Sunday, June 2, 2013

On Being an "Older Mom"

 Had I become a mom in my twenties or thirties, I'm sure I wouldn't have complained so much about being tired a lot. I'm sure motherhood would have been less physically tiresome, because I see those young moms and how they bounce around with several kids-- in high heels! But I'm also convinced that I probably would have reached my forties with some regrets about my mothering choices, just because of what I didn't know -couldn't have known- in my youth.

In many ways, it was challenging to become a first-time mother at the age of 43, but I also feel a deep gratitude for the simple wisdom I couldn't have possibly have had if I became a mother in my younger years.  I know so much more now than I could have known as the gullible, young, wild, 'media' and 'medicine' duped woman I was in the 1990s-- when most of my generation were having their kids. In those days, I deeply trusted in medical doctors, their 'opinions' and the latest fads in their pharmaceutical solutions and invasive procedures. I made many bad choices about my health in those days, simply because of bad trendy advice. Today, the internet changed everything. It put the power of knowledge at our fingertips.

So in retrospect, if I had my son 10 - 20 years ago, I'm sure I might done things quite differently. I might have had ...

.. a hospital birth instead of a home-birth (with a 30% possibility of a c-section.)
...a drugged birth/pregnancy instead of a natural & drug-free pregnancy and birth umbilical cord cut recklessly early instead of one that was cut only after it stopped pulsating, and later preserved in the shape of a heart and framed as a souvenir (main photo :-)
... a placenta and an umbilical cord disposed of, instead of preserved and consumed for possible postnatal benefits.
... an OBGYN's care(lessness) instead of  the midwifery model of care. 
...a circumcised instead of an uncircumcised son
...a fully formula-fed instead of breast-fed child (admittedly, not exclusively)
...a day-cared instead of a home-cared for child
...a Schooled instead of a home-schooled child

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In short, given all those things, I believe I would have been a completely different mother, with a completely different kid. As tiresome as it can be, I  feel kinda lucky that motherhood didn't happen for me in my youth and before the information revolution, although I do wish my mother had this same advantage and was able to make better informed choices for me in the late 1960s. We all do our best given our own circumstances, I guess. And anyway, as a hospital-birthed, formula-fed, and day-cared kid, I still turned out okay at the end.

I think.

Stay tuned...

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