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The number of older moms is on the rise. More women are waiting until their thirties and forties to have babies, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control. Before waiting until you're out of your twenties to have a baby becomes the newest cog in the Mommy Wars machine, you still have to consider the unique struggles and benefits older parents face. First, consider the number of pluses of being an older parent.
The first is financial security. Older parents who've... waited to have children have probably spent most of their lives working. They've climbed the corporate ladder, received those promotions and are financially ready to raise children. This financial security helps defray the high costs of raising a child but also allows parents to be prepared for both unexpected expenses as well as college tuition.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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More Time to Spend with the Kids
With financial security can come more time to spend with the kids. Those countless hours and late nights at the office usually equate to a lot of accumulated vacation time and personal days. Even if mom gives up her job to become a stay-at-home mom, dad can have several weeks of time to take off for family vacations or to help out at home when the kids are sick. Those extra days add up when you compare them to a younger parent who may only get five paid days off of work per year.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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A Greater Appreciation for Being a Parent
If you've been waiting most of your life to have a baby, your appreciation for that child grows even deeper once she arrives. In fact, a recent study found that older parents tend to be more positive in their parenting roles. That positive parenting attitude showed those kids grew up to have less behavioral, social or emotional difficulties. Older parents usually spend years, even decades, planning for their babies, saving money to spend on their babies and simply dreaming about their future... children, which may give them a greater appreciation of the joys of parenthood once that baby is in their arms.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Kids are wonderful, miraculous beings. They can also put even the strongest relationships to the test. It's easy to lash out at your spouse because your fussy baby has kept you up all night or your once-sweet child has suddenly decided to turn into the smart-aleck teenager you used to be. Most older parents have been together a while and are experts at supporting each otherthrough a number of difficult situations. They may have waited to have children, but they know their own strengths and... weakness as individuals as well as a couple and that can play to their advantage over a younger couple who may not have been together as long and weathered as many storms.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Decades More Life Experience
Younger and older parents have the same experience as a mom or dad before their first child is born: zero. However, older parents have decades more life experience. An older parent tends to approach parenthood with more maturity based on both age and that life experience. There are a number of perks that come with the extra years of being an adult, including knowing who you are as a person, not feeling like you've missed anything in your life because you had children so young and being able... to handle medical, school and day-to-day situations with less drama, more knowledge and a calmness that just comes with age and experiencing so many years of life.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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There are plenty of downsides older parents face as well, such as a generations, yes, generations gap. When she's graduating high school, you'll be the age of most other kids' grandparents.
But not only are you a generation older, more than likely you're generations older than your child. Even parents in their twenties sometimes feel out of touch with what's going on today when it comes to their children. But older parents are three to four decades apart from their kids,... making their generations gap even larger.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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You may not want to admit it, but you've been on the planet a long time. You're pretty tired, and that exhaustion will be magnified once you have kids. As babies turn into toddlers and toddlers turn into sprinting kids, you'll be wishing someone would put you down for a nap. Kids have endless energy, and, unfortunately, grown-ups, especially older ones, don't. You're more prone to experience exhaustion like you've never known before if you're an older parent.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Not only do you have to worry about you and your baby's health as an older pregnant mom, but you also have to be concerned about your health once your children are born. Of course, parents of any age can face health issues, but older parents are at an increased risk of medical problems simply because they're aging. You're also slowing down, getting tired more often and sometimes just need to take a physical break more than your younger parent counterparts.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Being Set in Your Ways
You and your spouse have pretty much done everything your way for a long time now. You're set in your ways, and now there are these tiny people who are tearing up the house that used to be spotless as well as interrupting your scheduled plans with public tantrums that cause you to have to leave your favorite places early. Being an older parent requires many adjustments to the life you once knew since you've been living without kids for so long.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Taking Care of Your Own Parents While Raising Kids
Older parents may find themselves raising young children and caring for their own elderly parents at the same time. It's so common, it's even got a name: the Sandwich Generation. Your time has to be split between caring for everyone, and that can leave you with a more hectic, emotionally and physically draining lifestyle than a mom who's in her twenties. Younger parents may also be able to drop their kids off with the grandparents, but your children's grandparents could easily be... in their late seventies or eighties and unable to care for a young child.