My friend sent me a great article from The Ladies’ Home Journal written by a 42-year-old mother who already had six kids and all of a sudden found herself pregnant. She was pretty panicked as I think most 40-year-old women with many other kids would be but her kids and her husband were thrilled. She shares that the experience has changed them all. I can only pull a few graphs so please click the link and read the whole story. She really did a lovely job on it.
“In the summer of 2011 Jack and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Europe. Leaving the kids with our parents, we spent eight dreamy days traveling from Barcelona to the French Riviera, finishing up in Florence and Rome. Our actual anniversary was the week after we arrived home, so although we were in Tennessee now, not Tuscany, we partied on. Could it be that, amid all the fun, I lost track of the calendar? Calendar, you ask? I’m afraid so. After baby number six, my husband and I could not agree on birth control. Neither of us wanted surgery. The Pill made me crazy. We finally settled on natural family planning, which so far had worked just fine….
Each stage of childrearing has its unique challenges, but dealing with three teenage daughters was proving the toughest yet. Boys, body issues, peer pressure — these are not matters for the faint of heart. My oldest daughter was battling an eating disorder, my second daughter was figuring out where she belonged, and the third was just trying to adjust to high school. After a calm summer, we all felt overwhelmed with academic and social demands. And with my husband overseas, I was on my own….
She has an uneventful yet exhausting pregnancy. I love the image of her falling asleep before lunch. Her son told his teacher she was on bed rest even though she wasn’t – she was just always in bed. Flash forward and the baby arrived safely.
“We named him George Declan Bailey, and immediately this tiny infant cast his spell on the whole family. My husband beamed and passed out cigars as if George were our firstborn. Our oldest daughter, our youngest son, and every child in between just drank him in. All summer long the eight of us walked on a cloud. The teenage dramas dwindled. My anxieties about having enough time for everyone evaporated. We’d changed, I realized. And not because we had a baby; the baby changed us. My 15-year-old may glare and roll her eyes at me, but she looks at George and melts. He is the antidote for her teenage attitude. My 17- and 18-year-olds argue over who gets to walk Georgie to the library or take him to the grocery store. Hearing his little giggle and holding his chubby hand makes their high school problems vanish. Even my two boys want to make sure “Georgie can come” whenever they go outside to toss a ball. He has become everyone’s favorite.”
I totally get her point that it changed her family’s whole attitude and made problems seem smaller and brought them all together. But I have to say I would be horrified to find out I was pregnant again. I turned 42 on Tuesday and my 20th wedding anniversary is next week. (Note to self: Do not take luxurious European trip. Yikes!)
So what do you think of her story? Would you be upset or happy to find yourself pregnant at 42? Which is more scary – being an older mother or already having a bunch of kids? (Taking care of all the needs of that many kids is scary to me. )