How will the relations with the child of Mature parents, it will be easier to give birth on top of a career, how to really react husband to the beautiful news and can the grandmother to help with her grandson as cons of late parenthood can turn into advantages and Vice versa.
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In my last year of College, I worked on the helpline for an unplanned pregnancy. The phone rang of a woman on the verge of making the decision to keep the baby or not. Common causes doubt – a low income, the lack of support for partner and family. But women often thought about terminating the pregnancy due to age: “I’m 40 years – where are my children”.
Age of first birth in Russia is gradually increasing. According to Rosstat, in the last two decades, it increased by 5.5 years. Many women postpone parenthood, trying to get a good education and build a career. Reproductive technologies allow to realize the dream of parenthood at any age. 5 years ago I conducted a research study in a major medical center where people come to be treated couples from across the country. I studied the peculiarities of formation of the parent position in women who underwent IVF procedure. In my sample of 300 participants of the “adult” Mama was a woman 49 years.
In Europe the age of the first child has long passed the border in 30 years. In our society there are similar processes. But, many women experience anxiety and doubts – whether to postpone the birth of a child? If the pregnancy happened at 38-40 years – to decide whether to motherhood? Doctors have their opinions about “good age” for first birth. And what are the characteristics of “late” parenthood from a psychological point of view?
1. Relationship with the child
Somehow my friend was preparing to leave three-month-old daughter-in-law for a couple of hours. Mother-in-law was very worried, doubted if I can. A friend was surprised: “You son – you have experience, just do it.” – “Yes, but it almost since birth was to my mom. I had to learn to work.”
Yelena Igorevna Zakharova – the doctor of psychological science explores the psychology of motherhood for over 20 years. She writes that older women are less likely to be feeling that they miss something important while I am on maternity leave. They quietly dedicate time to the care of the baby.
Mothers and fathers are older are more involved in parenting than younger parents.
On the one hand, the age difference between generations of children and parents is essential, and this can provoke difficulties in communicating and understanding each other. On the other hand, Mature parents often are able to develop emotionally warm host relationship with the child, which contributes to the conservation of the contact.
2. Towards motherhood
Marina first became a mother at the age of 37. She used to work a lot, often to travel, to freely dispose of his time. After the birth, the life has changed, had to completely redraw the rhythm. The most difficult part for her was restriction of personal liberty Marina was difficult to rebuild their lives with the needs of the baby.
What we are older, the more established we have way of life habits. When baby comes, life changes 360 degrees, and it is not easy for these changes to adapt.
The last three years I have been studying the process of adaptation to motherhood and the phenomenon of postpartum depression. In my recent study of postpartum depression took part 348 of educated women from big cities.
The data confirm that the risk of depression has nothing to do with age of mother.
It turned out that with age develops such a feature of our thinking, such as flexibility. And flexibility just significantly reduces the risk of developing depression.
We learn to think less categorically, to seek a way out of the circumstances and look at the situation from different angles. This helps to adjust in the changed circumstances, not to lose heart in a difficult situation, and to seek ways of its change.
3. Attitude to work
My colleague Daria Bukhalenka examines the representations of teenagers about success. For most boys and girls, professional implementation – an integral part of success in life, along with family creation. There is a strong enough setting: it is important to first finish school, find a job, and then to plan the birth of children.
But when we have achieved considerable success, it is difficult to take a break and devote ourselves completely to motherhood. To combine motherhood and work is difficult. The study of the Department of health of one of the American States took part more than 2 thousand mothers. Women who went to work for a full day before 12 weeks after birth, were at risk of developing postpartum depression.
But if it is good to balance the load, the work can be a source of inspiration and support. As a therapist I work a lot with mothers and see that the feeling of professional achievement – a good psychological support.
Mothers with a strong professional identity, there is no feeling of “losing oneself” in the decree.
Work allows us to get out of the “Groundhog day” often serves as a mom’s resource.
4. Relationship with her husband
Alice and Alex together for 12 years. From the very beginning of the relationship they wanted children, but in the long term. Pleasure was building a career, traveling. When 13-year marriage, Alice spouse said the news of the pregnancy, Alex felt embarassed. He was so used to their lives together, and it turned out that changes he does not want. Alex began to feel that the child will add a lot of stress in their regular settled life.
When a child is born, the family goes through a crisis, the whole family system is rebuilt. There are new duties and responsibilities, changing lifestyles. Spouses learn new roles moms and dads. Any major change is stressful. According to statistics, among all divorcing couples with children – a large percentage of divorces occur during the first two years after birth.
Professor O. A. Karabanova, specialist in family counseling, suggests that Mature relationship can serve as a support in times of crisis.
A baby can enrich the relationship of the spouses. On the other hand, a couple with great experience of family life is much more challenging to rebuild – the system is very stable and actively resists change.
If in a couple there was a deep unresolved conflicts, the birth of a child they can worsen, despite the experience of family life.
5. The relationship with family
American Tanya Mayer gave birth to her first child in Russia. In his book “Hat, grandma, kefir” she wonders how tightly the grandmothers are involved in the care of grandchildren. Grandmothers often become the primary caring adult while mom is at work. This phenomenon is even denoted in the English borrowed the word babushka.
To be without the help of the extended family can be difficult. Yelena Igorevna Zakharova notes that in “late” motherhood, the care of young children often coincides with the need to care for elderly parents. It can turn into a serious burden for the family.
On the other hand, aged 35+ more financial opportunities, you can hire home helpers. For example, in Muslim countries the statistics of postpartum depression are somewhat higher than in European – 17-23%. The researchers attribute this high rate including that the mother has to constantly interact with the broader family helpers, which she did not choose.
From a psychological point of view there is no “right” or “wrong” age for parenthood. Any disadvantage can turn into advantage, and Vice versa.
The experience of parenthood is unpredictable and very individual. So it makes sense to focus on their own resources and not worrying about biological age.
Age 35+ is definitely not a “contraindication” for the birth of the child. From parenthood to adulthood has its advantages. An established professional identity and Mature relationships with a partner can serve as a good support in motherhood. It is important to desire to devote time and energy to the care of the child. For the child important is the interest and love of mothers – and these values do not depend on age.