Diary of a Mom Raising Kids After 40
By Angie Seth @kateygoalie
Picture it: 40 years old, three beautiful children … 17, 3, and 7 months. I am the proud parent of 2 girls, Katey and Maja, and a boy, Daniel. It’s simply amazing and unbelievably adventurous. It’s a crazy life that involves a whirlwind of hockey schedules, cleaning the house, breakfast, lunch, dinner, play dates, trips to the park, potty training, diapers, tantrums, breast feeding, working out, dinner parties, running errands, vacations, and trying to find five minutes to breathe. Oh and add to that a full time job. Well that’s my life!
But despite how crazy it sounds, I would not trade it in for anything. I will admit it is challenging and at times requires counting to 20 more than once a day, but I think I am managing things so far. Now a lot of mothers ask me how do you do it without going crazy? Well I am currently on maternity leave which means I am home with the kids.
It’s great, however as many other mothers in the same situation would agree you do need to be creative when trying to entertain a soon to be 3 year old and a baby! Then throw in the 17-year-old and you have a party! It was a big decision to have more kids after having my first. It meant starting all over again after 15 years.
Now to give you a little bit of background on the situation, I am divorced. I basically raised my first born, Katey, on my own for 11 years with no future thought of getting married again and having more children. But I did. I married my best friend and took the adventurous journey of growing our family with him. Today we are a family of 5 and it is simply wonderful.
So how do I manage things? Well I haven’t attended any seminars or read a bunch of books. I honestly don’t have the time. Simply put, I try to think like my kids. I put myself in their shoes and do my best to remember what it was like to be that age – to remember the joy of growing up, exploring and pushing the boundaries. I made a promise to myself to be open and honest with my kids with high hopes that they will be the same with me. So far it is working out okay, but it is an adventure that involves a number of twists and turns.
Let’s start with my first child, Katey. Katey is in grade 12 and plays competitive hockey, coaches younger kids, and works part time, all while maintaining an A average in school. As a teenager she has very specific needs, mood swings, and every now and then throws some of that great teenage attitude my way. She also has her drivers license which means she wants the car any time she can get it!
We talk about everything, we trust each other, and she knows I will always be there for her. She is my first born and we spent a good chunk of our lives just the two of us. But now we are a family of five and although Katey is thrilled to have two siblings, I know she sometimes wishes my time was not so divided. For example it is tough when I have the 7-month-old in my arms, the soon to be 3-year-old asking for my attention, and then my 17-year-old who really needs my help with something. I often have to choose which one I tend to first.
I know Katey understands that it’s difficult with two young kids and is quite patient most of the time. But on the flip side when she needs me immediately it can be frustrating for her when that doesn’t happen right away. I have also noticed that she asks for more hugs and often likes to cuddle. It’s nice. But then there are days when her attitude kicks into high gear and I often find myself treating her like my toddler.
I often say there are three levels of tantrums in my house and sometimes I end up handling them all the same way: a good ear to listen, compromise, a time out if need be, topped with hugs and kisses. Katey and I are best friends as friends as mother and daughter. No matter what that will never change and she knows it.
Moving onto my second child, Maja, my soon to be 3-year-old who is full of beans, learning, hugs, laughter, lots of energy, and yes tantrums! My little girl is a little mother to her baby brother. She is so sweet with him but on the other side often demands attention when I am tending to him. For example when I am feeding him, Maja wants me to feed her too although she is quite capable of eating on her own.
She also asks me to play with her a lot more than usual. Understandably she wants just as much attention as her baby brother but she never pushes him away. Maja always wants to play with him and gives him an unbelievable
amount of hugs and kisses!
When I got pregnant with Daniel, we made sure Maja was involved. I would talk to her about the baby and tell her the baby was in my tummy. As my stomach got bigger Maja would talk to my belly and often the baby would kick to her voice. She loved it! We also watched baby shows together and when it was time to finally meet her baby brother, my husband brought her to the hospital where she spent the day getting to know him. When it was time to go home, we all went home together as a family of five. Maja is an amazing little girl who is very loving, somewhat stubborn, and very much a “me do it” child. With her I need to be patient and reasonable, allowing her to try things on her own, but also offering her help when she needs it. It can be challenging and exhausting at times, but watching her learn and getting all those amazing hugs and kisses makes it well worth it!
Finally to my newest addition, Daniel, who keeps me busy with feedings, diaper changes, learning, giggles, turning onto his belly, grabbing at anything he can reach, sitting up, and keeping me on my toes. Boys certainly are different than girls! His eating habits are little more fussy, and he likes to be held more. But like my girls he is a very happy and affectionate child who has started to say his version of Mama!
Having three kids has certainly made our household very busy! Life is about playing, feeding, cleaning, cooking, chatting with the teenager, mood swings, play dates, homework, hockey, and trying to get some sleep. Managing my time has been difficult at times. But I have learned to prioritize, maximize my time and do my best to have a little “me time.” Life is only going to get busier once I go back to work. But I am a scheduler and I always try to bank an extra hour for unforeseen mishaps like a stinky diaper!
Our household is constantly on the go. But I have also learned to allow some things slide. So the laundry doesn’t get folded immediately and sometimes dinner is ordered in. But its a trade off I am willing to make if it means spending time playing hide and seek, reading Sleeping Beauty, rocking my son in my arms, watching my eldest daughter get a shut out in the big hockey game or having a good family heart to heart. My life is busy, scheduled, and chaotic at times, but I love it. Each day I tell myself to enjoy every moment because life goes by way too fast and there’s no sense in wasting time grumbling over the little bumps in the road!
You can read more about Angie’s perspective on parenting here.
Did you have kids later in life? How has that impacted your family? Share your thoughts with us!
Angie Seth, Lead Anchor OMNI NEWS SOUTH ASIAN EDITION
Angie Seth is the lead News Anchor for OMNI News South Asian Edition. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to interview some of the most interesting and intriguing guests, from the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, to murdered journalist Daniel Pearl’s father, Judea Pearl. Angie has been the lead reporter on the Sharia Law debate in Ontario, and the Air India Trial and Inquiry for a number of years. In 2007, Angie was given an Honorable mention for her two part series on “The Muslim Veil”. And in 2008 she was given the CEMA (Canadian Ethnic Media Association) Award for her feature story on the Provincial Election and what kids have to say about it.
In 2011 Angie was the moderator at the Innoversity 2011 Conference in Toronto for a panel discussion titled, “I Am Canadian?”Angie also recently spoke at the 14th National Metropolis Conference 2012 as plenary speaker on the topic of Canadian identity, diversity and the media. And she also gave the opening speech of congratulations to a University of Toronto graduation class of the International Trained Professional Lawyers program.
She is strong advocate for women’s rights, children’s rights, the equality of women, and the fight against domestic violence. She has hosted a number of events, conducted interviews and produced feature pieces on these very topics. Angie was also one of 20 celebrities who participated in the Fifth Annual Heart Truth Fashion 2012 show for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
In April 2012, Angie participated in a plant 1 million trees campaign for Earth Day by specialty retailer Solutions. Angie won the media challenge and for top prize 5000 trees have been planted in her name in Africa. In October 2012, Angie was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work as a journalist and community supporter.
Angie is also a long distance runner. She’s participated in five marathons, including the Boston marathon in 1999. She is married and a mother of three beautiful children.