Age is disrupting my perfect vision of motherhood

Motherhood, if I ever enter it, is not going to happen the way I envisioned it would happen a number of years ago.  Though I can’t say that I’ve always wanted marriage—I have thought about it often, usually approaching it with caution and careful analysis that has, at times, been misconstrued as disdain for the institution—I have always pictured many years of enjoying my husband before adding other people to the mix.

Children, that is.  Getting used to sharing space for the rest of your life with one person is challenging enough, I thought.  Why not work on that, and hopefully enjoy it, before becoming parents?  It cuts down on risk; if you find you don’t enjoy each other as much as you thought you would, you haven’t added people to the possessions you’re bound to fight over in a divorce.  And you may decide life is enjoyable enough with just the two of you.

That’s not the way the world is trending these days, though.  The number of unmarried moms is going up, and as people realize how expensive children are and as the economy continues to hobble along on incredibly small gains that are no match for big losses, the number of older moms is increasing, too.

My vision, of course, also required me to marry while in my 20s.  I would still have had my first child in my 30s, but it would have been before the foreboding, “Advanced Maternal Age,” set in.  Advanced mternal age is when doctors start to worry that pregnancy will be riskier and when the chance of birth defects goes up.  And as a friend and doctor pointed out to me in a moment that was meant to be funny but that hit each of us with a shock once we did the math, advanced maternal age starts at 35.  So, even if I get married tomorrow, my husband and I had better get used to each other real quick.

Concern about age-complicated pregnancy isn’t the only thing that diminishes my chances of my perfect vision becoming my reality.  It’s also the same statistic about unwed motherhood being on the rise.  The older I get, the fewer childless people I know, and I know more unwed fathers than I do unwed mothers.  I’m honest enough to admit that I want no part in someone else’s unwed fatherhood, whether it’s because he was never married or because he’s divorced.  I have made exceptions for older men whose kids are already grown.  (Don’t ask.)  But would I back off from my deal-breaker if that were the only thing about the man that I didn’t like?

Hmm.  One day, I may be old enough, or perhaps in love enough, to find out.

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4 thoughts on “Age is disrupting my perfect vision of motherhood

    1. Hi Alex,

      My complaint is two-fold: 1) I have mixed feelings about children. I want my own–at least, I’m pretty sure I do–but I’m not crazy about everyone else’s. I would expect a man with children to be active in their lives, so if I’m his girlfriend, that means being around them. If I don’t like kids, that’s a problem. And if we’re just getting to know each other, but we’re not exclusive and he tells me that he has kids but doesn’t really spend time with them and so doesn’t mind that I don’t really like kids, that’s just as big of a problem because I think that’s a reflection of bad character.

      2) I don’t like added drama. A relationship is hard enough with two people. For every child a man has, that’s another person involved in the relationship. For every child he has with a different woman, that’s another person involved in the relationship. For me, that’s too many people, too much confusion.

      1. Hey Mariam. Great post btw. Yes it is a wonderful mess out here. Sex and kids are not enough to keep marriages together but they can be enough to destroy them. lol. As I get into my 30s I am starting to realize that for many of us bad sex and bad decisions are easier to come by than a great conversation with someone these days. LMAO. I feel you on the getting with someone with kids statement. But you got to admit that many of us wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for loose women and and rolling stones.

        I think we as individuals and a collective need to find others ways to be positive and impactful contributors to society than what is considered the standard norm: breeding and marrying alone does not a purpose driven life makes.

        You speak of dating older men, I may need to focus on dating younger women if I am going to have a chance against that advanced maternal age stuff..It’s hilarious and also sobering you mentioned it because my otherwise distant uncle recently had some very interesting and wise things to tell me concerning women and relationships that I thought I would never hear from someone like him. GOD works in mysterious ways indeed!

        1. “But you got to admit that many of us wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for loose women and and rolling stones.” LOL! So true. Thanks for reading.

          And beware of using younger women as human fountains of youth. It’s not fun. You’ll have to elaborate on your uncle’s words of wisdom some time, if you wish.

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