It shouldn't be that different from what every new mom goes through; after all, parenthood is a universal experience, right? Think again. When you're older than most new parents, you encounter things you never expected, such as:
1. People ask you, "Apo mo?" You smile but secretly wish you could smack the clueless questioner. Can't you hear him call me "mommy"?!
2. Your favorite activity with your child is reading a book because it doesn't require any physical activity. Once the roughhousing starts, you don't think your dwindling (and aging?!) stamina can take it.
3. When your toddler starts to crawl, you can't get down on your knees and join him because every time your knees hit the floor, you swear you can feel them crack. Need to protect those creaky bones from deteriorating earlier than they should!
4. Every white hair strand and every new wrinkle sends you into panic mode. "What if I don't live long enough to see my child graduate?" The clear signs of aging are never welcome, what more when you have a young child?
5. Worse, "What if I do live long enough but I'm in a wheelchair?" Who will believe I'm not the grandmother now?
6. And worst of all, "What if he's the valedictorian, and they call me up on stage, and I have to be wheeled up?" For everyone to see.
7. Maybe because of your age, conceiving didn't happen in an instant. But when it did happen, you hear the joke "so your husband finally landed one" or "sex lang pala yan" one too many times.
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8. At nursery school, all the other parents are thinner, fitter, smoother, and fresher. So go hide under a rock -- or be mistaken for your child's grandma all over again.
9. Your high school barkada are telling you to enjoy parenthood while it lasts. Meanwhile, they're all celebrating empty nests and planning child-free vacations, leaving you to wonder if you'll still be able to travel (without a wheelchair!) when your nest becomes empty.
Funny as it may seem, the truth is, in the quiet of night, as you watch your child sleep, you thank God for giving you such a wonderful gift -- a gift that, despite people's shock, your creaking bones, and your fear of the future, you treasure above everything else -- old age, be damned!
Related: My Long Journey Towards Motherhood
Lisa Cheng had her first child at 40 and her second at 42. Her most horrifying moment was when a young girl asked her about her son, "Are you his grandmother?" She would have smacked her were it not for the adults around.
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