Woman treasures becoming a mom at 42: "I've been granted the chance to live two lives"

Amy Christie

Amanda McCracken had her baby at 42. It was a choice she made for love because she found the right partner and felt that having a child together would be the happiest thing. As she puts it, it was about living, not about weighing pros and cons and even dreading possible risks.

As she sits close to other toddler moms these days, she realizes she may have more wrinkles but is also aware that her life experience gives her a chance to adapt and have a greater perspective.

Amanda is convinced that having a child later in life is not a disadvantage. She feels that being an "older mom" made her a better parent and wouldn't change a thing.

What are the details?

"Last week, as I sat at a table with other moms and noticed how supple the space between their eyebrows was — the spot I've come to despise between my own. My '11 lines' shout my age while other parts of my body still pass for the mid-30s," Amanda shared with Insider about how she feels when she joins younger moms.

She realizes she is considered an older mom and also pointed out that her decision to have a child at her age was not about giving up freedom or considering the age difference from other moms.

"In society's eyes, I'm an old mom. I didn't take time to analyze the risks; I didn't consider I'd give up the independence that allowed me to get on a plane anytime or that my high-school friends would be sending their daughters to college while I'd be chasing my daughter with a diaper she refuses to wear," she said.

It was about chance, being in love, and having a family with the partner she chose.

"I jumped at the chance to create life with the partner I loved. And we got lucky. I have done exactly what I wanted to do. Even if my anxiety is at an all-time high, my level of joy exceeds it. I have been granted the chance to live two lives," Amanda shared.

Her life before having a child was focused on traveling, sports, and constantly training to stay fit.

"The first life allowed me to train to reach my racing peak and visit over 30 countries. I don't resent it when I can't fly to Paris to see a band on the weekend. I've done it already. And I don't feel guilty for not waking up at 6 a.m. for a run on the weekend," she explained.

As to how she sees the "second life" she gets to live as a parent, this time, it's more about taking things slower and enjoying hugs and rekindling family connections.

"I'm happy in my softer, slower state. My relationship with my parents has a new branch. It brings me such joy to see my father as he holds my daughter's hand and my mother while she decorates sugar cookies with her. My age has granted me the chance to see that my parents showering my daughter with care is an indirect way of loving me. I'm not sure I would've seen this at 25 years old," Amanda said.

She's often been told that it's a lot harder to recover and that she won't be as energetic as before, but she doesn't mind the changes in her life. Instead, she's come to be grateful for every precious moment she gets to have as a mom.

"I can't remember how many times I've been told, 'You don't bounce back so fast when you're an older parent.' It's true; I don't bounce back as quickly or as energetically as friends who had kids in their mid-20s, most of whom are now grandparents. But I can totally bounce ideas off my experiences in a different way than in my 20s because I now have a greater perspective," the happy mom said.

Amanda is sure that her experience will also help her be a better mom, understand her daughter, and use her perspective to build a strong family.

"I have lived enough to have glimpsed the patterns between my grandma, mother, and me. Hopefully, now, I can catch myself from seeing my daughter as an extension of myself that I'm trying to perfect and be less self-critical as an imperfect parent. I am a better mom precisely because of all the things I've seen," she pointed out.

Bonding with her daughter in that unique love that only happens between parents and kids, she's gradually come to understand that her wrinkles mean something else entirely.

"As I watch my own expressions on my daughter's little face, I see those 11 lines differently. If I had tried to permanently erase those lines to match the beauty standards, I wouldn't have been able to share my range of expressions with her. The looks of concentration, grief, surprise, disbelief, and wonder. I want her to see me as a dynamic mother with all my lines. They recall stories that have made me a better mom," Amanda concluded about the wonderful moments she gets to live every day. Age is no limit when family love comes into the picture.

No matter their age, moms will always impart that one-of-a-kind love and care that you won't get from anyone else. Whether she's young or old, hold her hand for as long as you can. You will never meet someone else who would willingly give you their whole world.




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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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