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Becoming a mum in your late 30s or early 40s can have its advantages

While lots of us imagine having a baby in our twenties, life doesn’t always work out that way – and sometimes that’s a really good thing. In recent years, more women seem to be having children later according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. If you’ve waited, here are some things you might recognise.

1. You feel ready. Like really ready

You’ve had the chance to cross a lot off your list of life goals. From wild parties to travelling the world, you’re likely to have been there and got the t-shirt so will be ready to settle down and have a baby – although don’t throw away your rucksack just yet!

2. You’re on first name terms with your bank manager

Being an older mum could come with some financial advantages if you’re lucky enough to have been in your job for a while. You might not have been awarded your Long Service mantle clock yet, but having collected your first payslip in your early 20s, you’re more likely to have bought a house (fingers crossed) and to have thought about things like savings, pensions and life insurance. You’re also likely to be at a point in your career when taking a baby break is manageable. Maternity leave can be hard at any age but reminding your boss of your experience might just tip the balance in your favour if you want to negotiate flexible working.

3. You’ve had plenty of practice

From siblings to friends and colleagues, chances are you’ll know at least one person who has had a baby, giving you first-hand experience of changing, holding and entertaining a little one. Although it’s never quite the same as having your own, it can make things seem a bit less daunting if you at least know how to hold a newborn without breaking it… And you’ll be able to receive all the clothes and nursery bits and pieces your friends and family no longer need! They’ll also be able to ‘hand down’ plenty of tips and advice.

4. You won’t need your costly gym membership

From the endless walks around the park trying to get baby to sleep to chasing after an active toddler, chances are you’ll be getting plenty of exercise without having to hit the gym – and without those expensive monthly fees too! This is a chance to reassess all those spending routines you’ve got stuck in over the years.

5. You feel confident in yourself

With a little bit of extra life experience to call upon you’ll hopefully feel self-assured and won’t worry about what others think. Coping with your toddler’s tantrums in a crowded shopping centre is nothing compared with the years you spent putting up with your short-tempered boss.

6. You’ve finally found ‘the one’

Whether it’s a new partner or someone you’ve been with a while, you’ve probably had your fair share of relationships so you should be able to spot one that will last the test of time (and all those night feeds…). And if you’re going it alone, you know yourself and your needs inside-out.

7. You know who you can rely on

You’re lucky to have found a group of friends who will be there when you need them. From making you a cup of tea when you’re exhausted to being there on the other end of the phone when you want to chat, it’s finally pay back time for all those tricky moments you helped them through. Bring it on!

For more information about the ups and downs of having a baby when you are older read our guide to getting pregnant in your late 30s and 40sIf you are over 35 and having trouble conceiving or want any advice about having a baby, chat to your doctor about your options.