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soon as I gave birth and realized how much energy motherhood requires, I
started quietly regretting being an older mom. As a 47-year-old mom of a 9-year-old son, I'd jokingly say to my friends,
"We'd have been off if we had these children when were younger, say 16 or 17,
when we had no idea what we were in for." They'd laugh and roll their eyes at
Don't get me wrong, there are many upsides to being an aging
mom. An older mom is less likely to fight with her kid about what music
gets played in the car because she knows how to choose her battles. She's also
more likely to put her child on a schedule so she can pretend for some period
in the day that she still owns her life.
But the most dramatic thing about being an aging mom are the surprises we face as our bodies start to shape-shift into who knows what.
all of my friends are talking about their bodies and the various changes they're
experiencing. Everyone is confused, a little scared and frankly not all that
happy. I'm sure that our own aging moms went through these shifts as well, but
they did so in secret. They gave no heads-up
about what to expect—so here are some clues, in case you're curious:
1. Dry vaginas
I remember overhearing my aunties talk about their dry
vaginas when I was in my late 20s. I just ignored it at the time. "Not my
problem!" Now I know what they were complaining about—sex is not all that
interesting when it hurts. WTF?
2. Sagging skin
The struggle to beat gravity is real when you're an aging mom.
When you see your face every day, it can
be difficult to notice the aging process. But seeing friends you've known for a
long time gives you a reality check. I have friends who are considering Botox
treatments, eye lifts and breast enhancements. The struggle to beat gravity is
real when you're an aging mom.
Spending an entire day with children is simply more than an aging
mom can manage. To avoid severe exhaustion, aging moms arrange camps and
activities for their children far in advance. We know our energy has about a four-hour
shelf life, and then we need some help or adult conversation.
4. Vacillating emotions
Although we're no longer teenage girls, we're as hormonal as
fuck. Aging moms' hormones are preparing our bodies for what some lovingly call
the "crone" season. (I just can't get behind this word as a term of endearment
or respect; it sounds to me like an old wrinkly witch stirring her brew.) An aging woman knows her emotions are not
reliable, and she needs to put a lot of effort into finding solid ground.
5. Cystic breast and ovaries
No one can explain why the body might begin to create cysts as
we age. The cysts form in areas of a woman's body that put doctors on high
alert for various thyroid disorders and women's cancers. The testing for these
cysts can be life saving, but they can also be very expensive, time-consuming and
fear-generating. I have met seemingly countless aging moms who have had cancer,
needed thyroid medication or had a cancer scare.
As you can imagine, any woman with a dry vagina would also
have an aversion to sex. With so many hormonal changes, it's hard to feel sexy.
Many aging moms lose their desire and interest in sex.
7. Gray hair (everywhere)
Thank goodness gray hair is the new trend, because for most
aging moms it's just the way of it. It's one thing to have gray hair on your
head, but when you look closely, the hair on your drying vagina is also turning
gray. (But don't worry, soon enough it will all just fall out).
8. Thinning hair
Yes, this is another hair complaint, but it's worth its own
mention. Men do not have the monopoly on thinning hair. Aging women know your
9. Unexplainable body aches
I have never heard more women complain about body aches,
back pain and joint pain than I do now. And I'm right there with them with
the inexplicable achiness. I feel a pinch here, an ache there, and I wonder
what is that? It's all a mystery. When I ask my doctor, he just shrugs his
shoulders and says "It's par for the course."
10. Belly fat
The only good thing about the accumulation of belly fat is
that it might block your view of your graying pubic hair. Yes, unless you spend
hours at the gym, stop eating bread and anything sweet, and skip that evening
glass or two of wine, your belly will grow at rates you never imagined
There is nothing more embarrassing about being an aging mom
than the thoughts in my head about 20-something men. Older men get such a
bad rap for lusting after young women, but I know some aging moms, including
myself, whose fantasies would put the horniest, slimiest man to shame. On the
one hand, it's sort of sad. On the other, at least we've got some modicum of
interest in sex left.