What I love about being an older mom when so many of my friend’s kids are teens or adults. They are looking forward to not having kids so dependent on them and moving on to college or getting their own place, getting married, or starting a family.
That is not us. We are in the process of adopting our foster daughter. At the time of this post, she is 22 months, and I am turning 50 this year. To be honest, I try not to think about the age or the numbers. My husband reminded me how old we will be when she graduates from high school, and I brush it off. What can I do? I am getting older, but I don’t feel that has changed the fact that God called us to adopt our baby girl even if we are in our late 60’s when she graduates high school!
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We have fostered her since her birth. I don’t want to go into her story yet. Even though I did with our previous foster kids. Our foster toddler daughters and our foster sibling sets cases have closed. Out of respect for her birth family, I would rather wait until the adoption process is final. Hopefully, in the next few months.
What I love about being an older mom
I have seen how fast time goes.
Knowing how fast time goes by. I have seen and experienced it with my bio and step-children. All four boys are now in their teens ranging from 13-19. Watching kids grow when you are in the middle of sleepless nights, school drama, sports cheering, toddler exhaustion, and it just keeps going by. You really don’t notice how fast until they are graduating from high school. At least that is when I saw it with my oldest. He was a senior, and I was feeling depressed the first several months of his senior year. I could not figure out how this little boy, who was born 2 months pre-mature and blessed me to be a mother for the very first time, could be graduating high school. Had 18 years really gone by?
I must have asked God 50 times why he made it go by so fast. Then, God gave me the answer the following year when my parenting skills were challenged beyond what I ever thought they would be. I was blindsided by parenting a 19-year-old. I thought I would be done with parenting, so to speak. The tug of him being his own person and making his own decisions about life and time. Differed from my tug of still wanting him to be my little boy. We worked it out. But mommas of later teens… prepare yourselves. In my opinion, it gets harder as they get into those late teen years.
Savoring the moments.
What I love the most about being an older mom? Small moments, like sniffing her fuzzy, newborn head over and over. Changing diapers, giving her baths, watching her sleep and play, and grow and learn to talk. Teaching her new things and letting her play in the dirt. Make a pillow out of rocks that she lays down on. She loves being outside. Watching how nurturing she is with her baby dolls, something I never witnessed from my boys. Savoring most of all, watching my boys, her big brothers interact with her.
I am also not afraid to do things wrong.
With my boys, I was trying to follow all the rules. Do everything “right”. With our baby girl, I have seen from our boys and previous foster kids you could do everything right, or they can grow in a hope where there is trauma and turmoil. If you give them love and time and a consistent routine, they will thrive. We kinda just skipped baby food with our baby girl because she didn’t care much for it and just started eating our food, soft versions.
When we moved my baby son into his crib, it was so hard to put him to bed and let him cry. Even for a bit before going in and then lengthening the time frame and pretty soon, it would be a minute or two of crying, and then he would fall asleep. With our little girl, we didn’t that without any worries knowing that she was tired and would fall asleep. Being not afraid I am going to mess up is just another thing I love about being an older mom.
We are just so much more relaxed and I love that about being an older mom. I realize those baby items are not used for an extended period. It is much better to buy top of the line items used, or handed down, rather than worry about buying them new. My first time as a parent I wanted everything to be brand new for my new baby boy. He doesn’t care, he pukes on it.
I hold her a little longer and kiss her every time her head or cheek is near me. Because I have teenage boys and I can’t remember the last time I kissed them really. I hug them often, thankfully they let me still do that! Sneak in every squeeze, every kiss and every snuggle you can. They are little for such a short time.
I don’t have her room totally decorated, and partly because we are foster parents. We painted it very girl neutral. But we have known she is staying with us now for almost a year, and I still haven’t done it. It will be there, and maybe we will do that for her 2nd birthday. Compared to my boys, I had to have their rooms done even before they were born! Oh, the added stress. Now if you have time, go for it. I am by no means saying don’t prepare if you have the time and the means, but I was stressed about it being done.
Telling the truth.
Our little girl is resilient, and she will need to be as she gets older. She will learn the truth about her birth parents and the reason she was put into foster care. I plan to prepare her for this best I can, and it will never be a secret that we are not her biological parents. She will just always know. We are also now family with her bio grandparents and some of her siblings. She will know how much they love her. She’ll have to navigate these waters of deep love from us, choosing her. To the potential feelings of abandonment by her birth parents.
They didn’t abandon her, they choose a better life for her. But this is where God has given us both a gift. When I was a young teen, I found out the dad that was raising me wasn’t my biological dad. I had never really met my biological dad, well since I was a baby. I will have this relatable small piece to share with her and how I navigated that and how I now know and love all three of my dad’s that had a part in who I am today. Even if I could, I would NEVER change my story.
I believe God has prepared my heart to raise her.
However, sometimes my heartbreaks, and I cry… I cry that she will have to feel some of the big feelings that I dealt with and maybe even more. I would love to protect her from that. But we will walk through it together.
Showing the truth.
Just like our boys. He entrusts us to care for children and raise them to care for themselves. And to love Him. Not to save them from their past. To show them that with God, their past is insignificant compared to what is ahead. That is what I hold on to, not only for my kids but for myself too.
God’s unconditional love is what I want her to know above all else. Even above our love. All the deep emotions and winding paths that come with adopting through foster care. All of that is tiny in comparison. The biggie is knowing her Father in heaven loves her more than we ever could.
If you are trying to figure out what to love about being an older mom? Please know… this is the perfect time. You are caring for a child that needs you regardless of age. They need a loving big-person in their life that can show them how to be cared for. That can show them they have a heavenly Father that will never abandon or hurt them and that God has entrusted you to care for them. And you can walk through it together.