November 12, 2018

10 signs you’re an ‘older’ Jewish mom

The average age of childbearing in the United States is 26. For Jews, it’s a few years higher. Some of us Jewish moms, however, had our children significantly later than that. Here are 10 things that only “older” Jewish moms will recognize.

1. There’s an even chance your child sports an old-fashioned Jewish name like Ada, Jack, Abe or Lily.

Being older means there’s less chance all of our grandparents are alive (never mind great-grandparents), making it much more likely you chose a name that sounds like it came out of the Lower East Side instead of a modern baby naming book.

2. In Mommy and Me classes, you schmooze with the grandmothers as much as the other moms.

And kvetched together about the havoc that sitting on the floor wreaks on your back…

3. When it comes time to choose bar and bat mitzvah invitations, you go for paper over evites.

For some of us “older” moms, it just doesn’t seem formal unless it’s mailed in a bonded envelope.

4. You love the vintage toy selection from Fisher Price. 

You don’t buy old-fashioned toy record players and jack-in-the-boxes to be ironic; you remember playing with them when you were a kid, too.

5. You still send out Rosh Hashanah cards with pictures of your kids inside.

Printed on paper. With a stamp and everything.

6. When your daughter goes to an ‘80s theme party, you lend her plastic bangles you still have tucked away in a drawer somewhere. 

And show her the correct way to wear leg warmers, too.

7. You still haven’t quite recovered from seeing the words “geriatric pregnancy” written in your medical chart.

Used to denote any mom-to-be over 35, the term “geriatric” is startling ever greater numbers of us older moms each year.

8. Sometimes you take a nap at naptime, too. 

OK, maybe more than sometimes…

9. You order your child’s class pictures each year — and still print out pictures. 

At times, your kids roll your eyes when you say there’s nothing like a real photo you can hold.

10. You wish you had the energy you did 20 years ago to keep up with your toddler. 

Sometimes you mourn a little that you didn’t “settle down” earlier. Then you look at your child’s smile, feel a little flutter in your heart, and think that if things had worked out differently when you were young, you wouldn’t have this exact same wonderful, enchanting child. And suddenly, you think you wouldn’t change a thing.


Yvette Alt Miller, Ph.D. has worked as a professor of International Relations, a trade analyst for the US Government and in public affairs. She lives with her family in Chicago.