Easy, relax, I’m not preggers. I just wanted to get your attention.
Actually, I couldn’t be further away from becoming a mom again. You know, grown kids and all. But I’ll be honest and admit that sometimes I wonder if I could do it all over again if it happened at this point in my life.
I mean, what if? What if, in spite of the, shall we say, precautions we’ve taken to close that door forever, there was a teensy, tiny space under the doorjamb that was invisible to the naked eye and something snuck in? We’d welcome it for sure, but, damn that would be a kick in the ass. Cause even though having a baby after you’ve already had a couple is basically just a whole bunch of muscle memory, it’d still be a lot to get your mind around, especially when you’ve got an AARP card in your wallet.
Now the only reason why I’m even thinking about this little scenario is because my oldest daughter called from college this morning to say hi and I just happened to mention that I was getting an ultrasound tomorrow. And before the full word even entered her airspace, her mind automatically assumed baby. And she freaked. Then she asked if there was something I needed to tell her, to which I laughed and said no.
I told her she’d lost her mind if she thought, for even a second, that Dave and I could be pregnant again and that she had nothing to worry about. The ultrasound was for my shoulder. But, of course, it sent me straight down the rabbit hole of what the hell what I do if I found out I was pregnant at this point in my life? And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t follow those rabbit holes all the way to the end to see where they led.
So, after I hung up the phone with her, I asked myself the obvious question… What would I do if I found out I was having a baby at this stage of my life? And by “this stage,” I mean over fifty, with two grown kids in college and a muuuuch smaller mortgage than when we started out twenty-five years ago. Because I’ll be honest, sometimes it feels like my girls were just three and five last night. While other days I feel so far away from that time in my life when I was pregnant and raising little kids, that it almost feels like it happened to someone else. It’s only when I stumble on some old photo of me wearing Dave’s chinos with a rubber band looped through the button hole to add some extra girth, that it all comes flooding back to me.
It’s funny, though, that when our kids are finally grown and taking care of themselves, we long to be with the cute and cuddly little people they used to be when they were young. Like, there are times (more often than I’m comfortable admitting) when I genuinely miss those sweet little humans and wish that when I opened their bedroom door on a Sunday morning, their tiny toddler bodies would squirm out from under their comforters and divebomb into my bed. But then, almost as soon as that thought creeps into my head, the other half of my brain starts screaming, You wouldn’t even remember what the hell to do with them if they were little again! And there’s some real truth to that, cause I’m not sure that I would.
Because, while I definitely think I’ve got more wisdom and experience to pass along at this stage of the game, I also wonder things like, would I even be able to co-exist with the young moms out there without trying to parent them too? Would I be able to catch a runaway stroller now that my sprinting game is subpar? Would I be able to make it to my baby’s bedtime without falling asleep first and drooling all over myself? These are the things that concern me.
I don’t know, there are pros and cons to everything, right? Like, if I had to start again from this point, I think I’d instinctively just let a lot of things go that I sweated over the first time around. Like, I really don’t think I’d care how other parents were raising their kids because I’m super solid doing my own thing at this age. And I think I’d learn to step back sooner when my kids are being a-holes because that usually leads to a quicker reconciliation.
One thing I do know is that if that kind of a surprise happened, we’d figure it out and find our way, just like we did the first time. Only this time would just be a different kind of finding our way. Something I know for sure, though, is that my swaddle game would be unmatched by any new moms just starting out, so I’d have that going for me. Wonder what Dave would think about all this? Hang on, lemme ask him…
Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. She writes the nationally syndicated opinion column It Is What It Is and is the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is and Untying Parent Anxiety: 18 Myths That Have You in Knots—And How to Get Free, available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and at select bookstores everywhere. Lisa is also a MentorMama at SocialMama, the networking app for moms. Read and discuss all her columns and books at lisasugarman.com. Or, find them on GrownAndFlown.com, Hot Moms Club, LittleThings.com, MommingHubb.com, More Content Now, Wickedlocal.com, This Mama Wines, and Care.com.