Baby's hand on top of parent's hand


What It’s Like to Parent Young Kids at Age 50

Jul 18, 2017

He jumps into our bed, spry as ever. “Good morning, Mommy!” he shouts cheerily.

This kid, though. He’s awfully happy at 5:30 a.m.

“Mommy, I’m hungry! Can I have waffles?” It’s 5:31 a.m. now. C’mon, kid!

But having to arise from my warm and comfortable bed isn’t the worst of my worries. Nope, the party has just started.

Author Samantha Kemp-Jackson poses with twin sons.
Samantha Kemp-Jackson poses with her twin sons. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Kemp-Jackson)

“Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY!” There is another one calling now, and he's a clone of the first (or vice versa, who really knows?). I’m the mother of identical twins. They’re seven, I’m 51, and therein lies the problem. Note that my kids aren’t the problem; my aging body is.

As I rise from bed on that particular morning, my bones ache. I am sleepy, certainly not the lively “morning person” that I once was. This is, however, par for the course.

Oh, c’mon, Sam. You’re not that old. You’re young at heart, young in spirit, and your kids keep you young, right?

As my inner monologue continues to try its best to make lemons out of lemonade, I struggle to overcome the bleary haze leftover from sleep. While I’m reasonably healthy and not completely unfit, it’s still a challenge to keep up with my very active boys. In my world, sleeping is always more compelling than soccer; bed before baseball.

Yet one’s got to parent, right?

Note that my kids aren’t the problem; my aging body is.

Parenting was once a journey that commenced in the bloom of youth, just after the teenage years and well before one's first grey hair sprouted. It seemed to be over almost before it began; perhaps because parents still had so much of their lives to live. Remember “Freedom 55” and the like? Empty nests and couples' cruises were within those young parents' purview, all to be achieved at an age where arthritis didn’t cramp one’s style, neither literally nor figuratively.

Today we live in a different world where first-time moms come in a variety of ages. When I set out to connect with other new moms in my local community after the birth of my 13-year-old, all of my new-found friends were between 38 and 43. And they, too, were tired.

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These moms' reasons for waiting to have children beyond the previously prescribed “right time” were varied. For some it was a choice and for others it wasn’t. Regardless, we became fast friends through our common experience of feeling that we were older with babies — and wow, weren’t we brave! I was clearly the bravest of them all, too, as I went back to do it again at age 43 and ended up with twins.

Today we live in a different world where first-time moms come in a variety of ages.

While I expected that older motherhood would be physically taxing, let’s just say that I was right and then some. I’m reminded of this fact each morning when a lively and very awake boy (or two) jumps into my bed, beckoning me to seize the day with an unparalleled level of vim and vigour that I surely can't match.

So back to that early morning reveille, courtesy of my spry boy, Erik.

“Mommy! Come ON!!” he urges.

Surely and more decidedly, I rise in spite of myself. Coffee will be an amazing salve for my bleary, early-morning brain. We hold hands and head downstairs where I get the java going, and then get down to the business of playing with my son.

Article Author Samantha Kemp-Jackson
Samantha Kemp-Jackson

Read more from Samantha here.

Samantha Kemp-Jackson, aka “Multiple Mayhem Mamma,”is a successful parenting writer, blogger, public speaker and frequent media spokesperson. She regularly discusses the various triumphs and trials of parenting via her blog, Multiple Mayhem Mamma, as well as on various media outlets including The Canadian Press, The Huffington Post, Reuters, CTV Your Morning, and CBC Radio among many others. She's also a strategic, senior-level communicator, writer and media relations expert with 25 years of professional experience. Follow Sam on Twitter @samkj27.

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