As part of the growing demographic of ‘older’ Mums, we are often told the disadvantages of having children in our late 30’s and 40’s. The increased risk of disabilities and genetic imbalances, the lower chance of fertility and the more stress and strain on our bodies; not to mention that we won’t necessarily be around for our grandchildren nor great-grand children.
But there are some advantages too, particularly if you have been working in the same job for some time.
1. You are more likely to have accrued significant amounts of sick leave, which can be used for doctor’s appointments and tests rather than using annual leave. I found this to be a bonus during my pregnancy as I didn’t have to juggle hours to get where I needed to be.
2. You can access long service leave as well as any paid maternity leave that is in your Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. Both I and hubby had this provision, with the intention of taking an overseas holiday, but our lovely little surprise baby is instead going to get the benefit of two parents being at home for the first 8 weeks rather than me trying to cope on my own (as family are not close by).
3. If you have a mortgage, it could be much smaller and thereby reduce the financial pressures during the time of living off one wage. We were fortunate that I am a fairly conservative spender and were already on track to pay off our mortgage this year, which we should still be able to do. However you can also look at re-financing or using some of the equity in your home (if you have a redraw facility available) to assist with the associated costs of setting up a nursery and preparing for baby’s arrival.
4. Hopefully you will have already made the ‘big’ purchases in life. Overseas holidays, new cars and other home electronic items may have already found their way into your home or lifestyle, which makes it easier to go without them for the next few years whilst you establish your family and save for other things that are now much more important.
None of these are incentives for delaying having a baby; but it’s nice to know that for us ‘older’ Mums who are just getting started that there are some advantages too.
Posted by gouldie, 16th May 2014