Bloomin’ Mom: A Later Mom Shares – By Melissa Swedoski, MLTS Blogger and Baby Bloomer Editor
Then there’s me.
Growing up, I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be an actress. Or a rock star. Or a TV star. Or the lady who runs Wall Street. Oh, what about a lawyer? Could I be a pilot, too?
I settled for the most glamorous option: newspaper reporter. I know, you’re jealous. That Michael Keaton movie made everyone want to be a reporter. No? Hmm…that’s weird.
Dating? That was a nice pastime, but never a dedicated endeavor. I left a few and a couple left me, until I went to work at a daily newspaper in Northeast Texas, where I found “the one,” in the form of a 21-year-old man. And me, a 33-year-old woman. Huh.
We got married, bought a small weekly newspaper in Southeast Texas and plunged into a roller coaster ride, deciding to wait on kids. Apparently babies can take up a lot of time. Somebody should totally write a book about that.
Then I was 38 and there was knocking on my uterine wall. Loudly. I went off the pill and found out your heart can break in more pieces than you even knew existed. A diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve, then Clomid, IUI and IVF. And then one day, there was beautiful baby girl number one, two weeks shy of my 41st birthday.
Thinking that was it for us, we basked in the glow of parenthood. At my six month follow-up, I got the very interesting news that I was pregnant. Spontaneously. Weird.
In a flourish, we sold our business, sold our house, moved in with my dad until we could find a new place, bought our new house, moved, and had beautiful baby girl number two,
three months after my 42nd birthday.
Truth be told, if I’d had kids in my 20’s, it would have been a disaster. In my 30’s would have been better, but I would have spent too many days feeling guilty over leaving them to cover a story.
Being a first time mom at midlife means I’m more comfortable in my own skin and better at recognizing that this too shall pass. No, really, it will. Instead, I focus on valuing every minute. Time moves faster as you age, and races like a freight train once you have kids, but now I’m at least smart enough to know to stop, look, listen, remember.
Not many people commented on the fact that I was a 40-year-old first time mom, but that didn’t mean I didn’t look for cohorts. And found…none….until Motherhood Later. I stumbled across their Facebook page and I was hooked.
After only a few days of reading the articles, I knew I wanted to write for the site. How could I not? I’m all about empowering women, letting them know that they should be secure in their choices and voices. There’s no shame in motherhood over 40. Why should there be? I wanted to let others know that life doesn’t end at 40. A whole slew of doors will open for you, as long as you’re willing to walk right through them.
Melissa Swedoski, 43, is a retired journalist turned blogger, mumbling her way through the mayhem of marriage to a husband 13 years her junior, and motherhood to rambunctious girls ages 1 and 2. Living near Dallas, she works on sorting through the mysteries of social media, dye jobs and the absurdity of life in a small town, with the emphasis on humor and love. Learn more about her at: homeonderanged.com.