lifestyle

Age has nothing to do with being a great parent.

By REBECCA SPARROW

Oh shut up.

That’s what I feel like saying today.

Shut up. Shut your cake holes. Stop talking.

You see last night Channel Nine’s Sonia Kruger made an announcement that none of us saw coming.

She tweeted the following:

I read that announcement and fell off my chair.

And then once I’d, err, composed myself, I wanted to do a happy dance.

SONIA KRUGER IS PREGNANT! HOORAY!

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know Sonia. I don’t need to. What I do know is that like so many of my own girlfriends, Sonia Kruger has for years desperately longed to be a mum.

She’s endured countless cycles of failed IVF attempts and the devastation of miscarriages. And now Sonia Kruger is having a baby! And I couldn’t be more delighted.

Sonia on the cover of the Tele today: ‘Pregnant at 48″

But of course not everyone is happy because – get ready to clutch your pearls – Sonia turns 49 this week.

Apparently that makes her “too old”.

And social media is already at full throttle with snark and snide remarks.

“Forty-nine!” they sniff. “I wouldn’t want a baby at 49! She’ll be 71 at the child’s 21st birthday!”

“For Pete’s sake, where’s the cut-off for IVF? It shouldn’t be allowed past 45.”

“It’s selfish,” say others. “She’s not thinking of the poor baby.”

Poor baby?

Hang on, WHAT?

Can’t we just put the pitchforks down for once and be happy for someone who is sharing good news? At a time when the news cycle is so unbearably bleak, when life seems so utterly grim – can’t we grab these moments of joy and just be happy for someone else?

Apparently not.

So then let me say this to the naysayers and snarks who are currently bitching and moaning about Sonia Kruger: Stick a sock in it.

Being a good parent has nothing to do with age. NOTHING.

It’s irrelevant whether you are 19 or 49. It doesn’t matter if you have a university degree or dropped out of school at 15. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read all the books, babysat your whole life, live in a one-bedroom flat or have a king’s ransom at your disposal.

When push comes to shove that stuff counts for nothing.

Bec with her son Quincy: “Being a good parent has little to do with age”

A great parent is a parent who is prepared to show up. Show up to hospital emergency rooms at 11pm and soccer games at seven, to parent-teacher nights, award ceremonies and school plays that seem to go forever. A great parent is the one who is at their little one’s bedside at midnight when bad dreams come to call.

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A great parent is willing and importantly ready to put someone else first. It’s walking the halls at 1am and 3am and 4.15am and 4.47am with a fractious newborn and knowing that tomorrow night will be exactly the same. It’s slowing down and finding the patience on walks to the park as every leaf and rock and – yes, bit of rubbish – is looked at and queried as you make your way at a snail’s pace knowing there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.

It’s about knowing that some days you just have to surrender that to-do list and give yourself over to building a fort or baking a cake or curling up with Winnie-The-Pooh. All the while you remind yourself that the days are long but the years are short.

It’s about leading by example, riding out the tantrums, setting boundaries and hardest of all saying no when the easy way out is a yes.

It’s about teaching gratitude and empathy and making a commitment to bring into the world a child who is compassionate and gracious and who will leave this earth a better place.

Of course there are benefits to being a younger mum, in the same way there are benefits to being older.

But in the end – all that falls to the wayside.

Being a good parent has little to do with age. And everything to do with effort. Commitment. Love.

Sonia.

When any woman who so desperately longs for a baby is finally able to achieve that dream – whether it’s by natural conception, IVF, donor eggs, a surrogate, adoption or fostering a child – I want to cheer for them and wish them well.

Motherhood has been and continues to be the best experience I have ever had. It is my most fulfilling and proudest accomplishment. Hands down, my greatest joy.

Poor baby?

Please. After so many years of trying, CLEARLY Sonia and Craig’s baby is so very, very wanted and will be so very, very loved.

And frankly, if Barrack Obama can run the United States of America at the age of 53. Sonia Kruger can be a mum at 49. And a glorious one to boot.

Sonia Kruger isn’t the first celebrity to have a baby later in life. Take a look at the others: 

 

Agree with Bec? Leave some parenting tips for Sonia below.

NOTE: Mamamia is a news and opinion site and this is one opinion. We are always looking for more, particularly from women who have a first hand experience of  situation like this. Do you? Want to tell your story? Email: [email protected]mamamia.com.au