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Becoming a First-Time Mom at Age 41

How later-in-life motherhood renewed my youth.
Becoming a First-Time Mom at Age 41
Image: Rob Briscoe / Flickr

Everyone warns expectant parents about how much their lives will change when the new baby arrives. “You’ll never have a good night’s sleep again,” they say. “Good luck even finding the time to brush your teeth in peace!”

Even if I didn’t realize that having my first child at 41 would be very difficult physically and mentally, more than a few friends pointed it out to me. At that point in my life, old routines would die hard. Keeping up with a little one would be exhausting. And as I shifted my focus to family and motherhood, I’d miss the intellectual stimulation of my professional work.

But for all the warnings and fears over how much a new baby could drain a first-time mom, my experience turned out to be very different. Rather than being lost in the monotony of naps, feedings, and diaper changes, being a new parent required every mental faculty I could muster. The stakes were high, and I found myself absorbed in all the details. Though I did lose plenty of sleep as a new mom, I found God used motherhood to deliver on his promise to “renew our youth like the eagles” (Ps. 103:5).

Now that my daughter’s 12th birthday is around the corner, I’ve been reflecting on the last dozen years and how God keeps his word. Psalm 103 has long been a source of comfort for me in difficult times, including when I did not think I would ever have a family. But it never occurred to me that the miracle of a child also ...

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