I just gave a talk to OLLI students — mostly retirees living in Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, about “othermothering.” Some waiting-to-be-grandmothers in the audience had a good chuckle about statistics I came across when researching the lecture.
They weren’t surprised that other than celebrities and trailblazing women having their first babies when they’re 45 or older, the overall U.S. birthrate has been on a steady decline since 2007. And it’s not just this side of the pond.
The June 28th, 2013 edition of the Daily Mail informed readers that women with university degrees are bulging the belly curve even later by waiting until they turn 35 to make babies. The horror!
“If the phenomenon continues for another generation,” the article contends, “it means some grandparents will have to wait an extra 20 years, until the age of 70, to have their first grandchild.”
Let me clear my throat. If there is indeed an impending granny gap, othermothing is a low-tech way for women on both ends of it to meet their nurturing needs. Not to mention the chief beneficiaries of multiple mothers providing emotional support: the children they cherish.