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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ladies,

After a long IF journey, last summer I was finally blessed with a beautiful baby daughter a fortnight before my 49th birthday.

However, people keep mistaking me for my LO's grandmother, which, whilst I know I should brush it off, is really upsetting me.  I never expected this to be an issue because in my mind I'm not old, but clearly the world has other ideas :-(. 

How do other people cope with this?

Also, whilst doing my best to get out and about to meet other mothers and babies, I'm finding they're a huge chunk younger than me, and whilst everyone's friendly enough, we don't have a much in common.  Consequently, I'm starting to feel really isolated.  Matters aren't helped by the fact DH and I aren't getting on well and that I see a lot less of my old friends (either because they're childless through choice or simply at a different life stage).

I'm thirsty to meet other mothers of a similar vintage, but to most people it seems, an 'older mum' is anyone over 35!  I have yet to meet anyone in my position - i.e. their late 40s with baby #1.  I live in London, so they must be out there, but I'm naturally quite shy, so I don't really broadcast myself or my age.  Does anyone know of any online groups or resources they could put me in touch with?

Thanks in advance... xx





 
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to reply and share your experiences.  It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone in finding this upsetting and it does flag the fact that whilst other mums are friendly, being that much older can sometimes feel as if one's walking a more solitary path. 

I'd love to meet mothers of a similar vintage - if there are any in my locality they're keeping a low profile - so if any of you are in London and fancy a coffee, please give me a shout!  Alternatively if any of you know of any organisations other than the DCN (we can't tell for religious and cultural reasons, so this is a no-go option for us) which might be helpful, please let me know.

I experienced another cracker this afternoon, where OH got talking to a group of Italian women who were admiring the baby.  One of them took it on herself to tell me that it was better for people to be honest about what they thought (i.e. grandmother as opposed to mother) after my correcting her and saying (fairly gently) that I found this assumption upsetting.  She proceeded to tell me that she'd made this mistake "lots of times", that no one ever minded and that as a grandmother herself, she had often been mistaken for her granddaughter's mother... it didn't bother her so it shouldn't bother me!  The fact that this mistake actually flattered her seemed to pass her by...

I got up and said that almost certainly she would have upset some of these other ladies, but probably they were just too polite to tell her.  Clearly as well as developing a tougher skin, I need to think through a more robust/humorous put down for people this rude!  Up until that point I'd been feeling quite good about myself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
I am still carrying a lot of excess weight from all the steroids I took during years of treatment. 

TBH, I could/should now loose my excess poundage and have been trying, but I'm just so knackered from looking after my lovely baby that I snack to reward myself whenever I'm tired.  Anyone fancy a bit if mutual support in my quest to loose weight?

And yes, Debs, that bloody woman completely missed the point.  People can be so thoughtless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Ahh, Debs, sending you hugs.  I continue to be showered with the Granny comments and although trying to grow a thicker skin, am not there yet, so I know how you feel. 
This afternoon, OH and I took DD to a local playground for the first time, and she had her first ever encounter with a swing, and then a slide.  So much pleasure in the simple act of taking our child to the park.  Another lady who was there commented on her delight and asked if she was our first grandchild... It completely punctured my little happiness balloon, reminding me that whilst I'm now a mother, I will always be different, and that in time, my daughter will become aware of this and may be upset by it.  This lady was mortified when I replied that I was her mother, but the damage had been done.  I told her that whilst she was not the first person to make this mistake, it was a knife to my heart each and every time.  Maybe letting her know how upsetting such comments can be will make her think before speaking next time... 
Anyway, you have hit the nail on the head when you say that the children of older women are cherished.  My beautiful, darling daughter is my life, and I still get very emotional when I reflect on the miracle of her being here.  And whilst people don't mean half the things they say sometimes, I never fail to be amazed by how blasé they can be about their children, saying how they can't wait for them to be back at school/more independent/leave home etc.  Even my SIL was telling me recently how, as soon as her children were born, she felt her job was to help edge them out the nest!!
Dreaming, I hope everything is going well for you and that you hear that magic word from your little boy very soon.  My LO is now 13 months and although she has said her first word, has yet to call me Mummy or Mama on a regular basis (although she has been known to call for 'mum-mum' when she is upset).  However, the feeling it gives me every time she rolls over to snuggle up next to me at night, holds up her arms for me to pick her up and her smile when she sees me every morning is indescribable.  Older or not, we are all totally blessed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Just seen the latest updates.  Interestingly, I was chatting to another FF in a similar position recently, and she said that where she lives (up north), there were quite a few older mums.  Likewise, a friend who had her DD at 42 remarked that in her area of the big city we live in, play groups/mother and child sessions etc were dominated by mums, quite a few of whom were older.  Where I live though, events are dominated by nannies or au pairs, who are younger, or foreigners, many of whom have babies at a younger age (not that having a child so late for me was a choice).  There are very few mothers - I guess mostly they’ve returned to work by now.  So whilst there’s no getting away from the fact I am an older mother, my experience is shaped by the place I live and the type of families who live nearby.  Like others on here however, I’m trying to develop a thicker skin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Oh my goodness, no sooner do I leave a post about needing to develop a thicker skin than it happens again.. this time in the queue at my local post office, a much older lady who’s been watching me asks if she’s my grand daughter.  No, I say, she’s my daughter. I say no more, but feel all the happy lovely feelings I’d been enjoying oozing away - literally as if my little balloon of joy had developed a slow puncture.  I just stood there silently after that, waiting my turn and trying not to cry.  As I was served, I made a decision. Leaving the counter, I headed back to where this woman is still standing.  I say, very quietly and calmly, that questions / comments like hers are really hurtful.  She looks at me. I shouldn’t make assumptions she says.  I know that somehow, for my own sanity, I need to reframe this issue, but I don’t know how.  I guess what I’m really concerned about is my daughter being embarrassed about her ‘granny mum’ when she reaches school age.  Any helpful suggestions, please let me know xx
 
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