Living in Podunk, I’m considered an Old Parent. Many of the parents in my neck of the woods began having children when they were in their late teens and early twenties, while my daughter was born when I was 31. The first year or two that Daisy was in elementary school, I felt a little insecure about the fact that I was so old compared to many of my peers.
Now– I revel in it. Why?
1. I’m not my kids’ friend. And that is more than okay with me. I’ve got enough experience under my belt, and there’s enough of an age difference that I am perfectly comfortable making decisions that may not be popular with my kids.
2. I’m mature. I’m not caught up in the cliques around the school or stuck in a high school mentality because I got that crap out of my system before I ever had kids.
3. I’ve seen the world. I have a college education. I’ve lived and worked in other countries. I’ve supported myself and lived on my own. I know that I can always take care of myself and my family no matter what happens.
4. I’ve got my own friends. My social life doesn’t revolve exclusively around parents of my kids friends. My friends come from all walks of life–some are single, some are divorced, some have no kids. Variety in my social circle means a variety of perspectives, and frankly, far more interesting conversations.
5. I’m confident. As I approached my 40s the most magical thing happened—I stopped caring what other people thought of me. The confidence this has inspired is immeasurable.
What about you? Why are you glad to be a parent in (or approaching) your 40s?