Many people wait until their late 30’s and early 40’s to begin having children and while being an older parent is wonderful, it also brings its’ own unique challenges. The reasons for having children as an older adult are numerous, but in the end whether through birth or adoption you now find yourself navigating new obstacles you may never have given a second thought!
You may notice changes in your body or your energy level and not know if it is due to aging, to the birth process or both! You may find yourself feeling exhausted at work and struggling to juggle your work responsibilities. This can lead you to wondering if your career is compatible with raising young children. Your own parents may need more help from you than they used to as they age and you feel pulled between caring for them and caring for your children. Your friends still have an active social life, but you aren’t able to spend as much time with them and this can leave you feeling isolated.
These are some of the challenges that can affect you as an older parent, but as an older parent you also have many resources. You know yourself well and have developed talents and interests that you can rely on. Remember to watch that comedy show that makes you feel good and don’t forget to take that yoga class you love so much! You may have seniority at work, your friendships are long standing and reliable and you know how to advocate for yourself. Employers can sometimes offer flexibility to employees with solid work histories and you’d be surprised to see how happy your friends are to help out with errands or to lend an ear. You have lots of experience navigating systems as well, including the medical system. Reach out to your medical doctor or pediatrician as they can answer any medical or developmental questions you have and a therapist or support group can provide the emotional support you need.
Being an older parent has its’ challenges, but it is a wonderful time of life. Take care of yourself in the same loving way you care for your family. A community surrounds you and can support you – reach out to them!