Hell Yes! 40 Year Old Moms Are Better Than 20 Year Old Moms

AUTHOR: | POSTED: September 17, 2013 | COMMENTS: None Yet - Post a Comment
CATEGORIES: 1015 The River, Communication, The Book, What NOT to Say,

Carolyn Savage

That’s called link baiting.

What’s link baiting?

It’s the act of assigning an inflammatory title to a perfectly reasonable piece of writing in hopes of motivating people to read it.  It’s a little bit like bait and switch.  Sometimes the “switch” is mild.  Sometimes it’s major.  When it’s major I get annoyed.  Especially when I’m the author of the writing.

You see, as a freelance writer it’s my job to do the writing.  The buyer of my writing assigns the title.  That’s how it works.  (It’s also how our book ended up with it’s title.  Don’t even get me started on the cover!)

So…the below piece is going live on WhatToExpect.com Wednesday and I’m guessing it’s title will be inflammatory.  In order to curb my anxiety, I tried to come up with the worst possible option.

Hence, the title of this post.

If I was a twenty-something mother and read that title I’d gather my twenty-something-mommy-posse and stone my forty-four year old self in a grocery store parking lot.  Of course, that wouldn’t happen if the twenty-something mothers would actually read the content of the article, but more often than not, they don’t.  Generally, people make incorrect assumptions from the title.

Another reason to hate link baiting—especially if you’re an author.

The post is below.  If you read it all the way through you may recognize that I’m actually writing about how experience makes one a better mother.  Not age.  Not great linkbait I guess.

*****

The other day I was chatting with a young mother on the playground.  Potty training techniques; school choices; and sleeping schedules were all topics we touched on.  It was all your basic run of the mill parenting stuff but as I left the conversation I was unsettled.  The woman I’d spoken with was passionate about her staunchly held opinions.  She seemed to have the whole parenthood thing figured out which left me shaking my head. 

 Why was I so annoyed?  Because this mother was 25.

 I had my first child when I was 25.  I’ll never forget bringing Drew home from the hospital and pledging to bring my “A-Game” to his life.  I read a litany of books.  I had my pediatrician on speed dial. I spent hours contemplating all the things I thought, at the time, would make or break my son.   Breast or bottle?  Work or stay-at-home?  Preschool or not?  I was going figure out this motherhood thing the same way I’d figured out anything else that’d gone successfully in my life.  I’d thoroughly research, make a decision and then confidently execute.    It was a good plan with one flaw—I’d overlooked my greatest resource. 

 Namely, more experienced moms.

 As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that wisdom comes with life experience and life experience comes with age.  I look back on my 25-year-old-self and cringe a little regarding what I thought I knew.  Take for instance my once unwavering stance on sleep training.  I used to believe, “infants should sleep only in their beds.”  I’d read that in a best-selling-get-your-baby-to-sleep manual so it had to be right.   Right?  That approach worked fine for my first but come my second son? Well, let’s just say Mama realized that if he slept in the swing which translated to some much needed rest for my husband and I then the swing was a perfectly acceptable place for a baby to sleep. 

 An experienced mother could have told me that.

 My fourth and fifth children were born when I was 42.  To say we are approaching our twin daughters’ lives from a different perspective is an understatement.  Of course, I’ve learned with my first three that what worked for one may not work for another.  In addition, my husband and I have a little more life under our belts. We’ve realized which parenting approaches paid off and which ones don’t really matter.  For instance, turns out early athletic involvement truly has no bearing on future athletic success; Preschool doesn’t make or break a child’s educational career; And, believe it or not, not one single college cared if our oldest son was bottle or breastfed or whether he went to daycare or had a stay-at-home mom. Of course, I’m not downplaying the importance of such decisions, but after watching so many parents make opposing choices that resulted in equally stellar kids, I’ve realized that there is more than one way to successfully raise a child. 

 An experienced mother could have told me that.

 Sometimes I wonder if my 25-year-old-self would have thoughtfully pondered the advice of a more experienced mom.  Was I like the cocky young mother I’d met in the park?  I’d like to say I wasn’t but it took a little more than twenty-five years of life to knock the arrogance out of me.  Thank goodness, at 44, I’ve discovered the treasure trove of knowledge held by those “been there, done that” moms.  I get it now because I’ve lived through some tough stuff; seen loved ones survive worse; and am a wiser person—and better mother—because of all of it.

*****

Now that wasn’t worth a public stoning.

Right?

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