Friday, 9 October 2015

7 Quick Takes 18: Confessions of a Geriatric Mother

1. Here I am, heroically rising to Kelly's challenge for Link-toberfest and getting out two posts in two weeks. I'm almost afraid to post something non-snarky because every time I have something gentle and positive planned, life punches it out of the way. But here are reflections on what I've learned from being a geriatric mother (that is, having a surprise third baby this year at *cough cough* 45).

2. Gratitude
For a healthy baby. Some people our age pay thousands just to try to have a baby, and ours was a free gift.
For God's mercy. To be honest - it didn't feel like a gift for a long time. I was counting the years until an empty nest when I planned to spend every day doing exactly what I wanted. Boy, was I 'saved' from a life of selfishness :)
For my body. It's amazing that I'm breastfeeding a baby with ease at 45, when so many younger women are telling me all the reasons they gave up.

3. Patience
With the baby. Both my husband and I are way more patient, which is good as Alcuin is, to put it politely, rather particular.
He who must be obeyed.
With my waistline. I guessed that it would be a slower haul back to my prepartum figure. At least my maternity clothes are now loose - as I discovered last week while lecturing and realised my skirt was slipping and threatening to pull my knickers down with it. Maybe I could do a blog post on the art of hitching up your underwear while nonchalantly discussing Sophocles.

4. Exhaustion 
Man, am I tired. Scrap that. I'm knackered. It used to be that when my girls were babies, I'd put them to bed and spend an hour or two writing, working, or just hanging out. Now, when Alcuin goes to bed, I pretty much fall in after him. But I know it's not forever, because I have...

5. Perspective
Everything is just a stage - and life zips by so quickly. Sometimes, in the midst of exhausted dejection, I tell myself it will all be different in a year - and I'm not being sarcastic. Before we know it, it will be one year, five, ten...

6. Couldn't care less-ness
We like the name Alcuin. So there. The Blessed Alcuin of York was an 8th century British scholar famous for engineering the Carolingian renaissance. He's the only name in mathematics in this period - and my husband is a mathematician. We went through a little angst over what our parents would say - then thought about the names on our class rolls and decided we didn't care. We were going to compromise and call him Quin for short, but he's so serious, he was born to be an Alcuin. Actually, he was literally born at the very time my church was celebrating the life of Alcuin of York in their noonday service - when we'd already decided on the name!

My halo is cooler!


7. Kelly's question for this week is: how many blog posts have you written? Considering what life has thrown at us since I started in January, I'm going to pat myself on the back for managing 18. To link up your own first or hundred-and-first Quick Takes, or read other blogs and enter the giveaways, visit This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. I think that is a wonderful name, and he'll be proud of it throughout his life because of all the thought you put into it, and the meanings behind it! And I think you're a total ROCK STAR for having and nursing a baby at 45! As far as the waistline goes, I'm sorry but the miles on the car are the miles on the car. It's not gonna get back where you want it without some outside help. I use a cream called Nerium Firm that not only smoothes and tighten skin, but gets rid of stretch marks and cellulite. But you can't use it while you're nursing because it has willow bark (natural source of aspirin) and caffeine in it. Jot down my email me and contact me when Alcuin has given up the breast and we'll chat :D

  2. Susan I am totally in awe of you having a surprise baby in your mid forties without having a nervous breakdown to go with it. You have been so calm about it - well, that's how it seemed to us on HisFic Group anyway. He's a gorgeous little boy, and you are a true star. He'll keep you young - and broke - and exhausted - and not alone for at least 18 years!

  3. Well done you! I'm 44 and my three are all grown up, to start again would not be something I'd like to do, but you've done so well, and have been honest and open. I enjoy your posts!