What It Means To Be A Mature Mom

Sure there are pros and cons: Rebecca looks at the differences between being a “young” mom versus a “mature” mom


I’ve been both a “young” mother and a “mature” mother (in other words, “old”). I was pregnant with Rowan, when I was 29. I gave birth to Holt, when I was forty. I’ve learned a lot being a “mature” mother.

Everything Rowan wore, as a baby, was brand spanking new. If I saw some outfit I thought was adorable, I would buy it, without a thought to the price, not because she was my first, but because, quite frankly, I was stupid. I bought her so many clothes that more often than not, she’d wear them only once, before growing out of them. Sometimes, I would give hand-me-downs to friends, with the price tag still on.

As a “mature” mother, I can count the number of outfits I have bought Holt on one hand, because I have two friends who pass me down their son’s clothes. I take them gleefully. As a “mature” mother, you know babies grow fast, and who the hell cares if he’s wearing hand-me-downs, since babies have no concept of fashion. Why spend the money, when you can be saving it for his university education, or a new pair of shoes for yourself. That’s a positive of being a “mature” mother. But there are certainly negatives.

While you may vaguely remember that the first year is hell when it comes to sleep deprivation, you forget many things… like that the first year is hell.

And, while most of your friends are long done having children (my best friend’s oldest son is 16!) it also means they get to go out at night, without finding a babysitter. When I’m invited out now, as a “mature” mother, I’ll be like, “That sounds great! I’ll be there… wait… no I won’t. I forgot I have a baby!” (I hate to do the math, but I’ll be almost FIFTY when Holt is ten.) So I think, “Ok, I can go out and really have fun… in about 8 years, when I’m almost 50!” (Hangovers and parenting young ones do not mix. Ever.)

But there are positives again. I am wiser, in the sense that I do not freak out as much. When I was a “young” mother, I took Rowan to the emergency room, sobbing, only to have the doctor tell me, “It’s a cold.” Now, if Holt has a slight fever, I give him Tylenol every six hours, and he’s fine.

There are more negatives, though. You really DO forget how all-consuming babies are. They need to be entertained every second of the day, except when they nap. I often wonder if I’m so tired, because I’m 41 and totally forgot how much energy you need when you have a baby, and maybe my battery is dying. There’s no human plug in to recharge.

I totally forgot how many times a day a diaper needs to be changed. I totally forgot what a nightmare bedtime and feeding is and shoving the stroller into the car.

Even technology has changed. With Rowan, she had a portable DVD player, and would watch Dora on repeat for hours. With Holt, he loves playing games on an iPad. As a “mature” mother, I have no fucking clue how to play these games. I wish he would just watch television, you know, the old fashion way.

I don’t think there’s a right age to have a baby, whether you’re in your twenties or forties.  I do know, I now need glasses as a “mature” mother to read instructions on the baby Tylenol bottle and my bedtime is now 7:30 p.m., the same as Holt’s, and two hours earlier than Rowan’s. But then I think about how much Holt loves to play on swings and marvels at bubbles. And I feel young at heart. Maybe that’s what really matters. 

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