Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Generations

I recently heard that a girl I knew, in the place I grew up has become a grandmother.  I am forty-four.  She is a few years younger than me.  Her mother is also much younger than mine.  Her father is young too and still around.
I partied and careered my way through my twenties and most of my thirties. I shunned the idea of motherhood.  I felt that it was a poverty trap, a personality trap, and every kind of trap you could think of.  I had watched my mother struggle. I had watched some of my peers struggle.  I didn’t want that to happen in my life.
I didn’t believe I was maternal. I didn’t believe in the biological clock. But I was in for a huge shock.  At the age of thirty-eight it happened! It ticked loudly and constantly and I couldn’t ignore it.
Although I was twenty-nine when I met my husband and thirty-four when we married, having children was never on my mind. I assumed that if it ever did cross my mind, there would be no problem having them. I was wrong. 
When I hit forty and no children had come along, my husband and I decided that maybe parenthood just wasn’t destined for us. I decided to concentrate on other things and put it out of my mind. Then, out of the blue, at the age of forty-one I became pregnant.  We had our little son when I was three months off my forty-second birthday.
Because I waited such a long time to become a mother, my father never got to meet him.  He passed on when I was thirty-five and it was to be seven more years before my son was born. My mother is still around and they love each other a lot but she cannot do the same things a younger grandmother could do. His other grandparents are also in their seventies.
That new baby, grandchild of the girl I knew, will have young parents, grandparents and even great grandparents.  There will be three generations there to depend on. They can help with looking after the children while the parents have a break.
I never considered any of this in the past. It requires a lot of energy, strength and endeavour to raise children even if there is only one.  It can be challenging, pleasant and satisfying all at the same time.  Having a child or children in your forties makes it even more so.
I am so lucky to have been able to have my son in my forties and I am lucky that at least my mother is still around to get to know him. I wish I had done things a little differently sometimes and become a mother a little sooner, but I am mostly happy with the way things are.


  1. Claire,
    I deeply and truly appreciate your candid post. I started earlier than you, but then felt I was somehow "wrong" in wanting more than to "just" be a mom. Our family went through quite the drama before resettling and now we have major financial hurdles to overcome because of debt incurred during a messy, costly separation and international child custody battle. Parenting has been the agony and the ecstasy for me. Now it is ever more ecstatic than agonizing as I focus on the ecstasy and allow it to grow. It is such a relief to realize that only by following my own inner guidance can I truly be the great mum, partner and woman I am. It took some huge challenges to learn this. I'm so grateful to finally love myself enough to be able to appreciate my sons, husband and life as it is right here right now.
    All the very best, Karyn Krause Amore, Increase your Cash-flow doing what you love!

  2. I'm lucky enough to have both my mother and grandmother next door, making four generations of women in our family now that my little girl has arrived, it's really special to have and I treasure it and hope it lasts for a while to come yet.

  3. We have a lot in common. I partied my butt off in my 20's. Always had money becasue I worked two jobs and went to school. Never thought in a million years I would have or want kids. Finally met my husband inm y mid 30's and had our last child at 38. After my first child 3 years before the last I realized how cool children were and wanted another one. Really changes your outlook. I lvoe being a Mom, old or young. You go girl!

    I am paying off a $56,000 student loan without a job, because we want me to stay home with the kids. We are poor as dirt right now but know in another 4 years I can finally go back to work and maybe we will not have to live on an extra $100 a pay check after we pay bills. But it is all worth it!

  4. I had our first child when I was 26 and the second one when I was 36, so they're spread apart. I've always wished we had 3, but it was hard teaching school and having kids. So I'm very thankful for the two we have!
    I can relate to Tawna's comment because I've been looking for a teaching job for 1 1/2 years after staying out the past several years. My husband is looking for a full time job, too, so money is extremely tight right now! But we have faith that God has and is taking care of us!

  5. All I say to myself when I have troubles these days is 'This too shall pass' and it does! Karyn, Tawna and Charla, I can empathise with you regarding the financial hurdles and challenges as I have been there in the past. Thankfully things are looking a lot better these days. If I had had my child in my twenties or thirties it definitely would not have been this way. Wow, nutty, FOUR generations! That's fantastic.


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