Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm 37, But I Don't Want to Be an Older Mommy

I'm 37.

I turned this age over two months ago, but I find myself thinking about it a lot lately, especially as I am reading other people's blogs. I'm fairly sure the majority of bloggers I read are in their late 20s/early 30s, and many of them are moms of small children. And in my head, I totally think of them as my peers, but then they sometimes make a comment that tips me off to the fact that they are younger than me. And it's a little depressing, because I am also a mom of a small child, but I am an OLDER MOMMY.

Here's the thing... my mom had me when she was 24. When she was 37, she was having a full hysterectomy and I was 13, in junior high, angsting over whether any boys would ever grow taller than me, and listening to Tears for Fears and Heart.

Now, I'm 37, possibly peri-menopausal (why the heck else am I so darn HOT all the time? I used to be a cold person!), with an almost two-year-old, who is in day school, ignoring boys, and listening to Elmo and the Laurie Berkner Band.

I don't want to be an OLDER MOMMY. I still feel like a cool, vibrant young person most of the time--I stay up with the latest technology and movies and pop culture and all that. I tweet, FB, text, etc. I watch Glee and listen to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. I know who Justin Bieber is. Granted, I'm just now catching up on the Twilight movies, but in my defense, the first movie came out the year I gave birth. I was kind of busy then and have been ever since. But I am trying to catch up on all of that because I don't want to be an OLDER MOMMY not with the times like the woman I'll call Mrs. S.

When I was 11, about sixth grade I guess, I had three close friends: K, J, and R. My mother was 35 at the time, as was K's mom. J's mom was only about 30, possibly a little younger, as she had her as a teenager. R's mom, Mrs. S, was 45. She was an OLDER MOMMY.

My mom and most of my friends' moms let us watch MTV* and knew all the latest bands and singers we liked--Hall and Oates, Huey Lewis and the News, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, etc. Mrs. S never let R watch MTV or popular movies or anything like that. She didn't let R watch the premiere of Michael Jackson's Thriller video! Only the biggest cultural phenomenon of our time, the Thriller video, and she was not allowed to see it! Her mom just didn't understand any of that stuff.

*Note to younger readers: Back in 1983-84 when this story takes place, MTV actually played music videos 24-7. Seriously. IT. WAS. AWESOME. None of this Snooki-Jersey Shore crap.

So anyway, we always felt really sorry for R because her mom seemed so much older than our moms, and so out of touch with the times. And as I do the math, when my own daughter turns 11, I am going to be 46. One year older than Mrs. S was at the time--EEK!

I don't want to be like Mrs. S, an OLDER MOMMY! I mean, 40's the new 30, right? Look at the Sex and the City gals! I want to be tuned in to the latest trends and music...not in a way that will embarrass my kid or anything (I mean, Madonna's rocking and still awesome in her 50s, but I kind of think she should give up the leotards, you know? And cover up her arms--they kind of freak me out!), just in a way that she can relate to me and will think I'm a pretty cool Mommy when I'm picking her up from school with all the 20- and 30-something moms of her classmates LOL.

I kind of hope that tattoos and body piercings (other than ears) are out of fashion by the time my daughter is older, because if she wants those, I really will sound like an OLDER MOMMY. I can't help it--it was instilled in me by my proper Southern mother that nice girls just don't do those things LOL. The one time my mother seemed like an OLDER MOMMY to me was when I wanted to get one (ONE!) extra hole pierced in one of my ears (whichever one was the cool ear to do so, I can't remember now). She balked at this initially, but finally relented on the condition that I get one extra hole in BOTH ears, so as not to look lopsided or asymetrical, which kind of defeated the whole purpose. (Seriously. I am not making this up!)

So to my Future Tween and Teenage Daughter, I make this promise: I will try hard to be young at heart and up with the times so that you want to talk to me and share your world with me, but not so into it that I embarrass you. I will let you watch the cool cultural phenomenon-type events as they occur and take you to concerts by your favorite bands.

I only ask two things of you in return: (1) Please stay my little girl as long as you can--you have the rest of your life to be a grown-up, and (2) Please only pierce your ears and don't get any tattoos. Please. For me and for my mother, your Nana. OK? :)


  1. Okay, I will be 31 in October, but I feel a lot older than that. My husband turned 48 last week. He never envisioned becoming a dad in his 40s. In fact, he figured when he turned 30 that if he wasn't married and didn't have kids, well, it wasn't going to happen. Fast forward six years he met me (I was 19) and four years ahead of that, we were married. Three years later, Shelby was here. We went through a lot of crap (excuse the language) from family (his) and friends (mostly his, but a few of mine too) about the differences in our age. Almost 12 years later, people forget we aren't the same age as they are (his friends always think I am older, my friends think he is younger)and it becomes less of an issue and more of a blip on the radar. So much so that when a high school friend of his (and long time friend of mine) introduced us to a friend of hers last year who reacted in shock about our age difference, we were taken aback. (As was our friend, she apologized and said she had forgotton it was supposed to be an issue and therefore didn't "prepare" her friend appropriately.) I do not see you as an "old mom." I remember a lot of things you do, I just remember them at a younger age, but there is nothing wrong with that. You are the best you you can be. While sometimes generational things come up (and they do in my marriage sometimes) I don't see them as any different as religious or regional things.

    And, just as a related aside, hopefully to make you laugh, my husband has a friend from high school (she briefly dated his younger brother)who friended me on facebook a while back (like almost a year ago) and messaged me two weeks ago asking me if I was really born in 1979. I told her yes, I was and she messaged back saying, "Wow, that explains a lot, like having so many little kids! But my (her) husband is 10 years younger than me, so now I'm a cougar!" There's always a good way to see something (btw that makes her guessed it, 37).

  2. Thanks for sharing Kristen! And thanks for not thinking I'm old. :) I'm sure the age difference must create some funny moments for you and your husband. I once dated a guy eight years older than me who couldn't believe I'd never seen "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." I was like, "That movie came out in 1977, right? I was four!" He was stunned into silence LOL.

    Overall, I'm sure the age difference means very little to the two of you and is simply interesting to people on the outside, because it is a little different. However, like you said, it's just one of those things in a marriage, like having a different upbringing or life experience. I'm married to a Canadian, and although Canada sometimes seems like America North, there are cultural differences that come up between us sometimes and they can be interesting to sort out. And then sometimes he simply doesn't get my references because he didn't have MTV in the 80s or grow up on the Mickey Mouse Club, even though we are the exact same age! Love the story about your friend the cougar LOL!