Kindly people often tell me that I should change the name of my blog. That the ‘wrinkle wrinkle’ bit is unjustified. Of course, I do the whole ‘Aww, thank you. You’re too sweet.’ thing, but the name is sticking for a reason, well, a few reasons actually. Let me explain…
Wrinkles at Thirty
I’m not blind to the fact that I am actually quite wrinkly. It doesn’t bother me, most of the time. I have a deep ‘lion wrinkle’ on my forehead as a result of having eye issues and sight-saving surgery a few years back. At the end of the day I’m thankful for that wrinkle and what it represents. My eyes crinkle when I smile, and I have saggy creases round my cheek and chin(s) too. I think it’s a hereditary thing from my dad’s side of the family and it’s not something that overly bothers me really.
Wrinkle Wrinkle Little Star is also a play on words for the popular nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but I’m guessing you’d figured that out.
I was pregnant with my first (and so far only) child at 34 and gave birth at 35, which by NHS standards makes me an older (and ‘high risk’) mother! I knew this and even read a few books on the topic prior to conceiving. Fortunately, it was never really mentioned during my pregnancy journey and it was only once I’d popped baby out that I was reminded of my ‘older mum’ status.
The first instance was just before I was due to be discharged from the maternity ward. The midwife was sorting my paperwork and looking into what drugs I would need on discharge when she mentioned something about an injection I would need to do at home. Up until this point this had never been mentioned so I queried it. It turns out you’re rated on a scale to see how likely it is that you may develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) post-delivery, if you’re high risk you have the enviable joy of injecting yourself just a few days after having a small human removed from your insides – such fun! Fortunately, I was ‘OK’ as, as the midwife put it, ‘The only area you scored highly on was being an older mother.’ Charming…
A few days later I was to meet a similar reminder from a community midwife who popped in at the height of the baby blues. Anyone who has had a baby will be only too aware of that day when you just can’t stop crying, but you have absolutely no idea why… Unfortunately mine coincided with the decision to start combination feeding, so my post-partum meltdown was extreme to say the least. Through tears I explained how I felt like a failure for having to use formula (I’ll go into my breastfeeding story in a future post). The midwife first reassured me that it was fine, that they didn’t care how the baby was fed so long as it was fed (slightly contradictory advice to all of their ante-natal advice, but hey ho, that’s for another day too). She then explained that ‘older mothers’ often found having a baby more difficult than younger mum’s as older mother’s are used to having more control over their lives. Now, there is a sentiment of truth in this, especially for a control freak like me, but it is also a gross generalisation and certainly not what a hormonal post-partum woman who is in tears and trying to deal with leaky sore bosoms whilst figuring out how to use the damn steriliser needs to hear.
Since then I’ve had ample reminders. Certain baby groups are full of mother’s so young they’re barely out of Pampers themselves. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it can make socialising a little more challenging. Thankfully I have lots of mum friends, who although don’t fall into the official realms of ‘older mum’ territory are old enough to understand my references to late 80s and 90s popular culture, although our memories of children’s TV from ‘our era’ can vary massively.
One dad at soft play, who was frankly a bit creepy, seemed astonished when I told him Elliott was my first and that I would like to have more someday. He actually said ‘Really..?’ with a look on his face that said, ‘well you’d better hurry up chuck’. I should probably point out that he was with the mother of his children and I was talking to both of them, this wasn’t some random man offering to impregnate me in the middle of a ball pit in Brierley Hill. Eugh!
The media has few ‘older mum’ role models. YouTube has a few beauties. The brilliant Brummy Mummy of Two being one of them, although her channel name would suggest that her baby making days are over. Ruth Crilly of The Uphill is another good ‘un. But, certainly, when I first got pregnant and looked for pregnancy announcements and trimester updates on the web I was greeted with a host of fresh-faced twenty-somethings who I just couldn’t relate to.
I found this telling quote in Right Time Baby (a book I read before we started trying for Elliott), it says:
For most of us a sense of urgency kicks in around 35 – the age when Carrie in Sex and the City claims she is ‘officially old’.
The book goes on to say…
There’s a scene in Friends where Rachel dumps her boyfriend at her 30th birthday party. She announces she wants to have a baby by 35, and calculates that she should already be with the guy she’s going to marry if she wants this five-year plan to work.
So, that’s ‘my thing’, my USP, the reason behind my blog name. I’m an older mum. Sometimes it bothers me, most of the time I don’t even think about it. There are some plus points and disadvantages to being the ‘wrong side of 30’ but that’s for another time. In the meantime I’m happy to be a face for us ‘geriatric mum’s’ out there, wrinkles and all!
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Thanks for reading x