid-20s was tough, and now trying to conceive in my mid-30s seems to be even harder thanks to the age-related questions that make me worry that I’m too old for this. Asking if I will have the energy to keep up with another kid does not help me feel any better, nor does that calculating of how old I’ll be when my youngest moves out, graduates college, get married.
Trying to do it all and be present when I’m with my kids is freaking exhausting. Do moms younger then me feel the same way? Is it an age thing or a lifestyle thing? Either way, I feel like I need an energy boost to get through the work days and an extra shot of caffeine when I’m home with my kids. By bedtime I’m stifling yawns when reading bedtime stories and my patience is on the downturn when my girls are fighting going to sleep. How can I manage one more?
But maybe, just like everything related to parenting, you just learn to go with the flow. To be honest, I can be yawning and dreaming of lying in bed the second I get home but the minute I open the door to my house and the kids are so excited to spend time with me, I get just enough energy to be active with them. I’ll play PlayMobil or craft, work on homework, bake cookies or provide my girls with manicures and/or pedicures. Somehow I find the energy and get reinvigorated when I’m with my girls. But, I’m also human, and I get freaking tired.
So what do I do? Continue to worry that I can't keep up with my kids or just go with the flow? Maybe a few more years of lost sleep is worth another baby.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.