A NETWORK FOR OLDER MOTHERS

Make text smaller Make text larger

I'm over 40. Everyone knows that but still people bombard me with the question: "When are you going to have children?" What I find even more surprising is that most of the people who ask me this are seniors. Maybe it has got something to do with knowing me as a child and not fully realising my age, because I thought surely in their day women my age were not still having babies.

But there is a trend of women starting their families later in life and while I was not able to get local statistics, women I spoke with said they felt it is also happening in Bermuda.

Marie-Louise Watson had her first child at 40 and her second at 41. "That's it for me," she said pointing out a major difference between mothers over 35 and those younger. "They have different issues. They are thinking about having other children and you know that's it for me."

  • <B>Our mom:</B> Marie-Louise Watson, pictured with daughters Katy and Pheobe, said she’s lucky that she looks young. A frequent complaint of mothers over 35 is that they are mistaken as the grandmothers of their children.

    Our mom: Marie-Louise Watson, pictured with daughters Katy and Pheobe, said she’s lucky that she looks young. A frequent complaint of mothers over 35 is that they are mistaken as the grandmothers of their children.


I'm over 40. Everyone knows that but still people bombard me with the question: "When are you going to have children?" What I find even more surprising is that most of the people who ask me this are seniors. Maybe it has got something to do with knowing me as a child and not fully realising my age, because I thought surely in their day women my age were not still having babies.

But there is a trend of women starting their families later in life and while I was not able to get local statistics, women I spoke with said they felt it is also happening in Bermuda.

Marie-Louise Watson had her first child at 40 and her second at 41. "That's it for me," she said pointing out a major difference between mothers over 35 and those younger. "They have different issues. They are thinking about having other children and you know that's it for me."

While the joys of being a new mother may be very similar, Mrs. Watson said being older has put her in a different cultural category. For example her music taste can be worlds apart from mothers under 35.

"You're coming from a different cultural history at times," she said. "There's things you share but definitely there are things that are different."

To help connect with mothers of her era, Mrs. Watson said she has decided to test Bermuda waters for interest. Willing to start a Bermuda chapter of the American network "Motherhood Later Rather Than Sooner", Mrs. Watson, has set up a dedicated e-mail address to field input from older mothers on the Island.

She said she has no plans on what form the connection should take.

"It could be that we meet, that we only e-mail each other, that we do a blog or maybe there won't be any interest at all," she laughed. "I'm completely open. I don't know the form it will take."

In New York, Robin Gorman Newman, founder of the organisation, plans play dates, moms' night out dinners and weekend family outings for group members.

Mrs. Watson said she learned about "Motherhood Later Rather Than Sooner" while browsing the Internet.

"It's a funny story really," she said. "When we moved to Bermuda in March, I broke my ankle trying to get my child off the stairs. I had a lot of time on my hands and was limited in what I could do. I searched for things on the Internet and found the website."

Mrs. Watson found the site helpful and said it occurred to her that others in Bermuda might be having similar experiences they wanted to share. She said her mother had her when she was young and had always told her that being a mother is exhausting. "But I didn't realise how exhausting it really is," she said.

Unclear as to whether she feels extra tired because of her age or if she would have felt the same way had she had her children earlier, Mrs. Watson said the extent of the fatigue still truly surprises her. "The exhaustion is more than I thought it would be and I was always sporty," she said. "But having the kids wasn't hard at all it was much easier than I thought it would be. Sometimes I think I should write a book on how much they try and scare you before."

It could be the life experience that exists with women who decide to have children later in their lives pales in comparison to childbirth. Mrs. Watson said she had been a professional in the financial services industry for many years.

Women with such experience at organising their private and professional lives may approach having and raising children in much the same way they have run their lives. But Mrs. Watson said the two are quite different.

She said that as a professional you might have achieved a high level of responsibility, but that the feeling was all consuming when she became a mother. "It is an awesome sense of responsibility," she said. "Really, you are responsible for everything about them. Responsible about their manners, how they think, how clean they are. It is more consuming."

Motherhood later has chapters in Fairfield County, Connecticut; Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles and San Francisco California; St. Charles, Missouri; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; New Jersey; and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. To join the Bermuda chapter, contact Marie Watson at shastamaryland@aol.com.

  • Take Our Poll

    • When will Michael Dunkley call the next General Election?
    • May
    • 5%
    • August
    • 25%
    • December
    • 70%
    • Total Votes: 6589
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries