'I feel a tad alienated.' Katie is an older mum. Here's what she wants you to know.

It’s another ordinary day. I’m picking up my daughter four-year-old from kinder, and it's happening again. 

The same mums (in their Lorna Jane activewear, holding their disposable coffee cups) instantly gravitate towards each other.

They start to chat while unconsciously (or consciously) turning inwards to form an exclusive circle that no-one else can enter. 

They were all wearing pink tops, instantly making me think of the movie Mean Girls, the Plastics, and their strict dress code for each day of the week. 

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As an introvert, I often keep to myself. I usually struggle with small talk in groups, however I can't help but take this clique a little personally. Why aren't I part of it?

After ruminating about it for quite some time, I have come to a simple conclusion: they are all young mums, and when I say 'young', I mean women who would’ve become mums somewhere in their 20s or early 30s at the latest.

I am a working mum who had my first child when I was 38, then had my second (and last) child at 40. I know I'm not a total anomaly but I do feel a tad alienated. 


I spent the majority of my 20s and early 30s enjoying my life, hanging with friends, pursuing a career (I was a teacher - and still am after 15 years) and travelling the world.

When I started to think about kids, I knew I wasn’t prepared to be a single mum who had a child via a sperm donor - kudos to those who were brave enough to go down that path when no-other option seems viable.

So, I waited, and it wasn't until my mid-30s that I met my person and got married.

We wanted some time to establish ourselves as a married couple before becoming parents. We started trying when I was 37, and spent an agonising nine months trying to get pregnant, before we started to consider IVF.

Luckily, we didn't have to go there as I would have struggled with the emotional and financial ordeal of trying to get pregnant that way).

Does all this sound familiar? It might well do. The last time I checked, women are choosing to have children at a later age, and in 2020, the average age to have a first time baby was somewhere between 30-34 years. However, as an older mum, I still feel alone in this journey because I can’t seem to find many other women who had to wait as long as I did. 

I’m not saying that I can’t engage with younger mums, but in terms of maturity and life experience, it would be great to have a friend of a similar age to do 'mum life' with.

Here are some of the things I want you to know about being an older mother: 

Image: Supplied


1. You will feel alienated and alone sometimes. 

You must have heard the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?"

Well, it's absolutely true. 

When I had my daughter, I was given torrents of advice, presents and second-hand clothes in her first year. It was my closest friends who I grew up with who always came through and were never hesitant to share their pearls of wisdom. 

While this was wonderful, the problem was, they were all at different stages of their parenting journey - some had toddlers, others had teens. 

I even had friends whose children had left home and they were having evenings out enjoying their new freedom, while I was collapsing in front of Netflix every evening. 


You will also start to lose contact with people you used to hang out with before becoming a mum. For some, it’s not deliberate, while for others, it might be. They may struggle to identify with your new role and just move onto the next free, fun friend. 

With that said, you will probably find you have some friends who will be in your corner to the very end, regardless of whether they have kids who are battling raging hormones, who have left the nest, or if they don't have kids at all. 

2. The tiredness can be overwhelming.

I actually think I read this in a book when I was pregnant, and I just shrugged it off like, “I’ve got this!” However, once my second child started learning how to walk, I felt like a zombie by the end of every day. 

I don’t want to negate the struggle younger mums have to go through with fatigue, but being a bit older certainly doesn't help with this. 

Thankfully, both my kids are good sleepers and sometimes I can even squeeze in a nap later in the day. 

Image: Supplied


3. The older you get, the more internal you become.

When I hear stories of mums who have kept in contact with those who they met at mum’s group over a period of many years, it makes my teeth grind. 

When I attended my first time mum’s group, there were only three of us (including myself) and we were all roughly the same age, so jackpot!

However, when the time came to exchange phone numbers, nothing happened! I did reach out to them once because I was hosting a housewarming, and I thought I’d invite them to come along, yet one of them had another engagement, while the other didn’t get my message until after the event. 

The other thing with older mums is that because they had children at a later age, they have often spent years investing in their careers, buying homes, and building secure futures. 

And with that financial security also comes responsibility. Most of us still have to hold down jobs and keep up the mortgage payments, while juggling motherhood, meaning there is little time for socialising. 


I also think that because older mums have “done” life more, they may be more emotionally, mentally and even financially equipped to brave the storms of being a mum, as opposed to younger mums who may struggle with the reality of it all. 

I don’t mean to put people in boxes, but with that said, sometimes it helps to at least have someone to talk to when things get too much. That’s what happened when I decided to see a counsellor while dealing with the “baby blues” after having my first.

4. Whenever you decide to do it, you will never regret it.

I have often agonised over whether or not it was smart of me to have children as late as I did. 

My mum was 24 when she had me, and she had my older sister at 17. As a teen mum, she didn't have much chance to experience what life had to offer until we were both much older. 

If I had done the same thing, I likely wouldn’t have had the same level of resilience, financial security, humour and wisdom I had at 38. 

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I'm glad I had the opportunity to go to university, see the world, a buy a house and have my career as a teacher, before becoming a mum. 

So the next time, I come and pick up my daughter from kinder, I can just swagger in knowing I have what it takes, regardless of my age.

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