Step 1. Make sure you torch your fertilty-diminishing 30s by marrying or shacking up with the few remaining inappropriate men you refused to date (or marry) in your 20s.
Step 2. When finished slumming in real life, try slumming online for a year or two, until your stated age in your dating profile (late 30s) only attracts grandfathers in their 60s. But you are a late bloomer and you believe in true love and you will not be deterred in holding out for what you deserve. Good for you! Not really but...
Step 3. By now you should be good and 40 and profoundly single. Unintended benefit: You’ve also been alone long enough to get your own personal, professional and financial crap together. Then, at the tender age of 40-something, you meet the man of your dreams, the future father of your vision-boarded children. And he even wants children as badly as you do, and he even wants them with you!
Congratulations! You are now well on your way to being an Old Mom!
Step 4. As in all attained plateaus, you doggedly aim for higher peaks. You want at least a kid. You will not let social norms or rampant ageism get in your way. You are a young-ish, vital 40-something, able to touch your toes, patient, resilient, and you know you will be a good (if older) mom.
And at the risk of sounding like a hormonal old feminist-mom, which I am, it’s sexism at it’s finest when we have admired men who fathered well into old, OLD age yet we reserve buckets of judgment against women who have children later in life. I experienced this firsthand while in the arduous process of adopting. Six birth mothers rejected me after asking my age. Not one of them asked how old my husband was. As a result, I am now more aware of how I attach judgment or diminished expectations to older women. Women-on-women ageism is just another form of self-sexism. Hence, This Old Mom uses the word ‘old’ because being called old used to upset me. But the only way to overpower a fear is to embrace it. So, let’s take back the night on ‘old’. Anyone with me? Anyone?
Step 5. Don’t let ANYONE tell you you are too old to be a parent. One man made that mistake with me, but then, after I yelled at him, he admitted he made his kid by drunken accident at age 19. All he could be for his kid was young. Not to knock young parents, but women are waiting to have children because they have options. My mother had three children by the age of 23 because her options were limited.
Step 6. Intercourse. Depending on your age, (and even that is no clear indicator), intercourse is most people’s first choice for baby-making. Intercourse is convenient, cheap, (if not down right free), and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. I have two friends who were told by doctors they would never conceive via intercourse and did exactly that- both of them at 46. And they lived on the same street in massive Los Angeles. I cannot tell you how many times I drove or walked down that street, praying to catch pregnancy. While intercourse didn’t work out for my particular Old Mom goals, (we just use it recreationally now) perhaps it will work for you.
Step 7. Fertility. It’s a fascinating time in the world of fertility - possibilities abound. Due to being unrich creative professionals, we tried acupuncture, herbs, and Step 6 a lot. When we failed at everything else, we ruled out fertility clinics. However we have many friends who went domestic or international with their sperm/egg/uteri donation needs. Of course ‘egg donor’ is a misnomer- it’s all for sale. Some health insurance policies might cover some fertility procedures. Strap on your Google goggles, do the research and even see the world through an overseas fertility clinic, which is far cheaper than domestic fertility clinics.
Step 8. Foster/Fost-Adopt. After failing at Step 6 and Step 7, we entered the Foster/Fost-Adopt system and took the classes, excited about becoming intentional parents- parents completely on purpose. Currently, there are around 56,000 un-parented children in Los Angeles alone. And the ratio of registered foster parents to foster kids is low and dropping all the time. If you have a spare bedroom and the will to improve an at-risk child’s life, foster care is a powerful option. There are also organizations that place foster kids with families on the weekends. Explore the many ways you can improve the life of an at risk child. Kidsave is providing miracles for foster kids every weekend.
Step 9. Adoption. After spending three years trying each of the above steps, and due to an incredible gift, we were able to enter the wild world of adoption. Based on how long it might take and our ages, we went with domestic adoption. Within six months, we became parents. There are much cheaper options than hiring an attorney. Adopttogether is one of the crowdfunding adoption sites. Go for it!
Step 10. Congratulations. By now you should be good and old and good and tired because you have a child... just in time for menopause.
This post was originally conceived as the mission statement of This Old Mom, my website/blog devoted to becoming an Old Mom. Please visit my site thisoldmom.com if you are are an old mom or just old mom curious.