How Old Is Old? Am I An Old Mum?

How Old Is Old? Am I An Old Mum?

Mature/old/experienced or all the above? How old do you have to be when considered an old mum?

We’d always toyed with the idea of having three children, despite always proclaiming that I’d only ever have 2, by the time number 2 came along I never felt finished. Quite the opposite infact. It just felt too normal, too structured. A mum, a dad, a house, a car, a dog and 2 children. We were living the western ideal of what a family should be and it just didn’t feel right.

I’m no rule breaker but there’s a side of me that sometimes like to break away from the norm and 2 children felt too ‘normal.’ (Not knocking anyone with 2, BTW)  All the time I was yearning for a troop, like mother duck waddling around with her ducklings behind her, the chaos of kids was the life for me and I knew that one day our 2 would become 3. (Ooooo that rhymes, I like it!)

Anyway,  life got in the way and before long I was on the wrong side of thirty so if we were going to do this, we needed to do it now. I didn’t want to be an old mum. The only problem being, my old lady eggs took a little kick starting after laying dormant for nearly 10 years and that wrong side of thirty pretty soon became hurtling towards forty and with it a realisation that

Pants! I was going to be that old mum I was trying to avoid

Sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned but I’m a strong believer in things happening for a reason and I started to really wonder what made an old mum ‘old’? And was it really that bad after all?

how old is old when it comes to being a mum?


I’m not going to lie that the pregnancy wasn’t as trouble free as it was in my twenties. Crippling SPD, nausea, tiredness, heartburn and a constant worry that I was doing the right thing plagued me. I tried desperately to enjoy this last chance at the miracle of life  but I couldn’t see the wood for the trees and there was no denying that being within sniffing distance of forty was my blame for everything.

Then it struck me, it wasn’t being an old mum that caused these problems. The more I reached out the more I realised that mums of any age suffered from those horrible pregnancy side effects. So I stopped waving the geriatric card and tried to focus on the positive.

When my little baby was finally here, the recovery wasn’t any longer, in fact, having a little age and experience on my side meant I was better at articulating my needs and this case it was a self induced baby bubble where I stayed in and eased my baby into this brave new world. I didn’t push myself out on the obligatory walk round the village with he pram until either of us were ready.

And I enjoyed every moment of those early days, where age just didn’t come into to it.

So who cares if I’m an old mum, I certainly don’t feel it if I am anyway. Age is just a number and whether you’re 18 or 48, having babies and raising kids isn’t age associated, what’s important is that you put your children first and look after your self. I’ve tried it both ways and they both rock.

And I’ve decided, I’m not an old mum. I’m vintage.  

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  1. 23rd March 2016 / 6:45 am

    Gorgeously vintage! Love your positivity Ali 🙂

  2. 23rd March 2016 / 8:25 am

    I had my first when I was 18 my second when I was 29 and third when I was 30 and can relate to this a bit. At 32 I am older then some of the other parents at nursery and don’t have the energy I had with my first but I totally agree age is just a number and even though I may be a bit older I feel more content and wiser third time around. The feeling you described about not feeling done when you had your second is how I feel about a possible 4th child. I will probably be almost 40 if I have another someday xx

  3. 23rd March 2016 / 8:47 am

    I always thought I was late to the mummy party and would be seen as an old mum! Then when I started my antenatal classes, I realised that in fact I am probably the average age. There were mums younger and older than me and your right it really doesn’t matter. We all love our children the same x

    • 23rd March 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Exactly! I found that there were more school friends expecting the same time as me when I had my last so I think i was average too

  4. 23rd March 2016 / 9:36 am

    I’m definitely vintage! I’m an older mum. Gave birth to T when I was 37 (I’m 43 now). That’s also the first time I heard the midwife refer to me as a “geriatic mum”. She apologised, said it’s actually a medical term. I didn’t mind. LIke you said, age is just a number and whatever people refer to us, it’s just a term and doesn’t define who we are 🙂

  5. Kerry Norris
    23rd March 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I don’t know what I’d class as an old mum these days. I know I always wanted to be a young mum. Younger than I was when I had my first. You’re right that your experience probably helped with recovery etc x

    • 23rd March 2016 / 7:39 pm

      I always wanted my children young too and I did just that but then wanted to see what it would be like being older! I’m just greedy I guess

  6. 23rd March 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Great post and NO you are not. I hate that women feel this way. As I said to you on twitter, I was misinformed by my midwife 5/6 years ago and told that 25 was when you became higher risk and you were in fact classed (medically) as older. Imagine how she made women who were in their 30s feel with that tripe… she made me feel uncomfortable and ever since I’ve always thought the “age” side to pregnancy is horrible. My mum was 40 when she had me – she wasn’t an old mum, she was a wonderful, awe inspiring, loving and down right fabulous mum. She still is. You are a never an old mum – or I don’t think so anyway… no one talks about old dads do they!? H xx

  7. 23rd March 2016 / 11:13 pm

    Well done for being so positive. It is true age is only a number and you can still be a good mother no matter what age you are. Being older equals more wisdom!

  8. 24th March 2016 / 8:35 pm

    I too felt I hadn’t ‘finished’ my family with 3 children – and ten years later, at the age of 41 I had Pickle. He has completed my family and my life. I thoroughly recommend being an older mum! Kaz x

  9. Kamsin
    25th March 2016 / 4:51 am

    I had my first at 38 and who knows if we’re done at one or not. I don’t feel old. Just tired and the grey hairs tell another story. I never planned it that way but I wouldn’t want things any different.

    • 27th March 2016 / 2:34 pm

      I was surprised to find out that some school friends were expecting their first the first time as I had my last. Made me realise I wasn’t doing doing anything unusual

  10. 26th March 2016 / 9:20 pm

    I’ve done both like you. I did find pregnancy and sleepless mights a lot easier to cope with in my early twenties but then having the experience does have it’s advantages. i need to look after myself more so that I can take control of the ageing process a bit better . I worry about not seeing as much of my daughters life’s as I will my son’s but then no one lives forever I guess

    • 27th March 2016 / 2:31 pm

      I’d never thought about it that way. My concern is the age gap between my youngest & other children and that he’ll not have anyone close to his age when I’m an old biddy

  11. 28th March 2016 / 5:55 pm

    There are pros and cons to both I think. But babies have a habit of turning up when they feel like it rather than when circumstances say is the best time. Good luck with the new one!

    • 29th March 2016 / 8:21 am

      Thanks mrs Tubbs. Totally agree, my best laid plans with my last went out the window

  12. 29th March 2016 / 6:40 am

    Yes! I’m technically an old Mum two at 43 with two little ones under 7 but I love that my husband and I spent our early married life doing all the things that we wanted to – riding our motorbikes, travelling the world, scuba diving etc which would have been more difficult with the children. I said to someone on Periscope the other day that we were Vintage Mamas, love that phrase so much! Thanks for linking up at #sharethejoy honey x

  13. 29th March 2016 / 9:12 am

    I am grateful for the time my husband and I had together before the children came along. If that means I am a bit of an older mum, I’m cool with that. And like you, a lot of people I went to school with are having their children at around the same age. I think that’s become more the norm
    x Alice

  14. 29th March 2016 / 8:23 pm

    Oooh I love this – I’m never quite sure why we are so insistent on putting labels on ourselves, we’re all mums so why do we feel the need to qualify it further? We all do it though, don’t we? It sounds like becoming a mum again in your 30s was perfect for you, so what does anything else matter? #sharethejoy

    • 29th March 2016 / 9:05 pm

      It really was, I’m enjoying it just as much as I did in my 20’s if not better as I’m much more confident and relaxed about what I do.

  15. Leah
    29th March 2016 / 8:30 pm

    This is adorable. Funny how the best laid plans really don’t even work out. What’s that phrase? “If you want to make God laugh, all you have to do is tell him your plans.” So. True.

    • 29th March 2016 / 9:03 pm

      Lol! Never heard that one but it does make perfect sense!

  16. 29th March 2016 / 11:27 pm

    I love this. You are so right. It really isnt about age when it comes to parenting. There are pros and cons to being a younger or an older/more seasoned mum, and I imagine there are probably different benefits and experiences that you’ve gained each time that you had your three babies 🙂 Emily #ShareTheJoy

  17. Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    2nd April 2016 / 9:32 am

    Totally agree, age is just a number. I was 36 when pregnant with Hugo; I’ll be 39 in July and TTC so I shall be pushing 40 by the time another baby arrives. I’ve been told I don’t look that age which is lovely! But ultimately I think it is what it is. xxx

  18. 4th April 2016 / 6:00 pm

    I’m a retired OB nurse. I’ve seen a lot of babies born over my 45 year nursing career. It’s not the age it’s the person. Being older has it’s risks but so does having a baby too young. I had my two children in my early 20’s, my daughter had her first and only at 37. It’s all about what is right for the individual. You are a lovely vintage.

    • 4th April 2016 / 6:38 pm

      That’s so nice to hear from a professional point of view. I’ve not found too much difference and I think it’s more the norm to have them older these days

  19. 5th April 2016 / 8:57 am

    I used to think I was a young Mum until my Mother-in-law recently stated that I was indeed an older Mum and asked whether the other Mums at school were the same age as me! I have always felt younger than I am! At nearly 40 now I do feel tired more, and probably more so than when I was 20 but I think the other aspects that age beings helps so much! You’re a gorgeous Mama and doing a fab job xx

  20. 26th January 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Had our first when I was 42 and Mrs B was 38. Second at 45 and 40 so you’re not an old mum! And we don’t feel old either btw. We did nearly leave it too late however so I am not recommending this as a strategy but being older I think does, as you say, make you more patient and we knew we’d done all the partying and had plenty of ‘me time’. Also meant we were more financially secure. There is no ‘right’ age to have children but nor is there a ‘wrong’ age, provided you can still have them through whatever means. My Gran was 42 when she had my mum and at that time (the 1940s) it was seen as odd. My mum was teased for having a granny for a mum, but these days it’s no big deal. I sometimes worry about being really old when the boys are still living at home (probably) in their 20s but maybe we’ll enjoy the company. It’s certainly given a renewed lease of life at a time when many people are becoming empty nesters and feeling lost and having a mid life crisis. I’ve got no time for that!

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