One And Done?

girl on mom's pregnant belly 

It’s good to know I am not alone. Tick tock. You hear it? Yep, it’s my biological clock and it seems to be ticking louder than ever. I’m one of those older moms, you know, a lady who waited till age 35 to get in this game called parenthood.

How old were you when you entered this journey? Does your age affect your thought about the number of children you will have?

I’ve never regretted waiting those 13 years with the hubby before starting our family. Though it took us about a year to conceive, the other 12 years were simply spent building careers, making a home, doing a little traveling and, in general, enjoying life. I never thought much about how entering into parenthood as an “older mother” would affect me or my child’s development.

Do you think you parent differently based on your age?

I definitely do. I imagine that if I was 20 or 25 or even 30 when I became a mom, I think I would have been a lot less patient and a bit more rattled at some of the adventures. As it goes, 35 was a great age to settle into parenthood. I felt balanced. I felt secure. I was ready to hang out with a tiny tot and never missed the “good old days.”

Now the question becomes, am I done at one? As an older mom, should I be?

Newest research off the press suggests there are more women like me (older) and NO, they are not done after having one child. Specifically, this research concluded that among “all women whose first birth occurred between age 35 and 44, nearly 40 percent had at least two children in 2006-2010, up from 26 percent recorded in 1995.  According to government statistics, about 7,500 women gave birth at age 45 or over in 2008, so the percentage of moms who’ve had two or more children after age 34 is probably even higher.”

What will be the impact to these children? Do you think their families will be more settled, both emotionally and financially? Or are older parents just that, old, and too tired to enter into this journey?

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Of course, the question is magnified when you consider adding a second child at an older age.

As for me, one and done? I think so, but you never know. Just like the journey itself, I may change direction just one more time. 

What do you think?

One And Done?

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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94 comments

  1. Profile photo of Alisha Alisha says:

    I hadn’t even met my husband until I was 33, married at 35 and my first baby 17 days before my 40th birthday. This isn’t our design, we tried and had only miscarriages, 8 exactly with 36.5 months of preganancy total for me. Why? No one knows, but my daughter is here with us now and that is a decision I will never regret. I have nothing but total appreciation for my daughter and I have all the patience in the world for her. In her almost 11 months on this planet, she has been shown total and complete love and adoration, she is secure, outgoing and such a happy baby. Is this due to us, her parents? I don’t know. I just know that my specific circumstances have allowed me to deeply understand the meaning of love and to feel appreciative every day for the blessings I have. I am so glad that I am a parent, and if I could, I would have more, that is just not in the cards for us, we are leaving the door for adoption open as we both feel that having a sibling is important. I can say this as an only child, my husband knows it as one of seven….

  2. Profile photo of rapa rapa says:

    I think it does play a role. I was 29 when I conceived and 30 when my son was born. To some, age doesn’t make a difference, but after having my son and the energy it takes to keep up with him I feel like I need to have another child (if I have another child) SOON just to make sure I have the energy and be able to keep up to date with everything. I know plenty of people whose parents are much older and they have a hard time understanding the things their children do or the way they behave etc. It’s hard, but in this day and age especially with our economic state it’s much more difficult to bring children into the world at a younger age.

  3. Profile photo of Kyssez Kyssez says:

    I am 29 and I’ll have my first and only a month after turning 30. I’m not where I would like to be in my life as far as career and love is concerned..I have a great support system from my family. But. honestly kids were never in my plans and so I’m still taking this pregnancy one day at a time..I’m frantic some days due to not knowing what to expect. But everything happens for a reason so i’m just waiting to see…

  4. Profile photo of Kerith Kerith says:

    I was 30 when I got pregnant with my first and 31 when I gave birth to her. And my husband and I still arguing over 2 or 3, I want 3 and think we have more than enough time. I would like be done or pregnant with the last child by the time I am 35 though, just to keep me from being that "old" mom, lol…you are only as old as you feel! We planned it this way, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  5. Profile photo of jesster131 jesster131 says:

    I am 40 & had my son 2 months ago. I had been told I couldn’t get pregnant. I was a dissapointment at the time, but I made my peace with it. I have 5 nephews & 1 niece so there was no shortage of babies to cuddle or older children to take on adventures. Then surprise 39 with 1 on the way. I will be a 1 & done due to the complications durring the pregnancy. But I am happy with my little blessing.

  6. Profile photo of erin erin says:

    I had my first set of children ( 4 of them ) from age 18 – 26 . I had a set of twins when I was 22 . They were all with my first husband . I’m now divorced and have had another baby at age 31 . I feel like I’m much more grounded this time and have the patience for whatever comes my way . When I was in my early twenties I was a scatter brained mess ! I wouldn’t change things for the world but , I feel like having children in my 30’s was a lot easier to handle !

  7. Profile photo of valca valca says:

    I had twins at 19 and just had my son 6 months ago and just found out I am pregnant again! So that will be 4 before I’m 23. I think we might. Have another, we will just see what Yahweh has in store for us.

  8. Profile photo of Courtney Courtney says:

    I was 24 when I had my first. She’s now 6 months old and I’m 25. I am not done! (Hopefully!) My husband and I had some requirements such as a stable income, a nice home, and a couple of years where it was just us before we started having babies. It took me 5.5 months to get pregnant. We celebrated our 4 year anniversary 8 days before our daughter was born. We wanted to have kids younger so we could be lively and attentive grandparents (hopefully!) and be able to travel more when we are both retired. We also took into consideration our children’s relationships with their grandparents and how our parents’ ages would affect the type of relationship they would have together. His parents are 50 and 51 and my parents are 52 and 49. It’s fantastic that they have so much time and energy for the kids and can still get down on the floor and play with them and rumble and tumble. That was how both of us grew up and we wanted that for our kids. Our families all started young and we liked it that way. Plus my baby sister will be 17 in a month and she’s gonna be a perfect babysitter! lol

  9. Profile photo of Becky Becky says:

    I had my first when I was 19 and my last at 39, and 2 in between, so you never know how life will turn out. I felt I was the most patient and involved with the first two, but it was also just differences in how my life was, different job, different husband and family dynamics, etc. I’d counsel people to not wait too long. Have seen too many people not be able to have babies when they wait too long, and miss out on the biggest joy of life.

  10. I’m 41 and had my daughter when I was 40. This pregnancy came as a surprise to us and turned into a blessing. She brings us great joy. My fiance has a 14 year old daughter from a 1st marriage so she was so happy to finally get the little sister she always wanted. Being she has a sibling I think I’m inclined to be a one and done Mom. That and the fact I had a lot of trouble after having her. I had a great pregnancy and had a c-section which went well but had complications afterwards. After a 3 week stay in the hospital I was finally able to go home and enjoy my new baby. I love my daughter more than life itself and treasure every moment. Even though I was expecting to ever be a mom I am so glad I am and can’t imagine my life not being one. I am glad however it did happen later than sooner. I do feel I have more patience needed now to be a mom and not get worked up over little things. I’m also fine with sitting home on a Friday night and not wondering who’s going out which is something I might have felt if I was younger. I can give my all and am thrilled to do so.

  11. Profile photo of Kathy Kathy says:

    I had my first son last year at the age of 28. I would like to have two more and I think I have plenty of time to have them in, Ijust may not wait 5 year between each one.

  12. Profile photo of dedeeboru dedeeboru says:

    I am done, am 35, and have 2 kids. I decided to be done since I’ve been pregnant more than two times and the last few the babies had terrible defects. My youngest is a "heart baby" and had to have open heart surgery to make certain he’d live to see age one. I can’t go through that again

    I do notice I’m more tired now than with my first, but I think it’s been more the health problems keeping me from trying again.

  13. Profile photo of misswhit12 misswhit12 says:

    I am 23 but when my baby boy arrives in July I will be 24 🙂 I will be the same age that my mom was when she had me. I want to have atleast 4 children, hopefully no more than 5. I was hoping to become pregnant by the time I was 25 so that I would not be over 40 when Im having babies and voila it happened 😀

  14. Profile photo of Laura Laura says:

    I am 26 and I have 5 Kids. The first 2 were not planned but the other 3 were. I love kids and I enjoy being a mother so maybe your age does play a part, but I would have had a few either way.

  15. Profile photo of JennCMcD30 JennCMcD30 says:

    I was 40 when I had my first – my husband was 50 so considering the health risks and that it took us going to a fertility doctor for assistance, it’s unfortunate to say we are a one & done family.

  16. Profile photo of Amanda Amanda says:

    I Personally wouldn’t have a baby after 33 for the simple fact I wouldn’t want to take the chance of the baby being born with downs syndrome. I would want my child to be able to have a easier life than having a birth defect

  17. Profile photo of Nella3137 Nella3137 says:

    I was 34 when I had my son 20 months ago and I just had another baby 4 weeks ago at 36. I feel for me being older and having children was the best thing. It gave me time to do what I needed to do as far as finances and also I had a life I wasnt ready to quite give up yet.

  18. Profile photo of Charlene Charlene says:

    I was almost 20 when I had my son. I dont think being so young makes me less patient and up for the little adventures kids bring. I think that depends on the persons personality and how comfortable they are with their new position in life. I do want to have one more so its def not a one and done thing for me.

  19. Profile photo of KatAnderson KatAnderson says:

    I had just turned 25 when I got pregnant and didn’t know for the first 14 weeks, it was a surprise even to my doctor after two negative blood based pregnancy tests. I was on the pill at the time and not planning for children yet. We only found out after I had a CT done of my abdomen as I was having severe pain under my lower right ribs. My son was born at 27 weeks, a full three months before his due date and they still aren’t sure what triggered my going into labor. He is happy and healthy and home now after 2 and a half months in the hospital and is the greatest joy in my life. I love kids, and I have never been the type to go out and party, When I was 16 I stayed at home raising my cousins child who was 18 at the time and very much a party girl. I’ve always been a homebody and though I do work full time the rest of the time I’m home with my boys and love every minute of it. I do want another child but not for a few years. I would however like to have my second, and last that we plan, by 30. Only because of the risks, after 31 your risk of prematurity goes up as well as other pregnancy difficulties and birth defects. I think it had to due with the individual, not the age really.

  20. What a horribly ignorant thing to say!

  21. Profile photo of Cami Cami says:

    I was 22 when I got pregnant and had my first child, I am now 24 and my second child will be born a month before my daughter turns 2. I am perfectly happy with the timing between my children even though my husband and I were hoping to wait a little while longer. We have discussed stopping at two but we also discussed going with an IUD to give us more time with our first 2 children before making the choice of having more or not.

  22. Profile photo of jennifier33 jennifier33 says:

    I was 33 when I had my son last year. I want one or two more children.

  23. If 35 is considered an older mother to you; I had my first at 42, so you would probably consider me knocking on death’s door. I had a wonderful, happy, healthy pregnancy with her and when I was screened I was told my maternal age was in my 20’s. I didn’t even need an amnio. I’ll scare you even more so, and tell you that I am pregnant with my 2nd at 43 and will have this baby when I am 44. I really don’t care what anyone has to say about it. It works perfectly for me and my husband and that’s all that really matters. I guess some women are old at 35 and others are young 44’s. Last week I walked by a mirror and thought I still look too young to be a Mother! Trade in your ticking time bomb clock for a wishing well 🙂

  24. Profile photo of elisabeth elisabeth says:

    i am ninteen and yes i am young but i want four children and i do think age changes the circumstances in which you concieve. i have a life plan set i wanted my first child at eighteen lol started late for my plans but i was getting my first 2 years of collage in order. now i will have another child in 2 years and then another two in 7 and 9 years. i feel its logical start young but statisics show your happier when your in you late tweenties or mid thirties. so more power to you!

  25. Profile photo of Melissa Melissa says:

    I said one and done. Now my daughter just turned 18 and is graduating high school and I have a 5 month old with my new husband… You never know what will happen.

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