Fonticulus Fides

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Delaying Motherhood

When I read that the first-time baby age for U.S. women was at an all-time high, I expected a number higher than 25. But I guess that's because I had my first at 34.

It wasn't all my fault that I waited so long. I didn't fall for Mr. Right until I was 29. And boy, is he ever Mr. Right! I'm so glad I held out for him, because parenting with anybody else would have been awful. Anyway, then we delayed parenting for a while after we were married while he went back to college to finally finish his degree and tried to get a band going (which would have made it big-time if not for a few unforeseen events). Then when we started actively trying to conceive a child, we had fertility problems, a tragedy that comes in something like 147 shades of emotional turmoil.

Zooey finally arrived when I was 34, just shy of the "you're a little old for this" mark. Now I'm 39 and expecting baby #3, and yeah, I'm feeling my age. Especially because I have premature arthritis. You know you're in bad shape when the discomfort wakes you up at 3 a.m. and you look at the clock and sincerely think, "Thank you, God, only three more hours and I can get out of bed." And then you do the same thing at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., too.

Much better to put your body through this sort of work out while you're younger. But I barely had my head screwed on straight when I was 25. I'd only been a Christian for a week on my 25th birthday -- if I would have had a baby that year, I don't think I would have been a very good mother. 14 years of practice and I still have a lot to learn about Christianity and how it relates to parenthood.

Which is why I often pray that God will always "fill in the blanks" for my kids when I fail.



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