Being an older parent is hard as fuck.(317 Posts)
We had babies in our 40s.
We are grateful. Of course we are. But fuuuuuuuuck, we feel about a thousand years old in terms of energy. Pretty sure we wouldn't be this destroyed if it was just the two of us. Our lives are just about surviving.
Am not explaining this well. And will await the barrage of "Well at least you're not infertile/a single parent". Yep I know. First World problems and all that.
But I didnt feel this exhausted when we were trying to conceive. We felt pretty good back then. Like we were still in our thirties! Everything was awesome! We had parents and friends and hey, even a social life!
Parents were elderly sure, but we were so happy to give them grandchildren. 3 out of 4 gone now in the space of 4 years.
Friends are busy with their own kids, everyone always so busy. Lots of friends have teenagers, chuckle indulgently at how old and fucked we look cos they went through it too - yeah, but at 32!
No energy to have sex, no energy to have hobbies, no energy left after work and creche and Big School and nappies and toilet training and trying to get dummies out of mouths and trying to make dinners everyone will eat but nobody does.
No family, no cousins, no wider circle. The worry of them not making connections, the worry of having to make them join clubs or they'll have nobody, the worry one of us will get something bad in our 50s and the kids won't even have finished school yet. The worry about having to make enough money to take care of ourselves in old age cos older parents = early burden. It is just us 4. It is so small. I worry they will feel the claustrophobia. Its not my fault, but actually maybe it is, for not having them 10 years ago when cousins were younger and friends kids were younger.
We look at each other and know there's no safety net. It's scary. School want to assed eldest for sensory issues. Am terrified. I feel old as hell.
We try to be kind to each other, we are OK at that. But I wish we were younger. We would get out of bed quicker, we would move faster, we re just so tired all the time. He thinks he has arthritis in his hands now, jesus that's something that old people have. We both wear varifocals now. And one still in nappies who still wakes up in the night half the time - why didn't we foresee this??! We thought we would feel young forever.
I ask colleagues on Monday what did you do over the weekend? "Oh we brought the kids up to grandma's for Sunday roast, what did you do?" "Oh nothing much, went to the playground/the beach, no didn't meet up with any family, no"
Why don't people talk about this? It makes a difference - 35 to 45. It really does. You lose so much family. You lose so much energy.its so hard.
I don't even want to read this back, it probably is ungrateful.
I'd just like to give you a hug and tell you that you are doing a marvellous job.
I had my babies at 35 & 38, and I don’t feel like this. It’s not easy, don’t get me wrong but it’s not as hard as it seems to be for you.
I think the difference is my husband and I are both eldest children, and lots of our friends are in the same life stages so we have people to go out with, and support us.
It's OK to feel ungrateful sometimes.
It sounds like even without the kids, you've had a really difficult few years.
It's going to get better.
I think it depends on the person
DH was 44 when DC1 was born, and he wouldn't say he was any more exhausted than our friends who were 10 years younger.
But he is a generally fit and active person.
I'm not sure how going to grandma's for a roast is harder than going to the beach or playground for the day though
I had my first (and only) at 41. I’m feeling everything you’re saying. You’re not alone x
It might not be age related
Some of my friends felt like this after having children in their 30s.
for you OP. I felt burnt out and exhausted as a mum in my 30s. I blamed it on having twins but I can easily imagine that now - at 40 - I’d think some of my issues might be down to age (e.g. I got a problem with my wrists from picking up babies all the time). Look after yourselves and get as much help as you can. You can’t pour from an empty cup - whether it’s an antique or a reuseable bamboo one you bought last week
I had my two children in my 40's. I'm now in my 50's. How old are your children, OP? Are they still quite young? Parenting during the early years is exhausting. Mine are in primary school now and family life is easier and a great deal more fun.
Lol. You have young kids. How you feel is normal. As they grow a bit it gets easier. Leaving the house is easier. Being spontaneous is easier. They are easier. In fact you can even go out for a meal and enjoy it again as they can take themselves to the loo, do quiet colouring or sensible conversation and eat whatever is on the menu.
It's doubly hard because you had longer without kids when you can please yourself ...and you can remember what that was like.
Focus on the positives and what you have. Not what might happen and what might be.
Try to enjoy this time as soon they will be into clubs, sports, activities and you will feel like a taxi driver who never gets time off and trying to fit in that lovely trip to the beach becomes impossible because of matches, practise, birthday parties, homework etc etc
(And also remember the mum who was at Grandma's for lunch maybe looking at you thinking 'how lovely a beach trip....my mil expects us to go there every week....' Grass is always greener on the other side!)
If it makes you feel any better, I had my first dc shortly after I turned 23. I've now just turned 26 and have a 2 year old, a 1 year old and a newborn.
I am dead on feet every. single. day. I have no time to myself (think I've had 3 nights out in almost three and a half years!), my fiancé and I have little time for each other as we're just THAT shattered come the end of the day, I can't even remember the last time we had sex! My mum occasionally helps us out, she tries to take the eldest dc out once a month but she's still only early 50's herself so has a social life and can't be at our beck and call for help all the time.
My friends all have young DC's and are preoccupied with their own lives, so we never see each other.
I don't think it makes a difference what age you are if I'm being really honest. Being a parent is just that hard and changes absolutely everything about your life, your energy levels and the people you used to see before having DC's.
I had my older children when I was 20 and 26. Had lots of energy for them! didn't expect to have more, but remarried and at 35 and 37 I had two more babies. Unfortunately Im now a single parent aged 40 and I am permanently exhausted. I adore my children but I totally understand you feeling like this. I am sure you're doing an awesome job x
Saw the bit where you say you've lost 3 out of four parents in the last 4 years - I think this might also be contributing. I know when I lost both my parents in a relatively short period of time mortality ( theirs, mine, dh's ) suddenly hit me quite hard! Keep being kind to each other,my pull get there👍
Fuck. I fell knackered and I’m only 38 (with an almost 4 year old)
First baby at 39. We have lots of church ‘family’, but I envy the energy of the 29 year olds in our NCT group, and feel sad that my child is missing out on (some) grandparents.
I do think life should get easier for you over the next few years, as the children demand less input and when you’re not grieving losses in the same way.
Total sympathy here. I had twins at 36, I'm now 43, and those 7 years have made one hell of a difference. I couldn't do now what I did then.
I'm in the same boat as you, had my baby at 37 (42 now) and also have 10 year old step daughter (eow and holidays). No family close by and just moved to a new area where we don't know anyone so zero support outside of school/nursery. It's really hard and I have all the same worries as you, in fact I recently went sober as I'm so scared of dying young (Mum died of cancer at 54). I just thank god that my husband is really hands on and we are in it together (mostly), I don't have a complete man-child to parent like some of the poor sods on here!
I also comfort myself knowing that if I'd had kids 10 years earlier I'd be a poor single parent right now and that was always my worst nightmare.
Bless you. Being a parent to non sleeping little children is the problem mainly I think.
I'm 50 soon and had my last at 42. So he's nearly 8 now. The early years were hard with all of my kids. I think the worst years were when the 2 oldest were about 3 and 6 and were utter menaces. I was in my 30s then and felt way way more knackered and exhausted than I do now. I honestly feel great now - full of energy it's because I exercise, eat well and sleep well. And the kids are 17, 14 and 7 so a lot easier to look after.
It's hard losing elderly parents though I am sorry for your losses there. You will get through it - it will get easier
Having had one in my early 30s and one in my early 40s I'm not sure it does make that much of a difference. Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture for a reason - it's bloody effective however old you are! We didn't have grandparents nearby even with our older one so had to do a lot of travelling and had no local childcare so that's never changed for us.
Our older one was up at 5.30 - 6am at weekends through to 9 years old so we've never had the joy of a lie-in or regular baby sitter aided nights out.
Feel free to moan though OP, a problem shared and all that. Our older one was up until gone 10pm last night. Baby sibling got up at 11pm for her first round. Being knackered is best as a shared activity.
It's like that having babies at any age hahahaha
We had ours at 38. We joke that we were fairly youthful before we had him. Last two years have aged us horribly!
I think small children is just hard. I wasn’t ready when I was younger, so it’s a bit of a non starter.
I’m stopping at 1 though, I think another would break me...
I feel the exact same at 29... I honestly feel 10 years older right now. I’m hoping someone will be along to tell me it gets better
This probably won’t make you feel any better but I felt like this when I had my kids and I was early twenties. No arthritis but back pain from carrying them too. However, when I’m 40 the older one will be 18 💪
Kids age you by a decade or more! Or at least that show it feels.
Babies and toddler are tiring. It does get easier as they get older, and more independent.
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