I recently read Andrea Fox’s piece on Babble.com titled “Is That Your Grandson? … and 6 more things never to say to a mom over 40”.
On point number two, she says, “Congratulations on getting married in your 20’s, having 3 kids before the age of 30, and getting to ballet class on time with all of your clothes on.” This line really spoke to me because, that’s me the mom of three, under the age of thirty. I’m tired of these older, “wiser” moms talking about how difficult it is to have a baby in their 40’s. Guess what? Having a baby and children is hard, even for us 20 somethings. I’m also fairly certain that we will be taking on this path to motherhood together, regardless of age. So in speaking for us, please don’t ever call my children an accident or say these other 6 things either.
- “Accidents happen.” That’s right, the only possible way anyone would ever conceive a child in their 20’s would be by pure accident.
- “How could you be tired, you’re so young?” Well there is this little thing called sleep. Whether you are 40 or 20, you still need some of it. The baby doesn’t know that I shouldn’t be tired, just that he’s hungry, needs a new diaper or wants some mommy cuddle time at 3:00AM.
- “Wait, you’re married too?” Oh, yes. I know it sounds strange for some people to get married prior to drinking age without a shot gun involved, but this does happen. While we are on this subject, the baby was conceived after we got married, because I know you are dying to know.
- “Do you want to get together for a play date or do you have class that day?” I know it takes some individuals decades to complete their college degrees. Some of us get in and get out. So no, no class today. Would you like to see my college transcript too?
- “You’re a stay at home mom. That makes sense; you probably don’t have a real job to go back to. Not like a career or anything.” Yes, I lost all brains when sperm met egg.
- “Your parents must play a big role in helping you. Do you live with them?” Have you seen my parents? Naturally, they too have their own lives 1500 miles away that is.
- “Didn’t you want to live first?” Yes, I did and I’m sure all sense of living ceased when I had children. Oh wait, I want to live and experience the world with my children.
I have many older mom friends and enjoy their wit and humor just the same. I don’t think Ms. Fox meant to offend anyone with her piece, just provide some humor. I hope we can all laugh and learn a little here too. My hope is moms from all cultures, economic backgrounds and age can come together to celebrate being a “mom.” Being a mom isn’t defined by age, race, origin, but by caring for another human being in a loving motherly way.
Mother, defined as: a female parent.