“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

The Original Perfect Post Awards – March ‘07

At the risk of losing my “mommyblogger” title, I suppose the time has come to throw in a “Harry” post.  But it may not be the one you were expecting. 

 I have been watching one of my son’s prodigious growth spurts lately in amazement.  There is almost none of the baby that I snuggled in a sling around my neck just one year ago.   Four months away from two years old, and only four teeth shy of a full set (he is cutting the evil canines of doom right now), he is full in the bloom of running-jumping-shrieking toddlerhood.  His slight speech delay let me live in denial for a little longer than some, but he has now fully caught up with his cohorts, learning new words daily and stringing them together at entirely unexpected moments.  Having only vicariously (and none too attentively), witnessed my nieces and nephews pass this way before him, I marvel at how he wakes up a different little human being each day than the one I put to bed the night before.

I don’t know if this is a function of my delayed motherhood, or if all moms feel the same way, but it is hard to resist demanding a “do-over”.   That his babyhood is vanishing before my eyes fills me with more than a little sadness.   For better or worse, I will never pass this way again

However, this is a fate that I fully brought upon myself.  While I will not deny the melancholy of watching Harry grow up as an only child, I cannot allow myself the luxury of whining about it.

It is another of the great ironies of life that so many of our decisions are made at a time of our lives when we are so ill-equipped to understand the consequences of them.  Teenagers, in fits of fancy and the arrogance, erect MySpace pages that are shrines to the “in-your-face-recklessness” of youth, before the future opinions of college-recruiters and potential employers even cross before their radar screens.   We are simply unable to project into our futures and understand our middle-aged selves with our middle-aged needs.  We live blissfully in the momentary self-absorption of the young.  And, if we grow at all, we must learn to live with the delayed payment that “life in the moment” requires.

As young women in the age of liberation, we preoccupy much of our prime childbearing years with the task of NOT conceiving.  We live in an age where we are allowed personal goals, personal aspirations, and the social luxury of putting them first.  We see media-hyped visions of successful and ever-young Hollywood actresses and celebrity figures having their children well into their forties, without seeing the airbrushing and the costly fertility treatments that bolster the image.  Forty is the new thirty!  Thirty is the new twenty!  We can have it all with our children as the cherry on the top!

Yes.  I had my son at forty.  Yes.  I had a successful career first.  And yes, I feel I am a far, far better parent at forty-two than I would have been at twenty-two, or even thirty-two.   And, no, I don’t look my age, even without the airbrushing (although I can’t say that will last much longer).  I wont allow myself the indulgence of playing what-if games, but I pray fervently that no woman in her early thirties ever, EVER looks to me as an example and tells herself “See, I have a few more years…”.

Because you don’t.

If I can spare one woman the sadness of knowing that every “first” my son has is a “last” for me, I will gladly, gladly post myself on a Wanted poster for all the badness of delayed motherhood.  If I can spare another the agony and tears of an infertility struggle that was the result of nothing more than plain old age, I will expose every procedure, every test, every dismal pronouncement from every fertility doctor.  I am not infertile through bad luck.  I am infertile through the simple, relentless, march of human biology.

Here it is.  Plain black and white.

Your fertility starts falling off in your thirties.  It accelerates after 35.  It falls precipitously after 37.   By the age of 45, 85% of women are completely infertile. 

We need to be realistic about the demands of children on our lives.  I grant you that.  Your life reorients itself in ways you can never imagine.

However, we need to be equally realistic about how much luxury we really have with our time.   If you are waiting for the ideal time to have children, I can tell you, with a great deal of certainty, that the ideal time NEVER comes.  For me, first it was money.  Then a failed marriage.  Then my career.  Then my sport.  Then I woke up one day and I was about to turn 40, and had no idea how I even got there.  And I realized that all those things could have been rearranged.  That life doesn’t end when you have kids.  You reorient.  You recover.  You move on.  And you are happier beyond imagining.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mind being an older mother.  My son is the joy of my life.  I would do it all over again in a bloody heartbeat.

Which, I guess, is exactly my point.

March 21st, 2007 at 4:36 pm
55 Responses to “A bad example is sometimes the best one”
  1. 1
    Kat Says:

    Thank you. I needed that.

  2. 2
    Sheila Says:

    I hate to see those odds, At the other end of the spectrum, having babies in high school, I always thought I’d have “one more” I didn’t then for what seemed like logical reasons and now that ship has probably sailed. It’s odd to see those figures in black and white when it really does feel like 40 is the new 30. It reminds me of Dream Children, by Charles Lamb http://www.angelfire.com/nv/mf/elia1/dream.htm

  3. 3

    And the reason why I’m still dragging my feet on a vasectomy. My wife doesn’t want children. I don’t want children. Neither of us have ever wavered in the statement. But the decision is so FINAL. And I get to drag my feet. My wife is turning 40 at Pennsic this year and it’s coming without mercy.


  4. 4
    Rey Says:

    If you ever want to see what it’s like to have several kids I’ll be happy to drop mine off with you for a month or so. :)

  5. 5
    Kat Says:

    I had Zack along for the ride all those years… I always thought that would be enough, having a brother young enough to be a son. But… I’m learning it’s not quite enough.

    I think.

  6. 6
    abogada Says:

    My infertility was “unexplained,” but since I didn’t start trying until 39 (no husband before that), it certainly had a lot to do with my age. And I do remember people telling me it was a breeze to have kids, at least until you’re 45. What a crock. Fortunately, I still have some frozen embryos (from donor eggs) that I can use. I am struggling more than I can say with what you describe — I don’t want all my daughter’s “firsts” to be my lasts. I just want more. Yet I go back and forth, back and forth, about having another one. All because of my age (and my husband’s age). What I wouldn’t give to go back ten years in time.

  7. 7
    Tracey Says:

    You know, the twinges and the “what if”‘s are hitting me. I thought I was completely happy. I have NEVER wanted a baby. EVER. Then I married the guy that had the baby boy, and I was happy. Got the whole package.

    So now, At 36-1/2, three things have made me wonder…

    1) The aforementioned baby boy is now 15, taller than me, and has a voice deeper than his dad’s. We’ve already gone through the “you can’t tell me what to do”‘s, the trouble with school, etc, and girls, girls, girls!

    2) You. Not only have you made me see the other side of so many things, but now you’ve got me thinking of this too. (And what Will said about it all be so FINAL!)

    3) A friend of mine had a miscarriage two years ago, and it has been very very hard on her. But she and her hubbie are desperately trying again. And just seeing how much they want a baby, how close it is making them to each other… makes me wonder if maybe I’m missing out.

  8. 8
    Gerbil Says:

    I had a child at 20 and one at 22. Now I have Jacob at 40 so I have gotten to experience both ends of this spectrum. J is my husband’s first child and probably the last, considering my severe pre eclampsia and Jacob’s prematurity. It makes me a little wistful that now that I know what I’m doing… this is all I’ll get. And also a little regretful that my older two had to get the Me that had NO clue. Oh the guilt.

  9. 9

    Perfectly said.

  10. 10
    jodi Says:

    I just tagged you for a meme!

  11. 11
    Anyeta Says:

    I know all too well how you feel. I’m trying to squeeze every ounce of happiness I can get out of this current pg because I know that it may very well be the only one I get to have. And I’m 32, so nobody even takes me seriously when I tell them this. 4 years and 20 grand in medical expenses to conceive a child? I consider it money and time well spent, and Newt isn’t even here yet….

  12. 12
    kylie Says:

    You really do have a way with words.

    Wish me luck, I’m still on my journey toward being a Mom. I agree- about the irony- some of us seem to spend half our adult lives trying not to get pregnant only to spend the other half trying to conceive. While trying to be reproductively responsible about bringing children into the world, making sure I could give them what they would need- love, time, energy and the food, clothing and shelter they require to flourish, I have gone and shot myself in the foot.

    If I really had known, I wouldn’t have been so darn careful!

  13. 13
    WhyMommy Says:

    I hear you. I really hear you, and I think I know a little of what you’re feeling. I have my two, but wouldn’t three have been nice? Or more? A mom in my playgroup is going on and on about how she’ll have six … and it nearly breaks my heart each time.

    But we have our one. Or our two. And we love ‘em, bless their hearts, and their every move brings us joy. I’m sure Harry knows how much you love him and treasure him … and perhaps, just perhaps, that poignant but lovely awareness that you speak of here wouldn’t be so acute if the door for more were open.

    No matter how many we have, they will always grow up, and sometime we have to experience our last. You and I (and many many others) can do it with our eyes open and not miss a moment.

    (Thanks for writing this. I’m struggling too, and I needed to hear it.)

  14. 14
    Kris Says:

    I had my daughter when I was 40 also. I will be turning 47 this November and by this time, or soon after, I will have another daughter, through adoption. I’m looking forward to experiencing all those “firsts” again, except maybe diapers…..

  15. 15
    maggie Says:

    Good post (Antique Mommy pointed me here). I had my one and only baby at 42…because I didn’t “get” the infertility thing…stupid stupid stupid.

  16. 16

    Poignant post. Thank you.

  17. 17
    Kim Says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I really needed to hear it. I’m 34 years old and have an 18 year old daughter. I have continually put off having another child because I had my daughter so young. My husband with whom I have been married for the last nine years has no children and now wants one. We are also at a time in our lives where God is changing every aspect of it. I think maybe God has used your post to show me not to put it off any longer. Who knows just because we want to have a child we may not be able to. If that is the case God will bring us through it. Thank You again!

  18. 18

    Here via Antique Mommy–GREAT post, very well said.

  19. 19
    Kim Says:

    I came to your blog through Antique Mommy. I must say that your post resonates with me and I am neither infertile or in my 40’s. I am however, a mother of three and I have grieved the passing of milestones with great sadness. I have demanded “do-over’s” as well in my mind and tried with pointless desperation to relive memories that are too precious to let go of. It is perplexing, amazing and surreal to see the days turn into years. My oldest is 12 years old and there are fleeting moments when I see the chub of her baby cheeks or the twinkle of her toddler eyes but most days it seems like another lifetime, another child, and even a different mother. You have written a wonderful post. It is both a blessing and a curse to be so very present in the days gone by. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

  20. 20
    veronica Says:

    It has always seemed to me that life is a lot simpler if I learn from other people’s wisdom. Why go through pain that someone else already has when they are willing to share what they have learned?

    I am one of the few in my circle who conceived at a career-less, “young” age of thirty for just your set of reasons. It still felt like we waited forever. One of the nicest things my husband says to me now is, “Kids are fun. We should have had them sooner.” That’s his way of saying, “You were right all along.”

    I hope others learn from your hard-won wisdom. It is so sad to see women lose the chance at motherhood from waiting too long.

  21. 21
    Holly Says:

    I stumbled upon this post and absolutely love it. This is so beautifully written. My husband and I waited until I was 26 to begin to try to grow our family. This, although still young, proved to be a problem due to a 6 year battle with the following: 1 miscarriage; then healthy baby girl; followed by another miscarriage when she was 2; then over a year of infertility; then finally another pregnancy that ended in a 3rd miscarriage. I am still relatively young, I guess, at 32 years old. But imagine the day that I realized that all of the firsts that we shared with our daughter, may very well have been our lasts…but I didn’t even know it at the time. I so wish that I had paid more attention to every kick when she was in my belly…why didn’t I memorize the moments more? Why didn’t I document more? Why didn’t I pay more attention? Why? Why didn’t we try when I was 22? Why did we wait? Now I have to try to look my daughter in the eye, with much sadness in my own, when she begs for a sibling. How can I explain to her that it just isn’t that easy sometimes?

  22. 22
    Karen Says:

    I was one of those who wanted to wait until my late thirties, but it didn’t quite work out that way when I found myself “prematurely pregnant” at 27. Your post hit home, because had I waited, I would not have had the opportunity to have birthed my other two children.

  23. 23

    Beautifully said. I had my first baby at 39. And then was able to go on and have two more, my last at 44. I worry about not being around for them when they begin having their own children, especially if they delay childbirth, like I did. I regret not being able to show my 7 year old how to do a cartwheel, without risking certain traction. Alas, I know that this is where I am suppose to be in my life. And God’s timing is perfect. I just need to remember to keep a full bottle of extra strength Tylenol in the cabinet at all times.

    I came over from Antique Mommy. Great great post!

  24. 24
    Stacey Says:

    I honestly can’t say I know how you feel but your words were so honest and I appreciate them. I had my first at 20, my second at 23 and now my third at 26. I sometimes feel overwhelmed and wonder if it’s better to wait but then I look at my children and know this is the season God has me in right now! I love every single moment of being a mom and know that there is plenty of time to do other things later in life! God has truly blessed me and I’m so thankful!!

    Thank you for being so honest and posting just how you feel!

  25. 25

    As a mother who also had my first and only child at 40, I completely understand the “first and last” syndrome of enjoying our children. In my case, I didn’t marry until I was 38, and consider myself incredibly lucky to have conceived without fertility treatments, but it took 2 years. And I know that I’m the exception to the rule.

    I hope this reality does get to the women it needs to–those in their twenties and early thirties.

  26. 26

    I came here via Antique Mommy. That was a beautifully written post.

    I had my children young by today’s standards. 23 and 26. And I sometimes wonder if I should have waited. I had a job before I had children, but I never had a career. I never had a passion, other than writing. Now my children are older (8 and 12) and I’m wondering who I am a little bit. If think that if I had taken the time to find out who my non-Mom self is before I had children, I wouldn’t be facing this identity crisis now at two years shy of forty.

    So…your post gave me some perspective. As you said, there is no perfect time. Thank you for your candor.

  27. 27
    Margaret Says:

    This is a lovely post. I became a mom at 41 and again at 43; somewhere while nursing baby #2 menopause arrived. I too would love to have more children.

    I would add one other piece of advice to your lovely post: Don’t wait on purpose, but don’t have babies without the right daddy for them. I could have had babies years earlier – with my jerky first husband, or any number of guys I dated or just “hooked up” with during the intervening years. I didn’t want to start out as a single mom, or become one by a predictable divorce; of course through circumstances beyond our control anyone can become a single mom in a moment. I was prepared to live my life alone and childless till I was surprised to meet my husband at age 37.

    I am only too aware that my years with my children are limited more than my friends’ years with theirs. Well, maybe. There was the friend who died at 32, leaving a 15-month old. We never know what will come to us.

    In a few words: Don’t wait for the career or the education or the big bank account; do wait for the right daddy. And rejoice in the life you have.

    Found you via Antique Mommy.

  28. 28

    My childbearing years have long since been left behind, not only from age, but from a mandatory hysterectomy. I adopted one daughter in my youth, but when it was too late, I realized I truly wanted my own biological children. But that ship had already sailed and I was still on the shore. Hindsight is a great thing. If you want kids, have them. Don’t wait. You will never be “ready”. You just manage and learn as you go. Don’t make my mistakes. I can assure you that they are not fun to live with. My sweet and lovely daughter died at age 28. Facing the upcoming senior years with no children and no grandchildren is not fun. We must live with the errors in judgment we make in our youth.

    I found you through Antique Mommy and your posting is very poignant and very true.

  29. 29
    Rhonda Says:

    Awesome post! I had my first two when I was in my early 20’s and then had my last when I was 37. I loved being a mom then, but didn’t realize how fast they grew up. My daughter has been married and on her own for 3 years now and has two little ones of her own. My oldest son is in the process of moving out too. I hate them going. Makes me feel old, but my youngest reminds me that I’m only as old as I act. Playing with him keeps me young and enjoying life to the fullest. I wouldn’t change having kids when I was young, but I treasure my young son because I know how fast they grow. He is 5 now and getting ready for Kindergarten. So I know how you feel about this first being the last. I’m just eating up every little thing he does and loving the time I have with him. No matter whether you are a young mom or an older mom the time flies by way too fast. Thanks for a very honest, wonderful post.

  30. 30
    GiBee Says:

    I’m here from Antique Mommy’s and honestly … I could NOT have said it better. My husband and I started trying early in life, but weren’t blessed with our son until late in life, and trying for a second has been hard and heart breaking. Accepting that it “may not be” has been difficult, too!

    If I had to pass a message on to newlyweds … it would be … don’t wait. Start now. You never know what life will throw your way.

  31. 31

    I too came way of Antique Mommy.

    I know that having my babies at 34 & 37 was the right time for me. But I would’ve been having them alone if I’d wanted them any earlier. Until my nephew was born (10 yrs ago) I didn’t want kids. I liked them, I just didn’t really think I was mom material–then he came along and I think his mom would get worried I was going to run off with him or something; we were close.

    My second is 11 months and I am doing my best to savor every moment. I know that many things (like breastfeeding) have less time left then more. Everyday she reminds me that she’s moving on up and needs me less. And there’s a huge part of me that thinks “maybe 3 (or 4)would be nice”. But I also need to remember that 2 have been kicking my butt for the last year and they’re relatively easy. What if I had a “spirited” child or a special needs child, could I cope? I would, cause I’m a mom and that’s what we do. But I need to remind myself how lucky I am to have the children I have and savor the moments we have. I think the thing to realize is that on a certain level we always long for more and that we are lucky to have the time/ability to savor what we do have. Having more would make that a little harder.

  32. 32
    Sue Says:

    Here’s another woman stopping by here after seeing a reference on Antique Mommy. Having studied Biology and Genetics, I knew since I was in my early 20’s what the graph looked like for fertility reduction and chances of chromosomes not working the same as a woman aged. My reasons for putting off having kids was not being ready to settle down and not finding a guy I wanted to spend my life with—until I was 30. Then a major obstacle was lack of health insurance, then marriage problems, which we resolved. Finally, we started down the road to fertility treatments when I was 40. By then I had decided that if fertility treatments didn’t work, I wanted to adopt. After 4 years of treatments, my husband and I were both ready to adopt. What a wonderful decision! We adopted a baby boy, who was about 8 months old when we were able to bring him home. When we were in his country working on the adoption, I became pregnant with our little girl. She was born when I was 46. We now have 2 kids who are 15 months apart. If I had been able to plan better, I would have had a little more space between the ages, but not everything is within our control. I was sad that I hadn’t been able to witness the first few months of our son’s life, which made me cherish every moment with my infant daughter. Now that my son just turned 3 and my daughter is 20 months, I feel every day that I have to hold onto every memory of them being babies/toddlers.

    But, the main reason I felt the need to respond was to recommend adoption if you want another child.

  33. 33
    Yvonne Says:

    (I came here through Antique Mommy)
    It’s funny – there are so many ways of looking at it. We got married at 20, had our first at 21, 2nd at 22, 3rd at 26 and the last one (a surprise pregnancy) at 33. All we heard all those years is that we were “too young”, and “Haven’t you figured out how that works yet”? Now, we are young grandparents at 47 (our oldest and his wife gave us a beautiful granddaughter last August) and we are on to this phase in our lives. There are plenty of “firsts” that are fading from memory, but they are replaced with new “firsts”. Seeing my son become a father – and how loving and attentive he is with his daughter – priceless. Don’t think of each thing as the “last” – think of it as the doorway to the next step or phase in Harry’s life. You can have 1 child, or 4 like me, and it is still impossible to hold all those memories fresh.

  34. 34
    chickadee Says:

    so well said and i wish that this message could get out there to more young married couples. you think you have all the time in the world.

  35. 35
    Linda Says:

    loved your post. I have 6 kids and I love them to bits. I started at age 21 and now I am 36. I am so glad I have them, but I wonder how things would have been different if I had gotten my education. Its not that easy to go back, and when I finally do, who will hire a 40 something. I would never ever trade my kids in for a career. I just wonder what could have been.
    Thanks so much for your honest post. I dont think many would have stated it so honestly in these politically correct time. Good Luck and enjoy your baby everyday.

  36. 36
    Kim Says:

    Here via AM also.
    I am also an Antique Mommy. I had my son (1st) at 41, and am currently 28 weeks with my 2nd, and last. I am already regretting that this will be my last. Which is ironic since I have long thought that 2 was the amount for me, for a number of reasons.
    While I would have liked to have started 5-7 years earlier, I didn’t have the right Daddy for them. I would have been an awful mother at 20, or even 30.
    We make our choices and we lie with them. You are right to warn the 25-30 year old crowd, and you are right to tell them that they can re-orient after kids and still move forward with life.
    I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, but I just wanted to touch base – I am here, I am 44 and pregnant (no medical intervention), and I share many of your feelings.

  37. 37
    Chili Says:

    Here via AM as well. I’m in my late twenties and while I do have one child (6 1/2), we’re certain that our family isn’t “done” yet. My mother keeps giving me the “you’ve got lots of time” speech, because she wants to see me finish my professional certification before we expand the family, but that would put me mid-thirties and with a million other reasons to wait. Not to mention that I already know that I am “fertility challenged”. Your post is a fantastic reminder that I am doing the right thing for me, even though it puts my career on the slow track.

  38. 38
    nutmeg Says:

    I’m looking at 42, sitting here nursing my fourth baby and crying. Even with four, it really hurts to know I’m done. Thanks for this really beautiful post.

  39. 39
    Ranee Says:

    Thank you for a beautiful post! I came here via Antique Mommy. You are blessed with your son.

    I’ve had several doctors tell me in the last few years that the 35 fertility decline is actually much later. That is when it is obviously in decline, but they said the average woman peaks her fertility at 27 and it goes down from there.

    I am grieved from the lie that feminism and the sexual revolution propagated that women could be on the pill forever and once they were off they could have children, that they could put off childbearing with little to no ill effect. I am saddened by the women who now find out that it isn’t so easy after all. God be with us all.

  40. 40
    Clemntine Says:

    Thank you for taking the time and putting forth the energy to articulate these important ideas. You have informed, encouraged and blessed many. May you be blessed as well.

  41. 41
    William McNaughton Says:

    You know, somebody needs to be the other voice. It might as well be me.

    I heard a lot of things when I was considering fatherhood. “It’s different when they’re your own.” (But what if it’s not?) “You’re going to love being a parent!” (But what if I don’t?)

    Creating a human being using tools you already have around the home is the single most important decision you will ever make. And as someone who will start drawing OUT of Social Security about the same time as kids today start paying in, I’m the last person to tell people NOT to have children. But this isn’t something you can “try out.” Make sure you want children before you start having them. Make sure your relationship is on solid ground. (With all due respect to all the single mothers out there, children are better off with TWO parents.)

    Sorry to be a wet blanket. But EVERYONE was saying “Jump! Jump! Jump!”

    I just had to say “Think about it first.”


  42. 42
    Anjali Says:

    Here from AM as well.

    This post is so beautiful and heartbreaking. It should be made into a pamphlet and placed in every doctors/midwives’ office in the world.

    I just read Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein and reviewed it on my blog. She makes the exact same points. I think all women in their early twenties should read it so that they can at least realize the price (both financially and emotionally) that some women will have to pay for motherhood.

  43. 43
    Anjali Says:

    Also here from AM —

    This post should be put up on billboards on highways everywhere.

    I just read Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein (and wrote a review of this on my blog). She makes the same points you did.

    Although I have two children, and started “young” (at 28), one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t start a couple of years earlier — to hell with the finances and the not so advanced career.

  44. 44
    JD Says:

    Just read through your post and all the comments. I really wanted to have a career and to travel before having kids. At 37, after infertility and one miscarriage and despite the pain that came with it, I can’t say I wish we’d had kids in our 20s. We just weren’t ready. I don’t dream of all the places I’ll visit anymore; I’ve already visited most of them. I still love to travel, but I’m ready to do it with a child, and see it all fresh. I think I’ll be a better mom because of who I am now.

  45. 45
    Debra Says:

    Lovely to read. I’ve had a friend direct me to Antique Mommy’s site and now this. I’ve loved reading your thoughts.

    I was 27 and 29 when I had my two. I don’t think I was a very good parent. I didn’t know enough about myself, felt I had no control or say in my life. I’ve often felt I cheated my kids somehow by not being with them more, or choosing the right man to father them. Oh, but they are the light and pride of my life. Now 23 and 21 respectively I feel good about our relationship and communication. But I do agree, as Will had said, really think about it.

    When I was 22 years of age, I had no intentions of ever having children. Then I found I would have to have an ovary and tube removed, and my heart jumped and I knew I’d been lying to myself. Someday I would want a child. But how hard it was to give up my freedom. I can look back now and see I was a selfish mom those first few years, and have prayed I won’t repeat that as a Grandmother. I’m glad I had my kids, when I had them, but maybe for me, I would have done better for my kids if I had waited. It truly is different for everyone.


  46. 46
    Lindie Says:

    My sister, my daughter, and my niece all had their first and only children at age 39. My sister told them to have them earlier, that it was so much more difficult at that age but they had to learn for themselves. The children are all such blessings though!

  47. 47

    I’m here via Antique Mommy, too.

    I’m sitting here with tears literally streaming down my face, although I’m the flip side of the coin. I started at an Ivy League college, and later graduated with a B.A. in Russian from a prestigious university. I married and had my first child during college, and got pregnant with my second the month after I graduated. Contrary to everything I would have imagined for my life, I’m now a homeschooling mother of eight children, born when I was 20, 25, 28, 30, 33, 35, 37, & 39. My youngest is about the same age as your son.

    I know this was difficult to write, but I think it is a good thing you’ve done here.

  48. 48

    Well said.

    (I came here from Antique Mommy.)

  49. 49
    Sue Says:

    Well said.
    I had three kids by the age of 24 and thought I was absolutely done. A couple years ago, hubby went back in to get a reversal because we realized that we were quickly facing a quiet home before the age or 40 and we weren’t ready.
    However- even though I was a fertile myrtle in my early 20’s, I have still not gotten pregnant after 2 1/2 years.
    Last January we decided to adopt from China and in September (9 months later!) we brought home our little 2 year old.
    She has brought new life to this house and we couldn’t be happier. I keep wondering if I will ever end of pregnant again… I guess we’ll see!

    Thanks for the post.

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    Cathy Says:

    I hope you don’t mind that I printed this off to share with the women college students I teach, as appropriate. I teach Interpersonal Communication and I am able to weave life lessons throughout our time together because of the nature of the topics we cover.

    So well written, heartfelt, and helpful.

    Thank you,

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    Here from AM. She is right. This post is absolutely excellent, so very true!

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    robin Says:


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    CHrista Says:

    This is so insightful, and a hard message to put out there. Well done!!
    The battle of “self” is always there, whether we have children or not. But in having them, I feel God helps us come face to face with our self-orientedness. We will be aware of our shortcomings. No one is a perfect parent no matter what age. But parenthood draws us to aspire to be someone worth emulating, to be and become the person we want our child to be. It is noble and blessed. “Children are a blessing from the Lord, a REWARD from him.” Psalm 127. Oh, that the opinion tide of our culture would turn and start seeing them as such.

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    Marie Says:

    I’m all choked up reading this. I married at 36, had my baby at 38. Now he’s 3 and I’m 41, and for a variety of reasons it looks like he’ll be an only child. I know all too well what you mean about his firsts being your lasts. I am savoring it all, as best I can… and it is so bittersweet. Just last night I sorted through clothes, to make way for a bunch of new hand-me-downs. Putting away the clothes that no longer fit is painful for me — I put off doing it til there are mounds in the laundry basket & on his floor. I know that I am putting them away for the last time.

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    […] of Awareness wrote about the consequences of her own decision to wait for children in her post, A bad example is sometimes the best one.  And GiBee of Kisses of Sunshine wrote a great guest post at Shannon's blog about what […]