Over the holidays there was an article in the Los Angeles Times by Laura Nelson about Rachel York, the Broadway star of Anything Goes. In the article York, a relatively new mother, is quoted as saying, “When you have children late in life, they’re the center of your world.”
That quote provided some insight into why my friends’ late-life pregnancies were especially difficult for me. Not only did I suddenly and unpleasantly lose the sense that I had close peers traveling my same path, but the ones who had children later seemed to lose themselves totally in the mothering experience, at least initially.
Hmmm.. this is an odd quote. I would say children are the center of a mother (or father’s world) no matter what the age. Age is irrelevant…unless I’m interpreting it wrong – and is it meant to imply “center of the world” as in parents that are hyper focused on parenting to the nth degree? As in the whole “Tiger Mom” scenario? If so, I would say this kind of hyper focus (by society overall, let alone parents) is a problem of parenting nowadays in general (the money pit that is Baby Einstein for anyone stupid enough to buy into it as one example). Although, I think it is likely less to do with age and more to do with socioeconomic class.
I’m guessing what she meant is that if you have kids young, you are more likely to take them for granted and also more likely to have lots of other distractions, whereas if you almost miss the boat, you appreciate the experience more. Also, I’ve heard of second-time fathers who had no time for their first round of kids but then savored the experience the second round.
I can see that happening with the “second-time dads” – particularly given the fact that any man who has a second round of kids, by definition was likely not the best dad/husband etc the first time around. With regard to taking kids for granted though, it can equally be argued that people that have kids young (in their 20’s – as some women I know..which is young by today’s baby pregnancy norms) choose to do so Because they want nothing more than to be a mom and to have kids…in which case the kids are also the center of the parents world and not taken for granted. To be honest, I don’t know any people that take their kids for granted, regardless of age. The woman in the piece is a stage actress though – so just having a kid is likely not the norm in her profession, which may give her a skewed view of parenting. There will always be people that are less focused on their kids, but I strongly disagree this this would be dependent on age.
Yes she did mention that it is unusual in her profession to have kids.