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An Open Letter to Janet Jackson, Who Hopes to Become a Mom at 50

Photograph by Instagram

Dear Janet,

Can I call you Miss Jackson? Because I'm definitely nasty, having just fed finger foods to an 11-month-old. But back to you: it's all over the news that you put your "Unbreakable" tour on hold so that you can focus on making a baby. Your reference to "doctor's orders" make some of us think you are on bed rest, perhaps following IVF. Or maybe there's already a Damita Jo Jr. in the works?

This is very exciting! I really hope it works out for you and your husband. But girl, if it does, do you realize you are going to be 50 when this baby comes out? That is old in the baby-making world! I know this, because I had both my babies in my 40s, and while I would not trade it for the world, being an over-the-hill mama is hard. Here's what's in store:

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You will definitely be the oldest mom in Mommy & Me. When you're a new mom, even a celebrity mom, it's natural to socialize with other new moms and babies at the park or in music class. But it can be hard to make friends when everyone else is 10 to 20 years younger. You were playing Willis' girlfriend on "Diff'rent Strokes" before they were even born!

Your abs may never be the same. Sure, you've been a dancer your whole life, and that bodes well for you, but ladies over 40 do not have the same elasticity as those young mamas. After carrying a baby, you may experience a new kind of wardrobe malfunction—like, the button popping off your pants when you sit down.

There's a reason a woman's fertility peaks in her 20s—that's when you actually have enough energy to stay up all night with a baby.

You'll break your brain stressing about the future. I suspect all moms worry about being around for their kids, but older moms obsess: Will I still have all my faculties when he graduates from college? Will I have to walk her down the aisle on a Rascal scooter? Will I meet my grandchildren at the nursing home? I was never much into religion, but I've totally found prayer since becoming an old mom.

You'll experience aches and pains. Combine the natural aging that occurs in your 50s with the aggressive workout that is baby care and your back and knees will hurt worse than they ever did on tour. My family can hear me coming up the stairs from the squeaks in my joints.

Some idiot might confuse you for the grandma. Just as very young moms are sometimes mistaken for the babysitter, older moms get asked about their "grandchild," which will make you want to cut a bitch.

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You'll be tired. So tired. There's a reason a woman's fertility peaks in her 20s—that's when you actually have enough energy to stay up all night with a baby. Older moms can fake it really well (with the help of our good friends coffee and sugar), but at some point you just collapse. Time for the rest of the Jackson clan to rally around "Auntie Janet" and return your babysitting favors.

It's going to be hard work, but being older mom does have its advantages, like patience, perspective and life experience. Plus, you'll never run out of lullabies. Congratulations on taking the first step, and baby dust to you.


Another Ancient Mama

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