Myths About Later Motherhood

The Council on Contemporary Families has just released a fact sheet examining 3 myths about later motherhood.

I always find the language in these kinds of reports fascinating, particularly the way they discuss how women are “postponing” motherhood without mentioning the cultural structure that makes both men and women hesitant to commit to marriage or partnerhood at a younger age.

But the part of the release I found most interesting was this:

Although all mothers have a spike in happiness around the birth of a child, this spike is particularly strong for moms who start their families after 35 and is not followed by the steep and sustained decline in happiness and satisfaction that occurs among younger mothers.

I’ve always suspected that my long struggle to have a child has made me more patient and content with motherhood. (Also, two excellent babysitters, and one very-involved husband). Is it possible that it is my age alone? That I have actually attended enough adult-only parties? What do you think? What is your experience of first-time motherhood over 35?



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One Response to Myths About Later Motherhood

  1. Brandy says:

    Hello dear friend! I’m pleasantly surprised to find your website & blog! I know it’s late, but I wanted to comment on this post. I can totally see how this is true. I am super content with motherhood and my advanced maternal age has a lot to do with it (gave birth at 36.) My education is complete, I’ve already had a few careers, and I am in a stable relationship (with a very long courtship!) Even though motherhood is different from what I had imagined, I have been able to go with the flow. Our parenting style is child-centered. My son is very lucky that I did not have him 10 or even 5 years ago. I had a hard time dealing with anger, took things very personally, and was very selfish. Back then I would have felt like I needed to “get my life back”, as I hear some parents say now.

    It seems that older fathers are more content as well. My husband never wanted kids when he was younger, but now that he has a child, he loves it! He’s actually a super cool dad. I know a man in his early 30’s who was just divorced because he never adjusted to fatherhood. He felt like he could still go out and party and take long vacations with his friends (leaving his wife and son at home.) I wonder if he would still be married if they had waited longer to have a child, but who knows. It’s interesting to ponder though! Best wishes to you…

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