Posted: Mar 28, 2013 11:00 AM
 
My daughters have the oldest mother among all of their friends, and that's something that I'm proud of. While my high school classmates are becoming grandmothers, I'm being a GRAND mother to my school-age children.

Like Mom, and then some

She encouraged me to take advantages of the opportunities she never had.

When I was a little girl, my mother (like most women) was a stay-at-home mom. I was inspired by Mom and looked forward to the days when I would stay home with my kids — living, learning and loving.

But Mom wanted to be more than just an example to me. She encouraged me to take advantages of the opportunities she never had. Becoming a happy, contented mother was a great goal... after I experienced all of the wonderful things the world had to offer.

Married, without children

By the time I walked down the aisle at age 25, most of my classmates and childhood friends were old married folks with kids. They went directly from living at home with their parents to becoming parents themselves.

For me, marriage didn't mean instant family. Instead, it presented an opportunity for my husband and me to enjoy being a couple while building an amazing foundation on which we would one day start that family.

Sowing our wild oats

Being an older mom means I had plenty of time to be selfish and do exactly what I wanted with my life while I was in my 20s and early 30s.

I had plenty of time to be selfish and do exactly what I wanted with my life while I was in my 20s and early 30s.

We were newlyweds for seven years — going out, vacationing and living life to the fullest. We built our professional lives through exciting careers with plenty of growth opportunities. And we invested money, paid off debts and built a beautiful home.

We enjoyed the years we spent together as a couple — and I knew more than ever that my beloved would be an amazing father.

Pushing 50

Our first child arrived during that seventh year and our second daughter arrived five years later. Now, one is in high school, the other is in elementary school and I'm pushing 50.

Since I lived it up before they arrived, it's now easy for me to focus on my kids and on being their mom. I am knee deep in music lessons and class trips while other women my age are becoming grandmothers.

Giving our kids more

I've been able to stay at home with our kids for more than 16 years now. I've never had to drop them at daycare or miss a milestone because I was at the office.

Because we planned, worked, built and saved, we positioned ourselves to be better providers for our children. For one, I've been able to stay at home with our kids for more than 16 years now. I've never had to drop them at daycare or miss a milestone because I was at the office.

If we had become parents before we were financially prepared, we wouldn't have been able to provide for our children the way we do. Either I would have stayed home and we'd miss out on the fun extras — dabbling in fashion trends, taking advantage of pricey activities, going on fabulous family vacations — or I would have worked outside the home and missed out on the irreplaceable quality time we've enjoyed.

The best gift

The most important thing my husband and I can do for our kids is to love each other. Not only did we truly get to know each other in the years before the girls arrived, we also positioned ourselves to avoid the bitter money disputes that often divide parents and break up families.

Family finances are grown-up business that should not affect children. As older parents, we made sure those things were in place so they wouldn't worry or burden our children, who have more far more interesting things to worry about.

No mid-life crisis

I'm so much smarter now than I was 20 or 30 years ago, and I attribute that to having lived a full life.

I'm so much smarter now than I was 20 or 30 years ago, and I attribute that to having lived a full life. Those women who are my age but started their families much earlier seem to be trying to make up for lost time. They're working hard and partying harder, as if they might not have the chance to get it all in.

Like Mom, but better

While our kids are at school, I'm able to work from home. It's financially and professionally rewarding, but more importantly it sets an example for the girls. They know that Mom had a life before they arrived, and we talk about that a lot.

Just as I was inspired by my mom, I hope that our children will be inspired by me... and then aim to do even more.

Think having kids while you're young is a better plan? Another AllParenting writer shares why she was glad to be a young mom >>

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