Relda Jansen (43)

Chil­dren: Jaye-Dee (22), Zoe (19) and Iza­yah (3)

Fairlady - - TALKING POINT -

Iza­yah was com­pletely un­planned. I was 39 go­ing on 40 and I hon­estly thought my preg­nancy symp­toms were an in­tro­duc­tion to menopause! Maybe now when I fi­nally do hit that phase I’ll have to rule out preg­nancy as a pos­si­bil­ity. Hav­ing a child at a later stage isn’t usu­ally ad­vised. At the time of my preg­nancy, my main con­cern was my chronic hy­per­ten­sion, and how it would af­fect my health and that of the baby.

I was so ner­vous about telling my chil­dren about my preg­nancy. I told them only five months in. They could prob­a­bly tell be­cause they were old enough to guess, but I held on to my truth for a long time.

The chil­dren were very emo­tional about the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other child in the house. Jaye-Dee was con­stantly con­cerned about my health and also wor­ried about the fi­nan­cial as­pect of rais­ing a child. I wasn’t work­ing at the time – not re­ally the ideal time to be en­ter­tain­ing the idea of a baby! And Zoe didn’t want to hear about the ex­is­tence of the baby. She’d lock her­self in her room to avoid con­ver­sa­tion about him. But the sec­ond they met him, they came around.

It’s dif­fer­ent with Iza­yah; I’m more present with him. I have more time now than be­fore. With Jaye-Dee and Zoe, I was work­ing ir­reg­u­lar hours. My late mom helped me. Now my girls are the ones help­ing me with their brother. I have a job now, as a preschool teacher.

Peo­ple worry about the en­ergy lev­els of older moms, and I see how en­ergy could be a con­cern for some women. The body does tend to give in to the years. But that’s not my ex­pe­ri­ence. Yes, I have days when I’m to­tally down and out, but I think every­one with a child has those mo­ments – it comes with the job. I have to pre­pare my­self for my in­ter­ac­tions with the young one; he’s three years old now and I do my best to match his en­er­getic spirit.

Jaye-Dee is quite the dis­ci­plinar­ian! She has a ma­ter­nal re­la­tion­ship with her brother but they get along very well. It’s such a re­lief to know that they have each other; it’s the best gift a mother can ever ask for. It’s in­ter­est­ing rais­ing a tod­dler with my grown chil­dren.

I don’t think the av­er­age woman in her for­ties would want to have chil­dren, es­pe­cially when she has grown-up kids. There’s menopause and a lot of other changes at that stage in a woman’s life. But some­times na­ture de­cides for you, and you must raise that child as best you can. Af­ter all, chil­dren are a bless­ing, what­ever age you are.

Relda Jansen says her daugh­ter Jaye-Dee has a ma­ter­nal re­la­tion­ship with her lit­tle brother, Iza­yah.

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