Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's So Tiring Being an Older Mum; Nigella Lawson Says She'd Find It Exhausting to Have a Baby in Her Forties. Here, One Mother Reveals What It's Really Like

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's So Tiring Being an Older Mum; Nigella Lawson Says She'd Find It Exhausting to Have a Baby in Her Forties. Here, One Mother Reveals What It's Really Like

Article excerpt

LIZ Usher, 42, has a two-year-old daughter called Dorothy. She lives in Farnham with her husband, Steve, a graphic designer, and her three children from her first marriage: Rosie (16), Molly (14) and Jack (12).

She works part-time as a designer.

'STEVE and I married four years ago. Although we both had children from previous marriages, we decided that we would like a child together. I didn't have any reservations about having a new baby at the age of 40 because I'd been through it all before and knew from having the other three that it's all so worth it. I realised it would be more tiring as it's bound to be harder work bringing up a child when one is nearly 20 years older than the first time around, but I hadn't appreciated quite how much harder.

After one miscarriage, which left me feeling very tired, I quickly became pregnant again. Even pregnancy was more exhausting than I remembered.

Following Dorothy's birth, like all new mothers, I was constantly tired; especially as I wanted the rest of the household to carry on as normal for the other children's sake, and trying to look after the baby as well as keeping things going for three busy 10 to 14-year-olds was a strain.

This wasn't helped by the fact that Dorothy was, and still is, a very awkward sleeper, which came as a bit of a shock. My eldest daughter, Rosie, was an angel and slept through to the morning from the age of three months, and the other two weren't bad either, but Dorothy still wakes up two or three times in the night.

It soon became clear that I just don't have the energy levels I had when I was younger. In retrospect, my older children were all very easy and looking after them when they were small seemed quite straightforward. The big difference is that I was only 26 when I had Rosie.

At the moment Dorothy has so much energy and wants to play chase games the whole time, and just trying to keep up with her is exhausting.

My husband finds it just as tiring, even though he's more physically fit than I am. And trying to get her to do things that she doesn't want to is draining; you forget how contrary two-year-olds can be. …

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