Should You Become an Old Mom? This Easy Questionnaire Will Help You Decide

Much easier than doing all this. (Image: Lukas/Pexels)

Hello there, fellow aged woman. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a lady in her late 30s or early 40s who is considering becoming a mom. (Or perhaps you’re younger or older, which is also fine, and welcome. I am not the judge of how old “old” is. I’m just here to help.)

In any case, if you’re here, you’re probably wondering, “Should I become a mom, at my advanced age?” Perhaps you’ve done some Googling of this question, and found a lot of cheery articles about how older moms are full of wisdom and patience, but also scary articles about how your eggs have long, gray beards and how your knees and hips are too creaky to support you as you lurch after children, whether you give birth or use a surrogate or adopt or foster.

Maybe your family and friends have been weighing in on the topic, possibly for decades at this point, alternately begging you to procreate and frightening you with stories of their own hellish-sounding parenthood experiences.

I have been there. I spent a good 10 years steeped in maternal ambivalence, craving and fearing motherhood in equal measure. Then, I decided to try for a baby anyway, only to have trouble conceiving and embark on a humbling (and expensive) fertility treatment odyssey — all the while still worrying that I was making a mistake.

Now I have a baby, and I know for sure that I did the right thing. However, yikes, there were times there, even while I was blissfully pregnant, when I thought, “Hey, ha ha, what if it turns out I hate being a mom? WHAT THEN?”

Well, I didn’t. And because everyone who’s been through a thing is now an expert, thanks to the internet and participation trophies, I’m here to help you decide whether you should try to have a baby, too.

Here goes.

1. Do you like being clean? OK, but how clean and how much do you like it?

Because you will be filthy once you have a kid. Just covered in schmutz from head to toe, all day, every day. It will be your new state. I have seriously not been this dirty since Girl Scout camp in the fifth grade, and we were only allowed to shower once a week. Yesterday, at the playground, a stranger removed a Cheerio from my hair. We did not have Cheerios with us on that particular outing. It could have been there for days. DAYS, I TELL YOU.

2. Do you like having money?

Because you won’t have any of that, and not just because kids are expensive. Because you’ll earn a lot less of it, one way or the other. I’m a freelancer, so I naively thought I’d be able to keep up my workload while the baby was napping and after she went to bed. Then I had a baby and discovered that they do not nap and they never go to bed. And now I am typing this to you while wearing a barrel held up by suspenders.

3. What’s your idea of a good time?

Before we decided to go all in on trying to have a baby, I talked to many moms and dads about their experiences of parenthood. I hoped this would help me decide. Mostly, it just scared me. But one time my sister pointed out that all my husband and I like to do is go to the aquarium and eat french fries and that these are child-friendly activities. Once I realized that my Saturdays wouldn’t change that much, I felt a lot more positive about my future social life as a mom.

However, perhaps you enjoy drinking rare tequilas on a drug dealer’s yacht. Then maybe you should put off having kids until you’re done doing that.

4. Do you understand that most people are full of shit most of the time?

If you, like me, decide to poll your friends about their parenthood experiences, you should remember that most people are terrific drama queens who are starring in the movie of their life in their own head. I’m including myself here, of course. So when your friend tells you that they’re perpetually covered in juice and graham cracker crumbs and they have to beg for bus fare and they sleep for 45 minutes a night, remember that everyone loves to make up stories in which they’re a soot-smeared urchin with improbably fabulous hair, and take it with a grain of salt.

5. Do you want a kid?

Don’t think about it. Just answer.

There you go. That’s your answer.

Note: This article was written by a person who does not know anything. Her only degree, which she attained in the 20th century, is a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Language and Literature. She’s literally only qualified to read and make things up. So, you know, consider the source.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Written by

I’m an Old Mom. Most of my stuff is about parenting and careers. I’m trying to write every day in November.

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