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Wise Motherhood and the 11 Mental Health Tips for Older Moms

It can be difficult to deal with the stress of raising children even when the parent is young. But older moms sometimes have less physical energy and free time, making parenting more taxing. Here are eleven mental health tips for wise motherhood to help support the physical and mental well-being of older moms.

1. Be on the Lookout for Self-Care Strategies

As an older mom, you experience different challenges than younger moms.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. Many women go through similar journeys.

There are benefits to mature motherhood. Seasoned moms possess particular wisdom that some younger mothers may have not yet acquired.

Physical and mental health are interconnected.

When you are physically healthy, you tend to feel better mentally – and the opposite is true.

A key part of maintaining both physical and mental health is living a wellness lifestyle.

It’s never too late to start making positive changes in your life. Decide to shift your mindset to one that gives you full permission to take care of your own health.

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Not only is this more practical, but your children will see you prioritizing your self-care and, on some unconscious level, absorb the message that healthy people give themselves tune-ups.

older moms sharing their wisdom

2. Therapy Can Help Older Moms Feel More Centered

A strange part of motherhood is meeting other people’s needs.

Sometimes, a mother feels like everyone else’s needs are getting met before hers.

Therapy provides a solution to this conundrum.

Talking to an objective professional who has been trained to hold you in positive regard while creating a safe space for you to explore, out loud, your thoughts and feelings can be immensely helpful.

The therapeutic process is grounding, helps you release anxiety, and reminds you of who you truly are and what’s most important to you.

Therapists also help with strategies for improving spousal compatibility.

Arguments between spouses about parenting are often about scheduling, screen time, and sugar. Experienced therapists are accustomed to helping parents find solutions to these common sticking points.

If you’re experiencing mental health challenges, seek a licensed therapist’s services. There is no shame in receiving guidance.

Seeking help is an empowering act of self-care. A mental health professional can provide support and help you develop coping mechanisms.

3. Take Time for Yourself Away from Motherhood

It’s important to make time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.

Doing things that help you feel happier – such as reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk – will improve your mental health.

4. Exercise Consistently When Possible

Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also improve your brain chemistry. Taking time to get active can help reduce anxiety and increase endorphins (the happy hormones).

5. Consume a Healthier Diet

Just like exercise, what you eat can also impact your mental health. Eating nutritious foods helps to improve mood and energy levels. Conversely, eating junk food often makes you feel bloated and sluggish – and can foster negative emotions.

6. Sleep More Deeply

Getting enough quality sleep is critical for good mental health. When well-rested, you’re better able to deal with resistance and pet peeves. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try a few things, such as reading before bed or investing in a more comfortable mattress.

7. Pause to Connect with Other Moms Over 50

Spending time with family members and loved ones is an effective way to improve your mental health.

Whether you stay in touch via text, social media, or in-person, quality time with those you care about can help promote positive emotions.

Taking time out from your busy life to have tea with a friend – particularly if it’s another mother close to your age – can do wonders for your mental state.

Strong relationships bolster a healthy life.

8. Go on Periodic Technology Fasts

It’s important to take breaks from technology and disconnect from the outside world now and then. Staying glued to your phone or laptop can increase stress and anxiety.

Make sure to take time each day to disconnect from technology and relax in nature or with a good book.

9. Find a Fun Hobby Well-Suited for Mature Moms

Doing things you enjoy can help improve your mental health. Whether painting, hiking, biking, or gardening, participating in activities that make you happy can help reduce stress and improve your mood.

10. Tap into Mindfulness and the Wisdom of Mature Motherhood

Mindfulness is a form of meditation focusing on your breath and being present in the moment. It can help to lessen stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as through yoga, tai chi, or simply by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and bring awareness to your breathing.

11. Volunteer with Other Moms

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and help others. It can also be beneficial for your mental health. Volunteering has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression severity. It puts you around other enthusiastic people with whom you can share the goal of making a beneficial difference.

Average Increase in Age of First-Time Mothers

When it comes to motherhood, women have been waiting longer to have their first child:

  • In 1935, the average age was 21 for a first-time birth.
  • In 2014, it was 26.3.
  • In 2022, it is age 30.

Because of fertility treatments (IVF) advancements, it is much more common today to see women becoming pregnant in their late-30s, 40s, and even 50s.

Not only are older moms parenting young children, but sometimes at the same time, they are also caring for aging parents and/or managing a job outside the home. This can add to the stress and makes self-care all the more important.

Mental Health for Older Moms

It’s vital not to take mental illness lightly. Mental health is important at any age, but it is especially important for moms over 40.

If you think you may have a mental illness, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Generally, mental illness is treated with medication, therapy, or a combination.

The wellness lifestyle has been proven to help improve the mental health of older moms.

Living a wellness lifestyle can mean eating an anti-inflammatory diet, improving the quality of your sleep, modifying thought patterns to move from negative to more positive, and engaging in consistent workouts.

Finding time for activities you enjoy and feel good about is important. This could be spending time with friends and family, reading, or doing something creative.

To end on a positive note, there is another benefit for older moms. According to a recent study (see sources below) – late-life mothering doubles the odds of living a longer lifespan.

Additional Sources on Mature Motherhood:

Older Moms Have Longer Lifespan – https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-older-moms-much-more-likely-to-become-old-ladies-20140625-story.html

Mean Age of Motherhood Is on the Rise – https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db232.htm

Generational Childbearing Differences – https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db68.pdf

Deferred Motherhood and Moms Over 40 – https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-05-06/motherhood-deferred-us-median-age-for-giving-birth-hits-30

On Screen Time – https://centerforanxietydisorders.com/how-much-is-too-much-technology-screen-time-and-your-mental-health/

The Brain/Food Connection – https://www.provisionliving.com/blog/brain-food-essential-nutrients/