Later (and Younger) Mom Testimonial
By Cassandra Arnold, Parenting Coach and Mother of Five
At age 35, I was giving birth to my fourth child and my second daughter. My first daughter was born seven weeks shy of my 16th birthday. I have five children in all. My second and third sons are now 26 and 36. My youngest is 17 and a high school senior. I had him when I was 38. As strange as it may sound to some, I would give birth to each of my children all over again. There was never a moment when my love for them was uncertain. I always took time to connect and get to know each child before welcoming another into the family.
Having at least four years between children gave me, my body, and my child, time to adjust to the shock. Yes, I said shock. Having a baby is many things. There is the bliss of knowing you are the life force for new life – that you created new life. There is the fear and uncertainty of who you are to yourself and your child. There is the impact this new life has on your relationship with your partner, friends and family. And there is the heart stopping realization that you are responsible in some part for the future of the life you created.
Having a child at age 16 is not something anyone can prepare for. With my first, there was never anyone in (or out) of my family to step up and teach me about parenting. I now know that they themselves did not really grasp what parenting was or how it affected future lives. If only I had had a group of moms to share thoughts and ideas with. Being part of a social network of parents who share similar life experiences, at any age, is a wonderful means of support. How lucky the moms of Motherhood Later are to have that outlet and connection.
I was a very young mom and a later mom and thinking back, 16 was really young to have a child – it’s difficult for a girl’s mind and body to adapt to such drastic change. Had I known that then, I might have waited another 10 years. Yet, I would not trade the friendship I have with my oldest daughter for anything in the world. We live on opposite sides of the country, but are close.
Had I waited 10 years to become a mother I would have been 26. With four years between children, I would have been 42 when I had my 5th child and 59 when that child graduated high school. You know what? That would have been fine with me. As long as I continue to work on the connections between myself and my children, being present with myself first, and giving to them from a place of being full, I can succeed as a parent at any age.
Visit Cassandra at www.parentingfromtheoverflow.net.