Late motherhood – so what do people really think?

late motherhood

At the beginning of the year, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell gave birth at age 44. Okay, 44 may be a little late when it comes to motherhood, but perhaps not a deal breaker in my book (although Lord knows how I’d ever have the energy to be a mum to a baby or toddler at that age feeling as knackered as I do now!). But how about when things start getting closer to 50? Janet Jackson – 50. Helen Fielding – 48. Kelly Preston – 48. Halle Berry – 47. Geena Davies – 48.

I don’t know about you but when things start creeping more towards the 50 mark, my brain starts falling out of my ear at the thought. Curious to know what others thought about later motherhood circa the 50 mark, I asked fellow parenting bloggers to share their views.

No way Jose!

I think it’s unfair on both you and the child. I understand people wanting to be mothers late but to have a child in your 50’s means that you’ll be in atleast your mid 60’s by the time they’re in their teens. Not only will it be harder to keep up but there’s potential teasing for your child to deal with also. Similarly from the mother’s side, I find it difficult enough parenting in my 30’s, I can only imagine it would be harder and more exhausting in your 60’s. – Devon Mama 

I try not to judge anyone, it’s none of my business but I am about to have baby number six at 34. I had my first (twins) at 23, I already feel like I have less energy and patience now, I can’t imagine having a baby /toddler in my 50’s! – Modern Mum 

I think there is a reason that women go through the menopause, so they can enjoy their grandchildren and not to raise their own children. Pre-menopausal bodies are different, have as many and as often as you desire. Old age does not come alone and I find it sad that 64 year olds are given IVF as most children would like to have their mum around for as long as possible. I’m a gran and love to look after my grandson four days of the week, but I would hate to have my own baby now. I just do not have the energy to give 100% everyday. – Teddy Bears and Cardigans 

Personally, I wouldn’t have a baby after my late 30s. I’d still like to be relatively fit and healthy as I know it’s hard work! I feel as though raising a baby in my 50s/60s would be a little selfish really as it’s more likely I wouldn’t be around in their teen years. Every situation is different however and there may be genuine reasons why someone wants to start a family very late in life. – The Mini Mes and Me 

Age is just a number

This topic really irritates me. My mum had my little sister at 47 and my sister had so many comments growing up from total strangers about being out with her ‘nan’ or my mum being out with her ‘grandchild’. My mum doesn’t look old, she has her health and I’m pretty confident with the help of my little sister and her actual grandchildren it’s kept her young!  – Mama Wilkos 

My mum and my step dad had my little brother and sister late. Having children has kept them young. My step dad never missed a Saturday football game, takes them to theme parks and is always taking them on adventures. Compared to other people his age you would think he was years younger. Age really is just a number and more importantly is their health and their motivation to look after a child. – Ballsy Mama  

Who are we to judge?

I don’t think it’s any of my business how old women are falling pregnant. People are living longer these days and who knows what can happen to anyone, anytime. – The Mum Diaries 

Pre-mummyhood I used to judge this situation a lot more harsh but now I’m older (and I hope wiser), I honestly believe that motherhood is hard, no matter your age. Would an older mum find certain things more difficult? I believe so yes but how so more than a mum with physical or mental disabilities? Where do we draw that line? As women we need to build each other up instead tearing each other down and where certain mums may struggle in some areas, that’s when the rest of us can step in and help rather than judging from the sidelines. – Tippy Tupps 

I think people make a lot of assumptions and unnecessary judgements in parenting. You can’t win, it’s wrong if your 16, 20, 30, 40 or 50. I think if you’re able to have a child at 50 then good on you, you’re not going to have gone into it not knowing the risks. Yes you might not be around to meet your grandchildren but that’s not a guarantee anyway, my dad was 29 when he had me and didn’t meet his grandchildren when I had the first at 29. Live and let live, you do you and I’ll do me. –  Life with Baby Kicks 

Whatever works!

I used to feel sorry for my friend (my mum is 52 hers is 80 something now) but the older I get the less I judge to be honest. We all have our own battles. – Mummy and Moose 

I think it’s perfectly fine. As a couple who has fertility problems the time scale of things means you often are trying for babies later than most. Our ivf daughter was born when I was 34 and my husband 45. We will try for another ivf baby, if it works this year I’ll be 36 and daddy will be 48 but if it doesn’t we will keep on trying. I don’t think it’s always possible for people to have children at the “normal” ages but that doesnt mean they shouldn’t be parents.  – Mama Cat and Baby Bee

I can’t imagine the heartache of wanting a baby so desperately but never getting that opportunity. I think you would grab it at any age when it came along if it was something you wanted so badly. Some 60 year olds are fitter then me in my 30s so I don’t feel I’d ever have the right to judge anyone for their decisions. – Pink Pear Bear 

Our body has a way of telling you when it is done having babies. I’m a firm believer that people should do what’s right for them and their families, who are we to say if thst is right or wrong? If their body will still conceive then fair play to them listening to that and becoming parents when it is right for them! One size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to parenting! – Friendly First Foods 

Eek 50?!

I want another child myself but at 36 now I feel personally like I would be too old if I leave it much longer and wouldn’t be happy having a baby after maybe 40 but I guess my views may change as there’s no guarantee that I will fall pregnant quickly and we have other things to consider as to when the time is right for us but I know I would not want another at 50 and would accept if I haven’t had one by then that the one I have is all I will have. – Just Average Jen

In theory can’t help but think it’s a selfish act; I want to be able to see it from another point of view, but I’d hate to lose my mother so early in life, and putting any child through that willingly is not fair. However, my mum had my brother at age 46, and I would never say she was too old, despite it only being 4 years difference. It’s completely dependent on the situation and the person, but it is an individual choice. – Life with Boys 

A woman recently had IVF twins at 64. I think that’s horribly selfish as it’s likely their children won’t get to meet their grandparent. I know you could die at any time but to bring children into the world when you have maybe 15-20 years of good health left isn’t fair on the kids. However, at 50 you can expect to make it into their adulthood. But anyone that’s grown up without a parent can probably tell you what a huge impact it had, why would you want that for your children? – Whinge Whinge Wine 

I think the definition of ‘late motherhood’ has changed over the last few decades. Once it was considered late to have babies at 40 now that is seen as ok. I think that is ok. However I think having a baby post 50 is different. The child will stand a much higher risk of losing their parents at a young age. Childbirth is riskier too. I do feel sympathetic to that maternal instinct and desire but I can’t help feeling uneasy about it. – Talking Mums 

So it seems attitudes towards late motherhood really vary. Which camp do you sit in? Please go ahead and join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

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2 comments

  1. I am in the privileged position of being both a young mum and an older mum! I don’t think I’ve been selfish in any of my decision’s to have a child. Age is just a number – you can be in your 30’s and have the body of a 50 year old or vice versa! that was actually said to me by an professional medical consultant! I am amazed at some of the ageist comments I have read above. Yes it’s a bit more tiring as you get older but I have 7 amazing children who bring me much joy and happiness. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but I wouldn’t change it for anything! It is totally up to the individual when they have their child – we should all try to be more understanding and supportive of each other! Life is hard enough!!

  2. I can see why it’s such an emotive topic for so many people, but personally I think that each family is different and one mum’s nightmare can be another mum’s dream. My aunt’s husband was nearly 40 years older than her, their two children absolutely idolized him and he couldn’t have been a better Dad to them, but as he was in his 60s when they were born, he is sadly no longer around now that they are having children of their own. I know that they have found that heartbreaking, but I know that they also wouldn’t have changed a thing about him. Fascinating read Talya x #blogcrush

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