On Being a Mom of “Advanced Maternal Age”

this is advanced maternal age

People often ask me what it’s like to be an “old” mom. They don’t say it like that, but that’s what they mean. They say things like, “How does it feel to have young children in your forties?” or “How do you deal with little kids at YOUR age?”. Those kinds of things.

I say I feel blessed. Let me explain.

You see, I’ve seen both sides of the coin. I was a young parent (not as young as a lot of my southern cohorts, but young by my standards). I was barely 22 when I had my first minion. She was gorgeous. She was perfect. I wasn’t ready for her, financially or emotionally. I loved her with all of my heart and soul, but we struggled and I wasn’t in a strong relationship. I was a kid. Then number two came along, not planned, and I wasn’t ready, at the age of 27.

Note the absence of a Daddy in this family photo. They had one, the same one, but he was never present.

1994: Note the absence of a Daddy in this family photo. They had one, the same one, but he was never present.

We muddled through. We were happy. We survived 2 marriages (my fault, not theirs) and a lot of macaroni and cheese…together. It wasn’t always fun. But I wasn’t ready for them. Financially, as most young parents (not all, and I won’t generalize, plus kudos to those of you who are) aren’t. I just wasn’t ready. Putting food on the table was my focus. We didn’t do a lot of fun stuff. When we did, I sacrificed healthy meals for macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. It was a trade off.

Luckily for me (us), their birthdays were both in the summer. That meant they got clothes for their birthdays from relatives, then clothes for Christmas from their relatives. Yes, I had their wardrobes covered. And their toys. I guess I planned that part well at least. Although, none of that was the plan. But my goodness, I loved those girls, obviously I still do, and wanted more for them. I wanted to provide them with more. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready.

Gossett Family 2008

And then I was presented with the opportunity, when I was ready, to have children at an “advanced maternal age” with my current husband. I wondered, I worried. Would I be here for them when they were grown? Would I see them grow? Could I, would I, be able to do this at 39, and then 41? You bet your ass I was ready this time, and it’s so much easier this go round. I actually highly recommend being a parent of “advanced maternal age”. I was ready. And you know what? My babies don’t want for crap. They have all they need and then some.

I’m here. I’m present. And I don’t have to stress the small stuff anymore. Well, other than them, because they’re still small, and I stress their little happiness. It’s awesome being a mom of “advanced maternal age”. It’s great being financially stable and knowing that when I want to take them on an adventure, I can, without worrying about the unhealthy meals I’ll have to feed them for a MONTH to make up for the financial sacrifice of fun.

So, if you ask me what it’s like to be an “old mom”, I have to say, it’s AWESOME. I was ready for these babies. And I’m still young enough to handle the daily life of parenthood. Parenting in your 40s is like grandparenting on steroids. You get to spoil them, you can afford it, and you get to keep them full time. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like this in the whole world!

If you’re of “advanced maternal age” and wondering if you should take the plunge, DO IT! There’s nothing quite like this. I’m just amazed by the beauty of my world every day. Although I still worry if I’ll be around to see their milestones, I’m thankful that these babies have graced my life, and that I’m at a point in my life where they don’t have to need, or want, for anything.

So, yes, I’m happy to be an “old mom”, just in case you wanted to ask!

So the kids are all potty-trained, now what?

You should know that I’m sharing TMI with you here today as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars and Poise Microliner. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own. #SAMInYourPants

Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, #SAMInYourPants

I’ve potty trained 6 kids for pretty much my entire adult life. I literally changed diapers for about 23 years. It started the minute Bry was born 24 years ago, and ended about a year ago when I finally got Bubby to stop peeing on himself. Such is the life of a 40 (mumble) something year old mom of 6 kids from the ages of 24 down to 5. I set myself up for this actually so I can’t complain. But YAY, I’m done with diapers. I’m done with poopie pants. I’m done with worries of little people not making it to the potty on time.

But I’m not. Now I’m the little person that I have to worry about. Since they’ve all “arrived”, I find myself in a 9 line bind at times. You see, I hold “it”. I hold it WAY too long. I’ve done it my whole life. When I was little, I held it. My mom still tells stories (seriously, she needs to let it go) of me sitting on the back porch, waiting for the ice cream man, and doing the pee-pee dance as I waited. Because I was holding it. Only, I never really held it well and often peed down the porch steps. While I waited. Then I’d do the walk of shame into the house, without my ice cream, and have to change my pants. I failed.

Somewhere along life’s journey, I found a way to perfect the pee-pee dance and make it to the bathroom before I had to take that walk of shame. But then, somewhere along the way, I lost my touch. As women birth herds of children (especially if they were all 8-9+ pounders like mine were), they lose the control factor. Things, simple life events (like laughing, running through an airport, holding your pee and stuff) just don’t work anymore. And you find yourself walking that walk of shame again. It’s quite normal though and it has a name. It’s called light bladder leakage, or LBL, and SOOO many women experience this after childbirth. So I’m normal, sort of.

A recent week-long trip for a conference and meet up with my besties really challenged me, and my pee-pee dance mastery. This life skill, or lack there of, actually made its way to my Facebook wall (of shame).

Poise Liners, #SAMInYourPants, LBL, light bladder leakage

That’s right folks, I piddle in my pants at times. No, I don’t full-on pee. Stop that! I just hold it. Then I giggle snort. And oopsie…a leak…as I run (don’t walk…pee-pee dance…OMG RUN) to the bathroom. It is what it is.

With each child (have I mentioned I have a herd?) this phenomenon gets a little worse. I’m not as bad off as some, but it’s totally a thing for me, as of late anyway. On adult beverage nights, oh my stars, it’s so much worse. Don’t make me laugh too hard. Don’t make me wait too long. Just, well, don’t. I’ll piddle, and I’ll snort, which tends to make me piddle just a little bit more. Panties are expensive y’all. I don’t want to have a panty budget just because, well…pee in my pants.

Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, Wine with Beavers, #SAMInYourPants

So what’s a lady (ha, ha..shush…that’s funny right there) to do? Well the answer is most assuredly not piddle in her pants just because some crazy ladies make her giggle snort constantly. Wait, have I told you about my most recent meet up with my tribe yet? If you knew them, you’d know this is NOT my fault. They’re the ones that make me piddle and I needed a solution. Badly. And I found one! I think. I hope. Because you know, panty budget is not…well…in the budget.

Poise, #SAMInMyPants, LBL, light bladder leakage, exercise

Poise. They have microliners. They’re super thin and they won’t make me look like I’m wearing a diaper. Because I think I’ve made it clear. I’m over diapers. No more piddle. Well, that’s not true, but the panties won’t suffer when I hold “it” for way too long anymore. No more walk of shame. No more piddle in my panties. I’ve got this with their help and the help of some strategic daily exercise.

So, be honest, do you piddle too? It’s OK, you’re a mom, that’s what we do. It’s just light bladder leakage and it’s totally a thing. Come on over to the Poise side and save your panties. If you want to try them before you buy them, I’ve got you covered there too. Free samples anyone?

No more walks of shame y’all. NO MORE walks. of. shame!

Mommy? Why didn’t Daddy get the Worry Gene?

tidal wave worry gene

The worry gene. Let me explain.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus takes on a whole new meaning when these planets become parents. In my head, it translates to dads are from Lala-land and women are from Paranoiaville. Something just happens to us when we become moms and it seems to get worse with age (in my case anyway). It’s some uncontrollable feeling that doom is lurking around every corner, waiting to harm our babies.

Let’s break this down mathematically (because that’s totally not my strong suit so of course we should do it this way) to understand the effects this simple chromosomal difference has on us as parents.

XY + parenthood = let them be kids

XX + parenthood = if they step outside this house, or move, doom is sure to follow

Exaggeration? Not really in this house. This difference is apparent in all families from what I’ve seen, but here? It’s a raging issue.

Case in point: We live in a nice gated community. Our neighbors are nice. We have a lovely playground that we can see clearly (and closely I might add, we could get there in less than a minute if needed) from our balcony. B is completely comfortable walking the babies down to said playground, leaving them there, and returning to sit on our balcony to watch them play. I mean, what could happen right?

WHAT COULD HAPPEN?

Well, a creepy white van with no windows could drive up and the sociopathic driver could snatch them and take them away forever. Or one of them could fall and impale themselves on the playground equipment. Or, since we live on a beach, obviously a freak tidal wave carrying a school of shark could consume them, and there’s no way they’d get out of that mess. Or a pelican (have you seen the size of those things?) could swoop in and decide they looked like the perfect snack. OR a fire-breathing dragon could descend from the sky and attack my babies with me just helplessly watching from the balcony.

THAT’S what could happen!

Yes, I actually go there. I think many of us in the Double X Sisterhood do. We don’t mean to. We don’t want to. Sure, let them be kids.

Well, yes, BUT NO!

These things are real, in my head, and it’s my job to protect them and carry them safely and happily into adulthood. So protect them I will from the creepy sociopaths in the windowless vans, impaling playground equipment, freak tidal waves carrying schools of shark, those pelicans (seriously, those things are HUGE), and the fire-breathing dragons.

I’m a mom. That’s what I do, and my worry gene gives me super powers to worry perform my job well.

So dads out there (and B in particular), we know you love your babies. We know you worry. There’s never any doubt that you only want what’s best for the kids and you want them to enjoy life. But guess what? This is how we’re made. That Double X string kicked into high gear the very SECOND we laid eyes on our first baby and it’s not going anywhere.

And kids, if you’re listening (especially mine because I know you think I’m too overprotective sometimes), moms don’t mean to restrict you. We were made to worry to keep you safe from whatever life throws at you. That’s what we do. Because, you know…tidal waves, schools of shark, pelicans, fire-breathing dragons, and stuff.

This is just one of those sorry, not sorry moments. I’m a mom. I’m doing my job. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go zip up those babies’ bubbles. I think I hear pelicans coming!