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The Joy of Being an Older Mom

While in the car on Easter morning, my husband and I were having a chat about life. The good moments, the tough moments, and how all those moments have worked together to form this life, this family, we love so much. We chatted about each of our children, what we love about them, and what drives us bonkers.

Then, Hubby made a passing remark about how it was funny that we have one child all grown up and getting married this fall, another still in a booster seat, and yet another in a car seat. 16 years span between our oldest and our youngest. I realized I’ve been given the chance to raise more children as an older, and hopefully wiser, mother.  A do-over of sorts. I’m a second act mama.

What’s a second act mama? A mama who had children later in life for any reason. Whether she simply wanted to wait, had fertility issues early in life, had a surprise later pregnancy, adopted at what’s considered an advanced age, etc. Whatever the reason, she became a mom, for the first time or all over again, at a later time than the norm according to society.

You know, it’s funny the curveballs life will throw at you. How drastically different the life we plan is from the life we actually live.

I planned on having 5 children. I was going to have them all back to back in as few years as possible. Although that obviously didn’t happen. We had one precious boy followed by a couple miscarriages, a few years of fear, and a few years raising other people’s children.

Then, when we were ready to face our fears and try again, we were blessed with two more wonderful children. I had my last baby at the age of 33. Now I realize that’s not terribly old. But considering that I had my first when I was a mere 17, you can imagine the differences betweem then and now.

Hubby and I had given up on having more children. We planned to be in the empty nest stage right now, relishing a quiet house and empty laundry hampers. However, life is a far (far!) cry from such peace. Instead, we have a loud house, overflowing laundry hampers, a van covered in crumbs, and somehow there are never enough clean spoons. Yet we love it!

Life, children, didn’t come how or when we planned, but there is tremendous joy in this journey. I love being a second act mama.

Now don’t get me wrong, some things about having children young are really fun. Like last week, when my soon to be daughter-in-law and I went to look at wedding dresses, and I was mistaken for a bride instead of the mother of groom. (It’s okay to be jealous, ha!) And I am relishing those moments because I know by the time my 2 year old daughter gets married I may be mistaken for a grandmother. Ahem.

But there are other blessings that come with being a second act mama. Things more precious than vanity.

You may have less energy, buy you have more patience.

I’m not as keen to run around and jump on the playground equipment as I was with my first born. But I still love to go and do. And, my younger children get more time at the playground because I’m more patient. I try to relish “one more slide” or “push me on the swings again” because I know these years are fleeting.

You still don’t have all the answers, but you have a lot more.

I really am smarter. I learned quite a bit in those in-between years. I’ve had more experiences, studied, and homeschooled my eldest. All this lead to a wiser version of me. Not to mention we’re more stable, individually and as a couple.  We know who we are and where we want to go as a team.

Less collagen, more laugh lines and wisdom highlights.

This has been difficult for me to accept as I liked being the “young mom.” But there’s just something about being the mature woman, instead of the young lady, that I truly relish. I’ve had many great experiences in this life, and I’ve earned every laugh line and gray hair…I mean wisdom highlights.

You see, my point is, there is joy. There is beauty. There is blessing in being a second act mama. It’s just different.

There are some fun things we can’t experience as older moms, but there are plenty of things we do get that younger moms don’t. It’s not better or worse. It’s just…differently awesome.

So, second act mamas, let’s embrace being “older moms” and wear that badge with pride! Let’s show the youngsters what this mothering gig is all about!

Are you a second act mama? Shout out in the comments below!

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  1. A second mom, had a 19 yr old and 2 , 21 yr olds one of those a niece we raised at 39 almost 40 when our Olivia was born

  2. My second act started at 43 when our foster agency asked if we would pick a newborn up at the hospital “for a week.” 5 months later and I love having a baby in the house along with two 17 year-olds, a 16 year-old, a 13 year-old (my biologicals) and an 8 year-old. The older teens may be mistaken for parents, making me “grandma,” but mainly because they are so comfortable caring for her. I also love that my kids can see the amount of love and attention I also lavished on them as my babies.

  3. I am a second mom, my oldest from a previous marriage, just turned 21 and my husband and I have 2 girls who are 5 and 1. This time I am enjoying all of the little things that I didn’t get to as a single mom who was trying to work and go to school.

  4. We adopted our boys when I was 38 and 42 years old. I don’t know if I’m relishing motherhood at this age because I’m older and wiser, or if I just wanted these kids sooooo badly. I never take anything they do for granted. I was able to live a lot in those 38 child free years, but nothing even remotely fulfilling as motherhood!

    1. This is how I feel. We adopted our one and only when I was 46. She is now 2 and I am trying to relish everything because I wanted it for so long and I finally get to experience it all.

  5. Not sure if I am a ‘second act’ mom – had my first at 30 and my second at 38…maybe I am a second and third act mom. Having a 3 yr old toddler (a boy no doubt) and an upcoming 12 year old girl (with all the fun coming of she girl stuff!) at age 42 is certainly physically harder than when I was younger, but I try to see it as they keep me young and more patience and wisdom that has come with age has benefitted our family. As a now single, work-from-home, older, homeschooling mom, we’ve got lots of need for extra patience! Blessed that God gave me my precious arrows exactly when He did!!

  6. I was 35 when I got married 36 when my first was born and 40 with my third (and I had a miscarriage in there also). Quite true about the energy level but MUCH more patience. Another plus is my husband is way further ahead on his career path which allows me to stay home and homeschool without much of a financial burden as opposed to when we graduated from college both of us together made half of what he makes now.

  7. I had my first at 38. She’s my only child at the moment but we are open to whatever God wants to do 🙂

  8. My kids are 23, 20, 11 and 6! I LOVE being a second act mom, my older boys are out on their own and I couldn’t imagine life without my two younger ones. I am so much more patient, understanding and wiser! I find most older mom’s enjoy their younger kids more because we know how quickly they grow up. And honestly, I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore!

  9. I have 5 kids – All with my hubs of 28 years , 27,21,18,7 and 5. we realized we weren’t done when my only daughter was 11 and had two more . We also have two in heaven. I’m more tired, more wrinkled more saggy and so very grateful for my big crazy family.

    1. Your family is much like ours!! We have 6, when or 3rd was 14 we decided to have another and had three! Or children are 27,24,22,6,4 & 2 and we also have two angels.

  10. we have a 15 year since between out oldest and youngest 6 kids! And we have two grandchildren. This week we have just three children and it seems so odd to have so few and big kids to boot. The youngest is 8 and it’s enjoyable to have no toddlers at this point. Well, until the grandson comes around!

  11. This applies to me. I’m 35. I have 3 older boys from my first marriage who are 14, almost 11 and 8. Then with my current husband, a boy who’s 3 and now baby GIRL on the way due in Oct. I can definitely relate with this. I do feel much more relaxed and patient than I did 14 years ago. And I love having all these years of experience to apply to my younger children. It’s also nice to have the help of my older kids. I admit I’m a tiny bit nervous to be starting over with diapers and sleepless nights at 35 but I love it all the same.

  12. I was 37 when my first child was born and 40 with my second child. I had fertility issues. My
    Mom snipes about it. “You’d have more energy of you started early.” Well, God provided when he provided, and it truly was with waiting for them! My own mother had her 3 children when she was young, and it was back to back. I felt she resented us for taking opportunity away from her (going to college, having a career, not being tied down, having free time). Her attitude affected the personalities of my younger brother and sister. As the oldest, I remember her feeling happy I was around. But by the time baby #3 arrived, it was obvious that her patience was wearing thin. Don’t get me wrong. I love my mom. She did work hard for us. We were well cared for and didn’t want for anything. However, there was joy missing from our lives. I have learned from her. I put my career and work first until I had children. Then, that took a fast back seat in life. I relish the moments I have with my two boys. Life is fuller and happier with them in it. I wouldn’t have don’t it differently if I had had a choice.

  13. I had my first child 3 months shy of 40, and my son at the ripened age of 42! Yes, I often feel fatigued but I am mostly overjoyed that I even get to be a mom. I usually say it’s the hardest best job I’ve ever had, and it is. I would do it all over again!

  14. I’m a 2nd act mama for sure! I had my first just one month shy of 20( already having a son that i inherited when i married he is now 24 with 3 kids of his own yes I’m a granna). She is now 20 and married! I had my 2nd one at 25 he is now 6’3 and almost 16. Then sadly my husband and I divorced but I later married a awesome man with 2 very small children (their mom died in car accident.) They are 13 and 17 now and very much mine. When I was 33 we had a beautiful little boy who was the puzzle that connected us all. Shortly after that my husband had a vesectomy and shortly after that at 35 we discovered his “surgery” didn’t work because we welcomed in a beautiful little redheaded little girl who will begin kindergarten this fall. I will be 40 in 1 week and my husband will be 49 in December. I am probably now the oldest mom in my 2 youngest class but it’s o.k. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  15. I married for the first time at age 37. After 3 miscarriages I had a beautiful baby boy at age 41. After losing twins a year later I was sure there were no more babies. But. God

  16. I had my first at 19, and my last at 41 (and 4 in my 20’s and 2 in my 30’s) I have loved being a mama at different ages/stages.
    Now at 47 I have three married daughters, 1 college girl living at home, and am still homeschool the youngest 4.
    And I have 6 grandbabies (with #7 on the way) It gets crazy around here. Nothing like referring a fight over whether you are mom or grandma! 🙂

  17. A second act mama here and I love it! I definitely have patience and perspective I didn’t with my older children. We have six, 27/24/22/6/4/2 and two grandchildren. I had our youngest at the ripe old age of 45 🙂 Good knew what he was doing when he led us to being open to more children after all those years. My hubby is a different and more patient daddy too.I wouldn’t have our family any other way, the dynamic of the big kids and little ones is amazing and special.

  18. You know, I absolutely love being an older mom!!! It’s so hard to describe. I had my first one at 33 and my second at 41. Yes, I’m tired like ALL the time, but I am SO enjoying it this time around. I’m just praising God for knowing exactly what I needed and when I needed it! 🙂

  19. I was only a couple weeks away from turning 35 when I had my son. He’ll be 5 in October and I’ll be 40 in November. I always wanted to be a young mom, but I guess God had other plans. My husband and I got married the year we turned 27 and then he wasn’t ready to have kids. Needless to say, things fell into place and he finally agreed after 8 years of marriage to try for a baby. Ad much as I didn’t want to be an old mom, I can’t change it and I’m just so happy and blessed to be given the opportunity to be a mommy. Now don’t hate me, but most people can’t believe I’m almost 40…they think I’m about 25! 😉 Although, thinking back to before I became a mom, I had so much more energy and I was in better shape physically. I get pooped chasing him around the yard! And,even though I’m one of the oldest in my Mothers of Preschoolers group, I feel like I fit in, because we’re all in the same boat with little ones.

  20. I had my only at 28. I have a friend who had her twins when she was 41, and another who had her first at 21. And I’m amazed at how differently all of us parent, and I have to think some of it is due, at least in part, to age. My friend who had twins at 41, nothing phases her. She is serene through it all, and quite happy and peaceful even in the midst of a twin 3 year old boy war-zone. My friend who had hers at 21 is a bundle of energy, but hasn’t quite captured patience or serenity yet. Her son is now 3 as well and it’s exhausting to watch her run around with her son. I’m somewhere in the middle. Not super energetic, but not super patient yet either. My sister will be 33 when her son is born. I can’t wait to see what the age there is like!

  21. Oh my, second act mom! We had four grown children, in their mid to late 20’s and adopted four from 2 mo. to 9 years. What a difference. Parenting is different, it doesn’t change the fact that right is still right and wrong is still wrong. We have less energy and my husband recently reminded me that he will be 70 when our 10 year old is 18.
    We have less energy and aren’t in perfect health and shape, but we don’t worry about things that aren’t as important as we thought they were with our first kids. We take time to enjoy just sitting and listening and watching more, we know how quickly they grow and all those things that need to be done will still be there tomorrow but kids grow up quickly so we have learned to our sorrow, so settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my babies and babies don’t keep.

  22. When my daughter was 22 and my son was 17, God blessed my husband and I (both 45 at the time) with a precious baby girl. Yes, we have been mistaken for her grandparents and play dates include myself with other Moms my daughters age. It took a while but we got used to it. She is 11 now and definitely keeps us young!!

  23. I can concur! We have 15, the youngest born when I was 45, the oldest now 32 with 4 children of her own. The perspective is marvelous, the fellowship of having small children still around is so sweet–wouldn’t change a thing!

    1. Love it! Our oldest is 31 this year and our youngest is 9. (Actually, our very youngest would be 4 if she’d lived. She was stillborn at 24 weeks.) We have 11. What do you call it when you’ve had no intermission between curtain calls?? 🙂

  24. Definitely a second act Mama here My eldest is nearing 40 with 3 of her own children and our youngest, of 6 children, is 17. We still have 3 teenagers at home and my husband and I are now officially Pensioners 🙂 We feel very blessed.

  25. I am a 55 year old second act mom. My older children are 35 and 33. I have 3 grandsons…11, 10, and 6. After fostering 38 children, we adopted 2 in October 2015, they are now 14 and 10. I am homeschooling them both. Seems that at least once a week I’m asked if I’m their grandma…

  26. Yep me too.. our oldest daughter got married in September at the age of 22 (I had her at 16yrs of age) found out a month later we were pregnant with #5..lol ??we have two daughters 15 yrs old and 11 yrs old.. #4 was a stillborn boy born 9 years ago.. now number #5 is a boy due in June.. we are excited to start over and hopefully we will have the energy to do it all again.. lol ??

  27. I had my first at 25 and my tenth at 43. I am 44 now, so we will see if the Lord has any nore planned for us! We never had a big gap, though, so I’m not sure what to consider myself – 2nd act, 3rd, etc. We’ve just had a steady supply! ? Yes, I love being an older mom! These little ones bring so much joy to our family.

  28. My oldest is 33, youngest is 11 and the others are 27, 20, 18 & 18. I am a Grandmother and loving that part of life very much.

  29. We have 25, 22 and 20 yr olds and 12 and 9yr olds. I’m definitely a more tired mom, but I’ve realized how fast the time goes and learned to slow down and cherish the moments. Plus we’ve added grandkids to the mix!

  30. I had my last child at 39 and the youngest was 11 at the time and my oldest was 17! My three older kids were all 2 yr and 9 mo apart ?
    Which seemed perfect at the time.
    I’ve been mistaken as the “grandma” and my 17 yr old daughter as the “mother” which was surprising at first, ?
    but later, not big a deal!
    They have all married and left home (which was hard at first) and now we have a delightful 15 yr old which is great to have around to keep me going!
    She’s had a lot of fun being the “young” aunt to her nieces and nephews!
    God knew we needed her, and has a plan for her life!!
    So don’t question when you get those life curves you weren’t planning on, He knows what your future holds and what you need!!

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