Four Children in Her Forties

Deborah Booth spent her twenties seeing the world as a flight attendant, and then it took her longer than she thought to get pregnant. When it finally happened, she was pushing 40. Ecstatic, she had four children in all.

Four in her fortiesIn Her Own Words:

Sure, there are challenges to mothering at this stage of life. While for the most part I didn’t pay much attention to the age difference, I envied the younger mothers the help they had from their own moms, juggling babies at the doctor’s office, helping spell them off for child-free excursions and just being there to dote on their grandchildren, delight in their development and remember their birthdays. Similarly, having my kids when I did means I’m at a different stage of life then my friends, most of whom have grown children (some even have grandchildren) and who are looking forward to retiring. And, of course, there were a few moments when I wondered if I would have been a little less tired if I had tried to do this 10 years earlier.

But I actually feel that age can enhance child rearing because one has more life experience to draw from. By the time I became a mom, I had travelled more and dealt with more changes than the average first-time parent. I felt blessed that I had had a good 17 years to enjoy my career before I had the kids. And while it might be a surprising thing to note as a plus, I actually felt that, despite the four-foot-long needles, the amnios I had for each child (recommended because of my age) really eliminated a lot of fear, allowing me to enjoy my pregnancies more.

Perhaps the best thing of all, though, is that having children when you’re older helps you stay young. You find yourself going down water slides, playing the odd game of tennis, and enjoying the challenge of making a castle out of a box of Cheerios or spending the evening brushing up on the First World War. And the children keep you up on what’s happening in music, popular culture and the current lingo — because who wants to be, like, so last Thursday?

Deborah Booth lives in Windsor. She now has three teens and a 12-year-old.

Waited until your forties? Canadian Family says:

1. Just because you’re technically an “older” mother doesn’t mean you have to feel or act that way. You can still have plenty of energy.

2. All of your varied life experiences (traveling, education) can help enhance raising your children.

3.Your own mother may not be as able to help out as much as some younger grandmothers, but you can seek out others—friends or other relatives—for support.

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