More mature moms having babies, enjoying new social lives
By Kimberly Wiggins, Reporter -
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Keeping up with toddlers like Brooke at Kindermusik class in Orlando takes a lot-- especially for moms like Sonya Ratcliff.
"Obviously I don't have as much energy, and don't bend like I did in my 20s," said Ratcliff.
Ratcliff is 46 with two adult daughters.
"It's actually kind of nice, because you go through the empty nest, but I'm so busy with her."
She's just one of many mature mamas trading quality time with a husband for playtime with a toddler.
"I'm noticing some more older moms in the last bunch of years," said Kindermusik teacher Holly Lesnick.
She had Brooke three years ago after she remarried. Ratcliff said their new addition means less socializing, and they love it.
"It's just kind of where we are in life right now," Ratcliff said. "Like I said, it's my husband's first child so everything is about her, and he'd rather her go with us."
Ratcliff is in good company.
The 2008 Birth Study revealed the highest birth rate since 1967 for women 40 to 44. A University of Virginia economist reveals a possible green reason behind the trend. The study claims every year a women delays motherhood, she makes 9% more, so a decade delay could double her income and help buy all of those diapers, bottles, and childcare.
"I talk to the other moms. Lots of them are my age," said Lyons.
42 year old Amelia Lyons gave birth to Mark in July. Six years ago, the University of Central Florida professor had her first child Leo.
"I have a job baby and a tenure baby," said Lyons.
With Leo, she worried about fitting into parenting classes, but not with Mark.
"There were moms of all ages. You know, moms in their 20s to moms like me in their 40s. All kind of having the same anxieties," said Lyons.
Lyons admits there are tradeoffs: more potty training and fewer parties.
"I have a lot of things that I did in my 20s and 30s," said Lyons. "I had a Fulbright to do my research in France and live there for a year. I might not have been able to do that."
Both women look forward to helping those in their nest grow while they grow a little grayer.
"You either have those years early or you have them later," said Lyons. "I will have years later. I'm going to stay in shape, and I'm going to be traveling when I'm in my 60s and 70s, so I'm not worried."
"I keep myself in shape then maybe people won't know," said Ratcliff.
However, Ratcliff's schedule is about to get twice as busy.
"I'm actually expecting again in April," said Ratcliff.