Later Mom Features
I am an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. Some stuff I feel proud of: my theatre work here and in the UK, my three episodes of Chappelle’s Show, but especially the comedy sketches I write, produce and perform myself. Here’s my Sound of Music one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmCasABEO6M and a little bit of me doing Kate Winslet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SRu2Vrevck
What was your road to parenthood like? Surprising at each turn. I got pregnant unexpectedly when my now husband and I had recently moved in but were unmarried. It was honestly the first time in my life I was not absolutely scrupulously careful about birth control. (Can’t say the same about adverbs.) I was only 34 but felt like an irresponsible teenager– I took sex ed, I knew you could get pregnant the first time you were not careful, how did this happen?? When I went to the doctor and they wrote “AMA—for Advanced Maternal Age” on my chart, because I would be just 35 when the baby was born, I laughed out loud.
The second time was another, very different challenge. We found out through a quad screening and then amniocentesis that our son had Down syndrome. We chose him, and had a beautiful, robustly healthy boy, born by surprise on our vacation on Cape Cod!
What do you see as the positives and challenges of having a child at age 35 or over? I had major baby lust when I was 22. I was in absolutely no place to have a child, but I was very close to some children I took care of, and I remember wanting a child terribly. I think sometimes, now, what that would have been like. And I think it would be great to not feel so tired, to have my kids independent soon and a new life beginning for me in my early 40s. And then I think, missing everything I did in my 20s and 30s??? Unimaginable. I’ve had fun and sowed some wild oats. I’ve traveled, gone to graduate school, had different kinds of relationships, done interesting work, made plenty of mistakes. I like to think my kids get the benefit of both my successes and my missteps. I can’t not mention my husband here– there is no question that our stable relationship is the foundation of my kids’ life, and there is no way I would have been able to sustain a solid relationship when I was in my 20s. But I feel tired and ANCIENT some days, and I know my older husband does. When I fantasized about myself as a mom when I was younger, I was the super fun, energetic mom swimming in mountain lakes with my kids and spending rainy afternoons creating paper doll civilizations. It wasn’t a picture of me lying on the couch planning what I was going to eat after I put my kids to bed, which I am embarrassed to say is often the case. But that might have happened at 25 too.