Our Pages

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Trip to Cougartown

I had an interesting conversation recently with one of the ladies in my life that tries to make me look beautiful. I love talking with her. She always has the most amusing stories to tell or insightful antidotes to share. She’s also well read and likes to talk about books, and she’s genuinely curious about my work as a writer. Yes, I'm easily flattered.

When I first met Helena**, she was newly divorced and had two girls almost in high school. Since our first chat, Helena has become involved in a serious relationship with a man who has never had kids. She’s young enough to have another child, but with her daughters almost out of school, she isn’t sure she wants to start over. Yet, part of her remembers what it was like holding a sweet, tiny newborn, and how precious that time was.

For me, there would be no question or angst. I love my kids, but there is no way I would start over. There are lots of things still on my bucket list I’d like to do before I’m too old to do them. I'm sure there are several women in my camp. Then again, there are women my age, like my brother’s wife, who remarry and happily jump into the baby scene again. Don't you think this comes up fairly often these days with more older women dating or marrying younger men? I'm sure older men have been dealing with it for ages.

I bet there have always been marriages between older women and younger men, but I don’t remember hearing about these May September romances very often. Perhaps these unions were kept quiet, because they weren't looked upon favorably. Coo coo kachoo, Mrs. Robinson!

Thanks to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher that glass ceiling was busted a while back. (It’s too bad their marriage didn’t work out.) Suddenly it became more acceptable for an older woman to pursue a younger guy. Some women began to identify themselves as cougars and sounded pretty darn proud about it. I say, more power to you, ladies. If you find your perfect match, don’t let age stop you. Same for all the single guys out there.

Still, I can’t help wondering what choices these women will make if their younger husband wants a family of his own. I think I would have a hard time denying another person the joy of being a father, but I also don’t want another child.
Of course this is all just a theoretical problem for me. The makings of a Lifetime movie. I met my match several years ago, and we’ve decided we’re going to keep each other. Just a funny side story… I took our teenage son with me to the grocery store the other night after I ran him by the video store. He had a game that was late and I told him I wasn’t going to spend all my money on his late fees. So as we were shopping for food, he said “We’re lucky to have Dad to take care of us.” (I guess he thinks I have no money now.) I smiled and said, “Yeah, we are.” Then he said, “It’s too bad we had to get such a doofus.” LOL. We love our doofus!

I bring this all up for the sake of conversation only. No one actually has to run out and find a hot, young guy or anything. But what do you think you would do if you had children in middle school or high school, and you were dating a younger man who wanted children of his own? Would you consider having another baby? Would you break off the relationship? Do you think there is a story somewhere in here? What about a story with a historical spin? Hmm.

I’ll be on the road this afternoon, but I’ll pop by to respond to comments when I stop to stretch my legs. And just to make it interesting, how would you like to win a copy of Catherine Coulter’s “The Hellion Bride”? Anyone leaving a comment will be entered into the drawing. International readers are welcome to participate, too.

**Helena is a fictional name that I really like and may use for a heroine some day.

37 comments:

  1. IInteresting questions, Samantha! I think a historical-set about an older woman and a younger man could be quite a tale. Have you ever read Cheri by Colette? It's the original cougar story. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read Cheri. I'll have to check it out.

      You know, there would be instant conflict in a historical since the whole point of marriage was to produce an heir. I've been rolling it around in my head. Maybe some day... I did write a very, very short piece with an older woman and younger man. It must intrigue me on some level since it has come up again. I'll have to add it to my idea notebook. :)

      Delete
  2. Samantha, Oh girl, I can tell you right now I'd rather cut my hair in the blender than have another child. Love my babes to the moon and back, and yet, no. Just no. I'm still holding a grudge over what the last one did to my backside. ;}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Andris. I hear ya! I just had a horrifying vision of a blender haircut. ;D

      Delete
    2. OUCH! My head will hurt the rest of the day just thinking about that!! LOL

      Delete
  3. I'm with Andris.;) Plus, I couldn't imagine starting over. It would, however, be an interesting setup in a romance novel. :))

    Great blog, Samantha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay. We have two votes for blender haircuts versus childbirth. I'm not sure what's more disturbing, the thought of the haircut or later finding a hair in my margarita. :D

      Delete
  4. I had both my children at a young age, I was 20 and 22 when they were born. My husband is much older than I and so I knew I had to have them right away if I wanted them. Every once in a while over the years I thought it would be nice to have another one, but I am so set in my ways now that I don't think I would be able to handle it. I like being able to set things down somewhere and not worry about a child getting their hands on it and I really think it would wear me out to chase one around the house all day. My stepsister had a baby a year and half ago and I watched him for 3 hours about a month ago....I came home and took four hour nap! LOL No more babies for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rhi,

      My husband and I had our children a long time before his brother and sister did. With our kids being older, they help out with our nephew and niece, which is nice. I suppose that's how families do it when they have another baby later in life. But the sleepless nights alone strike terror in my heart. I just can't do it again!

      Delete
  5. Since I'm already a little older and still don't have kids, it doesn't really strike me the way it does a lot of moms out there. Also, my sister-in-law is nearly a decade older than my brother. :) I guess you could say she's a cougar. That said, younger men don't really do much for me, usually. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think age is relative when it comes to love and friendship. I don't think it should be a barrier if two people love each other, so kudos to your sister-in-law. :)

      Have a safe flight and I'll see you soon.

      Delete
  6. Samantha ~ That is certainly a question I've pondered over the last few years. I love being a mother (even though my now teenage son is...well... a teenager.) I was fortunate. He was such a wonderful child - no colic, no terrible two's or three's. A really good boy who was sweet as could be. (He's still in there, but wrapped up in teenage angst.) So if I get myself into a serious relationship again, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to the idea, but I've probably used up all my good child karma and would end up with a hellion. I don't know that I have the temperament for a hellion in my old age. ;)

    BUT speaking of cougars, I'm sure I've told you this story - but I have to share it again.

    A couple years ago, my son and I were invited a 4th of July event. So we showed up and one of my friends who hadn't seen my son in a while said to him, "Wow, you've gotten so big and so handsome."

    My son replies dryly, "Yeah, I'm not in to cougars."

    My friend was MORTIFIED. Everyone around us burst into laughter and she said, "He doesn't really think that, does he?"

    No, he didn't really think that - he was just being a smart-alec. (He IS my son, after all.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! That's the funniest story I've ever heard, Ava!!! LMAO!

      P.S. I would love to ship Bella to you for a week or so...then we could see how you'd do with a hellion. LOL!

      Delete
    2. You can send Bella to me. I'll spoil her rotten and then send her back. ;)

      Delete
    3. Ava,

      I love this story! Your son is witty like his momma.

      Our son has been the easiest child, too, and I needed a very easy child when he came along. We relocated to another state when he was 9 months old, and then he and I lived alone for a year while hubby finished his fellowship in another town. Then our little spitfire came along. We adore her, but I definitely wouldn't have the energy to have two little spitfires. :)

      Delete
  7. The answer to your question is very easy for me, Samantha...Hell-to-the-NO! I'm still in baby-making prime and I can already tell you there's no way I'm going to do this again. The thought of doing it ten years down the road is enough to give me hives. lol. Thankfully, hubby and I are on the same page - no more babies for us, but we've decided we'll keep the one we have ;)

    As a side note, our nanny is 38 with one daughter and when her husband recently suggested they have another, she said, "You go...go have another baby...just not with me...and don't bring it here." LOL! I love how much my nanny and I think alike!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Jerrica! I'm forever threatening to steal my nephews (6 and 1) from my sister and raise them myself. They are soooo adorable. The youngest, he IS a little hellion. Cracks me up! I think my sister has finally met her match. ;)

      Of course my son - who normally could care less whether he has my attention or not - is not so thrilled with the idea. Apparently, I should sit at home on the off chance he might want my attention. Like, being on standby. He is not thrilled about sharing my attention with anyone at any time.

      Delete
    2. Jerrica,

      That's hilarious about the nanny. :D

      You and Eric have so much fun with Bella. It seems like your family is complete just as it is.

      Delete
  8. Sam- if life threw a curve ball and I find myself in another relationship with a younger man who wanted children I don't know if that relationship will last. I watched my mother start over with a little one. Which was 20 years later, granted it was with my father. Still. I don't think I would cause I was angry with her, but there was other issues there too. I wouldn't want my children angry with me.

    Interesting blog. Plus, you should use Helena. I like that name too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melody ~ My son would be furious with me. (I think his stems from being an only child.) ;)

      Delete
    2. Melody,

      My son is constantly warning me of the dangers of having a child after age 35, like I've ever talked about having another. Puleese!! But I'll take that as a sign he is not in favor. LOL

      Wow! 20 years between children is a lot!

      So you like Helena... But not Hector, right? ;-)

      Delete
    3. Hector would be a tough one to write about. Unless he was like a pirate from the Caribbean.

      Ava- I can understand from that. I was only girl till my mom had my sister. I was upset that my title was taken from me. ;) however, I have survive.

      Delete
  9. I too will add another vote for the No-to-Infinity-and-Beyond. I love my kids but one would have been enough for me. Two is plenty and I won't survive if there is a third.

    If I could get rid of my female parts, I would. My greatest fear is right before menopause an accident happens. We know quite a few people who ended up with a late child 10 to 15 years after their 'last one'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandma had my dad when she was 45! The doctor thought he was a tumor. I'm sure she was shocked to be pregnant. My dad has nieces older than him. :)

      Delete
  10. LOL oh lord, well I'm not a cougar but I have two older sons ages 19 and 15. And well, after my separation from my first husband I found another man whom I love dearly and well, we had a little slip up who happened to come along nine months later that we lovingly call "blockhead." LOL

    He's four now but yes, I was headed for the home stretch when I started over and crazy as it all seems. I don't regret it. Though I will say this, it is much, much, much harder to raise a child if you're thirty or over than it was in your twenties. My thirty something self is exhausted all the time. I cannot imagine being a bit older and having a small child. That blows my mind.

    Interestingly enough and I'll probably get blasted for this but my lovely mother is a cougar. She's almost a decade older than my dad and after 42 years of marriage they still act like teenagers in love. I love that. I am so glad that I finally found that for myself. It took over thirty years to achieve it but it was definitely worth the wait. I think for the most part age is nothing but a number and if you're in love then I say go for it. There are however extreme cases I don't agree with but that's not what this blog is about.

    With that said, heed my warning, raising young children after the age of thirty five or so is extremely tough. You have less patients than you did as a younger woman and you find that you're not as active as you once were, exhaustion sets in around three in the afternoon whereas in my twenties I didn't get exhausted until around nine pm. But I wouldn't change a thing. I will say though that this is definitely the last as we've been fixed so to speak lol. Great thought provoking post, Samantha! And I love the name Helena!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. patience...see I'm exhausted and totally misspelled that.

      Delete
    2. Suzie,
      I think we find we can adjust when we need to. if I suddenly found myself pg I'd cry my eyes out then get down to the business of raising another child.

      Good for your mom. All that matters is they love each other. :)

      Delete
  11. There definately is a story somewhere in there, it just might be exactly what you were expecting!

    In fact I have a historical story to tell. It all began when my father's mother died when he was a toddler in 1915. His mother's older sister, who was a petite but handsome woman, had never married but worried if something ever happened to his father who would get the child. Certainly not a single woman!

    A year later she met a sailor much below her in society. She realized he came from a completely different background and was a "self-made" man and also a big sturdy well built man as well! Even though others might not have thought it prudent she fell madly in love with her "sailing man"! She was a 30 year old spinster and even though she suspected she was older than he was but he never asked and she never told him her concerns.

    Who knew at the time that he suspected she was much older than him but was afraid to let her know his true age because if whe knew she might consider him "too young" to take seriously! He was just 19.

    They wed that same year and my Aunt always kept track of my father no matter where they were transferred during my Uncle's career. He rose in the ranks and ended up retiring a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard after being awarded multiple medals of honor during his years of service during multiple wars.

    I'm know that at some point in time my Uncle discovered her true birthday but he would never share her secret and on her tombstone is the birthday she picked for herself!

    Stories are all around us just waiting to be told but sometimes they are the most special when tucked close in our hearts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanne,

      What a great story to have as part of your family history! I can see why you hold it close to your heart. Thanks for sharing it!

      Delete
  12. Very interesting post. I believe I've seen some books with this situation. I think it's fine as long as the couple are happy.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. We all just want to be happy. :)

      Delete
  13. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. I was 15 and he was 17 when we got married. I am now 49 years old and the thought of being with a younger man and having more children would make me run screaming from the house!!! No and let me say again NO! I am the same age as Demi Moore and my daughter is the same age as Ashton Kutcher and I always thought there is no way I could be with someone 15 years younger than me. What do you talk about after you get out of bed? lol. And at some point the age difference would become bigger then your relationship can handle. I think that 5 or 6 years or younger would be ok, but that's about it. I wouldn't even start anything, because I knew after the 2nd child there would not be more. My children are 9 years apart, so I was very sure. I do think a book would be pretty good though. What I like to read in a book is not the same as what I want in real life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eventually it seems the age difference would come into play, but surprisingly some people make it work. I think 15 years would be pushing it for me. I might feel like a lecher. LOL

      Delete
  14. I'm not married & admit to never having had an hankering for kids. It would be hard to imagine having a child in middle age. Would it be fair to the child having a an aged parent? When I read about celebrities getting married & having kids; whether it's an olderman/young wife or vice versa I always wonder why they have more children when the divorce rate is so high & it's not like they don't hv kids..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I sometimes wonder why celebrities have kids later, too. It's not for me. :)

      Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. I've found today's discussion very interesting.

      Delete
  15. While I married a man my own age, we're waiting to have kids--probably until our 30's. For us, it'll give us time to try and actually figure out our lives (somewhat) before we start another chapter.

    We're still kind of young, so I figure we've got a ways to go. Having never had kids, probably wouldn't be a deterrent to me to be with a younger man, should it all go to hell in a hand basket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erica,
      It's nice to have that time before having kids. My husband & I didn't meet until after grad school, so we had a few kid free years between the two of us. :)

      Delete