Posted: Oct 21, 2012 8:00 AM
Whether it’s by choice or due to infertility, more women are becoming moms well into their 30s and 40s. And guess what? Even though the journey to getting there might have been rocky, there are many benefits to starting a family later in life.

What is a midlife mom?

By definition, a midlife mom is a woman who has a baby when she's over the age of 35. According to Psychology Today, 40 is the new 20 for having babies. And while the average age of a woman who gives birth in the U.S. is 29 (not 49), statistics show that the number of women having babies after 40 has quadrupled.

A simple Google search of midlife mom brings up hundreds of blogs, websites and articles and you very quickly see what a large group of moms this really is. Scrolling through, you'll come across a ton of support groups including Motherhood Later Rather than Sooner, a worldwide community/blog/news destination for 35+ moms founded by Robin Gorman Newman.

So why is being a midlife mom a good thing?

Know themselves better as people, and are ready to share their lives because they’ve lived fully prior to parenthood.

When you hear midlife you might think crisis, but being a midlife mom is far from a bad thing. In fact, if you ask any woman of advanced maternal age (including me who had her first daughter when I was 38) why waiting is a good thing, they will give you a ton of reasons.

Like Toni Coleman, psychotherapist, life coach and midlife mom who had her first of four kids at 38.

What are the benefits? Why wait?

Coleman says there are many benefits to waiting for motherhood:

  • Midlife moms tend to have already established a career, finished school and/or had enough work experience to not have these things conflict as much with the demands that having a baby bring.
  • They may feel freer to take time out to be a full-time mom (if that is what a couple decides) because they are more confident about their careers and ability to return to work later if that is what they want to do at that time.
  • The couple are probably more financially stable and settled. They have more emotional maturity/life experience to deal with the challenges of life with children.

Gorman Newman, who refers to a 35+ woman who has a baby as a later in life mom, adds, "They have more life experience, and thus typically know what's most important at the end of the day, such as not sweating the small stuff. They have more wisdom to share. Know themselves better as people, and are ready to share their lives because they've lived fully prior to parenthood."

"Later in life moms are some of the most grateful women I know, since it's likely their road to parenting was a challenging one. Whether they faced fertility issues, pursued adoption, took some time to find the right partner, decided to go the single parent route, etc."

Midlife celebrity moms

Hollywood has also seen its share of moms over 35:

  • Halle Berry had her daughter at 41
  • Jennifer Lopez had twins at 38
  • Uma Thurman got pregnant at 41
  • Kelly Preston got pregnant at 48
  • Salma Hayek was 41 when she had her daughter
  • Maria Carey had twins at 41

And the list goes on and on and on... Here's to the midlife mom!

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