Relda Jansen (43)
Children: Jaye-Dee (22), Zoe (19) and Izayah (3)
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.