By Jacqueline Wilson for GalTime
As society continues to shift, we are seeing more and more changes in families--especially for parents in “prime” ages, mainly 40 and up.
More women today are putting their careers and needs first, choosing to wait until later in life, perhaps when they are more established, to start families.
As parents start having kids at older ages, it creates this odd blurring of lines when you see them in public. You have questions: grandparent or parent?
We get it; it’s confusing for you. Guess what? It’s confusing for us, too.
Related: When Mother's Day is Confusing
However, here are some questions you should keep to yourself when you see a 40-something woman with a baby or toddler.
Better safe than sorry, right?
1. Oh, is this your son/daughter?
If you see a 20-something woman playing with a child in the park, you would probably automatically assume she is the mother of that child. Just because an older woman is with a kid doesn’t mean she’s the grandmother. Look, we know our hair is graying at the temples (we have a toddler, who has time for the salon?), but we would appreciate it more if you just said something like “Your son is so cute!” and leave it to us to correct you.
2. How old is your grandchild?
Have you ever watched someone ask a woman “How far along are you?” when she’s really not pregnant? Well, “How old is your grandchild?” is the equivalent for 40-something parents. If you’re really curious about the kid’s age (or whatever), just ask … sans labels. You don’t have to figure out the family tree first.
3. Did you use IVF/surrogacy, etc.?
We don’t ask you about intimate details of your life, so we prefer that you don’t ask about ours. If we did use an alternate method of having a baby, it’s a very private (and perhaps painful) part of our life. We prefer not to discuss it with people we don’t know or don’t know that well. Not only that, plenty of women over 40 are still getting pregnant the old fashioned way! (And we’re pretty sure you don’t want us to explain that to you.)
4. Don’t you think having a child at this age is selfish?
Wow. Just … wow.
This is probably the ultimate insult to older parents. Sure, we’ve done the math and calculated how old we will be at certain milestones in our child’s life, but we believe it’s about the parent, not the age. We think your sports car, daily coffee habit and refusal to donate to our child’s school projects are selfish, but we would never say that to your face.
Are you a new mom 40 or up? What’s the rudest or most unusual thing someone has said to you when you were pregnant or out with your child?
More from GalTime:
- Hot Sex After 40: Myths and Tips
- Type A Mommy: Mother's Day Musts
- How to Make Other Mom Friends
- New Ways to Read to Your Kids
Jacqueline Wilson is a published author, 40-something mother of a preschooler, and stepmother of two adult daughters. Jacqueline is also the founder of Prime Parents Club and blogger at WritRams.com.