By Shilpa Nangali

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel, my Mother. I find it so soothing when I keep my head on her lap and I forget all the torments, worries & woes ! We become stronger over the years, but not without battle scars along the way. However, if my parents are there with me in this journey of my life, I feel as if I have got all the strength needed to fight against any hurdles. I love you mom. This blog post is for all the mothers…they are with us every moment, being there before we ever ask, saying: “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.” 🙂


“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”

A reflection on motherhood: A story shared by Deana

I remember vividly the moment that I became a mother. Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

It wasn’t the moment of conception, or the day that I found out that I was pregnant. It wasn’t when I felt the first kick of my precious child’s little foot, nor was it when they lifted her and placed her in my arms, still wet and screaming after her exit from my womb. It was in a moment of blinding joy the evening after she was born.

I tried to rest that first night, after giving birth, but I couldn’t sleep. I kept my baby with me most of the day. I counted her fingers and toes. I nursed her. Her father held her, talked to her and rocked her. Later that night I nursed her to sleep and put her in the bedside bassinet. I turned off the lights and climbed into bed after checking on her several times, just to make sure she was okay. Then I got back up and just stared at her. I felt as if my heart swelled several sizes and then I burst into tears. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the need to protect her, love her and do whatever was necessary to make sure she was perfectly happy.

However, now a days, for many women, an established career and financial stability come first before motherhood. This trend is going to continue and will lead to increase in stress among older women who want to conceive. From celebrities to the woman next door, later childrearing is no flash-in-the-pan fad. By delaying child birth, they are increasing their chances of miscarriage and risk of having a Down Syndrome child. Also, an increase in the rates of cesarean sections reported by many countries appears to be associated, in part, to more and more women deciding to have children later in life, according to a report in the Journal PLoS Medicine.

As maternal age increases, the ability of the smooth muscle of the uterus to contract slows down, which is thought to slow the progression of labor, thereby increasing the likelihood of c-section. The association between advanced age and poor outcome in labor is likely to reflect a biological effect of aging on the uterus!

Twenty years ago most women would have already had their children before the age of 35, but many celebrities marry at the age of 35! And, most of the women believe that “becoming a mommy means they are getting too old” !

With more women deciding to delay motherhood the use of prenatal screening and diagnostic testing is increasing. Gray says this is because older mothers have a higher risk of giving birth to a child with a congenital abnormality. By conducting additional prenatal screenings, doctors are identifying more abnormalities than ever before. The result, is that older mothers must make more difficult decisions than women who aren’t screened.

Most of the women, who delay childbearing give reason stating that they have not met the right partner (Mr.Right!), or because they don’t feel ready financially. Few women are misled by the media about how easy it is to get pregnant after 40.

“You see celebrities aged 39 and 40 having kids and you indulge in that thought. They reaffirm the trend that it’s not so bad having children later in life. It’s kind of comforting” says Lindsay Lanzillotta, 32, an independent film producer.

Lanzillotta has been married for five years but has been putting off having a child, until she is better off financially and is more established in her career. “In the dream scenario I thought I would be married by 23 and have kids by 27. Realistically it could be two years time before I have a child which is kind of frightening,” says Lanzillotta.

People are giving themselves a narrower window to have children, says Roderic Beaujot, author of the paper Delayed Life Transitions: Trends and Implications and professor of sociology at the University of Western Ontario. What we are seeing now is the “two-worker model” where both women and men invest longer in themselves before they invest in reproduction, says Beaujot.

Before having children, they want to be an enduring relationship, and have time with their partner before they become parents, he says. In most cases, he adds, they also want to finish their education and establish their work lives. If relationships and work lives don’t evolve as anticipated this window of opportunity may be further narrowed, he says.

Before 1970, there was less reason for couples to wait says Beaujot, because women dedicated less time to developing their careers. In the “bread winner model” that commonly prevailed, a woman’s career was seen to be subordinate to that of the bread winner man and as a consequence women generally started having families earlier, says Beaujot.

Nowadays, with equal importance placed on the careers of both men and women, women are at a disadvantage if they decide to have children earlier in life, since they are in a position that is easier to exploit, says Beaujot.

Earlier motherhood means that a woman has less time to build up workplace relationships, and so is in less of a position to make maternal demands and to have these demands met, says Beaujot.

If a woman starts a family later on in her career when she is more established, she benefits by having more support from both her workplace and partner, who is likely to be more financially stable! For people to achieve their work and family goals earlier on in life there needs to be stronger governmental investments in young families, including subsidies for parental leaves, tax benefits, reduced work hours and childcare!

Sources: New Media Journalism Online, Reuters, Yahoo News, Google Books Search-But I don’t feel too old to be a mommy and Parenting.Ivillage.com

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