#Howareusus? | First child of 38
“I think it’s good that I became a mother late”
Brit Salmon did not feel she wanted a child for a long time. In the mid-30s came the desire to have children, at 38 the first son and now at 42 the second is to be born. A call log
In the series #How do we feel? Tell people what they’re thinking right now – personally, sometimes contradictory and controversial. rbb | 24 wants to provide insight into different worlds of thought and document perspectives without assessing or classifying them. They do not reflect the opinion of the editors.
Brit Salmon grew up in Pirna, lived in Dresden and studied social work. She lived in Reykjavik, Iceland, for several years and since 2013 has lived in Berlin with her partner and their four-year-old son. She works as a teacher in a day care institution in Berlin.
I dropped out of high school when I was 18, then went on to a volunteer social year and started studying as a 20-year-old. To be honest, I did not have children in mind at the time. Some of the older fellow students already had one or two children, and I always thought to myself: Oh, how are they doing? And also: The student days are the time when you have to go out for a longer period of time, to student parties and such. At the time, I could never have imagined having a baby. I thought: I want to experience a little more first, travel, just see something of the world. And also: You have time for 30.
But when I was about 27, just finished my studies and had a really steady job for the first time, I suddenly feared: Is that it now? Am I now doing this job until 60? Or am I thinking of something else? So while my friends around me all had their first kids as a 27- or 28-year-old, I thought: no, that’s not something for me. I broke up with my boyfriend and said to myself: I’m going my own way – and moved to Iceland when I was 28.
When I said goodbye to the day care center where I worked, there were a lot of mothers my age, some with their second child. They stood in front of me and said, “If I did not have a child, I would do the same.” I also heard longing and thought to myself, I’m just doing it now. I will not tell myself later that I did not try it.
Back then, until I was in my early thirties, I always thought I would not have children, that I would be happy without children. But then I met my partner and at 34 o’clock the clock started ticking. I had not expected that, because the case was actually ready for me. My partner and I have decided: we can try it. But in the end, it took me, until I was 37, to get pregnant. The cause was a fibroid in my uterus. My gynecologist sent me to a specialist and eventually to a fertility clinic. It was not that easy.
With baby number one, I thought the pregnancy was okay, I was fit and had no doubt I had done it four years ago. But I thought: We are a little late with another, but the first should have worked at the age of 35. But then we decided on another – and I must be honest, I underestimated that. When I had the positive pregnancy test in hand, it pulled the blanket out from under my feet for a moment. I thought, can I really do this, can this do my body, can this do our relationship? And I can actually relate to the fact that I’m otherwise 42 years old.
It was a little harder in the beginning of the pregnancy, but I’m feeling really good at the moment and my fear or anxiety is more about surviving the birth and then getting back on my feet. My first child was born in about 48 hours. It does matter to you, and it took me a while before I was reasonably well again. Now that I’m 42, of course I have respect, even knowing I’m already had my first child. But I also say to myself that I somehow manage. I also have a great environment with friends and family to turn to for help.
My partner always asks: Can we afford another child? Then I do a little math and think to myself, oh yeah, that should probably work somehow. I think my mother was a very good role model. We did not have that much money either, but she always did really well. If a child gets love and attention and you just handle it, then it does not matter if I have a lot of money or not.
I think it’s good that I became a mother late because I now feel much more confident and self-determined in my life than I did ten years or so ago. I was more of a young woman who wanted to live it up. Now I just feel better.
Minutes of the interview: Christina Rubarth
Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, 18 May 2022, at 11:10