(Continuation of the post: The Story Begins)
My dad was 36 when I was born. My parents had decided to have another baby even though my sister was 10 and my brother was 13. This meant starting over with a newborn. A newborn that would lead to sleepless nights, changing cloth diapers, and my mom’s first attempt at breast feeding. A new era was blossoming when mothers were now supported in their breastfeeding efforts, and my mother had passionately committed herself to trying this healthier, more nurturing alternative to formula. Bottle feeding was something she had been coerced into with her first two children, due to the lack of support by doctors and nurses when my siblings were born. According to my mother, it was not convenient for nurses to bring a baby to the mother’s hospital room for feedings, they preferred to just stick bottles in their mouths to quiet them and could not be bothered with having to go back and forth between mother’s rooms and the nursery. A lot can change in ten years!
Even though it would seem my parents were, “starting over,” it was more like, beginning again; with more experience, knowledge, and confidence. My father especially. He was a more well-rounded person who felt self-assured as a parent; something he did not feel as a younger parent, when my siblings were born. This is something I can identify with now that I am a parent at 35. It is hard to imagine the type of parent I would have been in my early twenties. My daughter was born when I was 26 and my son when I was 33. From my own personal experience, there was a self-realization that started evolving once I reached my thirties that was not present in my twenties. I understand my convictions and feel more grounded. Based on countless conversations I have had with my parents and siblings over the years, I believe the decision to have another baby in their mid-thirties came from my parents reaching this same awareness.
My parents were more financially stable and relaxed. As I grew up, they were very directly involved in my school, extra curricular activities, and had a large network of friends and community. My siblings were also old enough to help out with a new baby and were available to babysit when needed. However, since they were quite a bit older by the time I entered elementary school, I felt like an only child a lot of the time. They were living in and out of the home off and on, so they came and went a lot. This allowed for my parents to devote most of their free time to me. To my blessing, it gave me two experienced, active parents who cared about being a very consistent part of my life; physically and emotionally.