Laura Linney on having a child at 49: It’s unlikely I’ll be alive when he’s 50

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Laura Linney is one of my favorite actresses to cover, probably because I’ve seen her on stage and she blew me away (The Crucible with Liam Neeson in 2002). I also loved her work on The Big C and of course Love Actually. Plus she seems so down to earth and she keeps herself scarce. Don’t get me wrong I’d like to hear more from her, it’s just that when we do it’s a rare treat. So she has a lengthy interview with The Guardian to promote her new show with Jason Bateman on Netflix called Ozark. It’s about a couple on the run from a Mexican drug cartel who settle in Missouri. So far it has mixed reviews on Metacritic, but I’ll give it a chance as I find that Metacritic has harsher review scores than Rotten Tomatoes for some reason. Anyway Linney got candid with The Guardian, particularly about becoming a mom later in life. She had a baby boy, Bennett, at the age of 49, having kept her pregnancy private until the baby arrived. That was about three and a half years ago and it sounds like she loves being a mom. Linney told The Guardian that she really doesn’t have any regrets but that she does worry about dying when her son is much younger than most people are when they lose their parents. It sounds bittersweet the way she tells it.

On having a child later in life
“I’m certainly not an advocate for having children later, but for me, it’s been wonderful and I’m deeply grateful. People would say to me, ‘Your life’s going to change.’ Good!” She laughs. “I want my life to change…”

In fact, she says, there is only one downside to having a child this late, “and that is the bittersweet reality of chronology. I hope to prepare him in a way that whenever … I mean, anybody could die at any moment, but you know, my being alive when he’s 50 is unlikely. Even 40 is unlikely. But other than that, there’s no downside. None. I can remember being awake at 4.30am with him when he was an infant and loving it. When you don’t think it’s going to happen for you and somehow it does, there is a spiritual aspect that’s undeniable. You don’t take it for granted.”

On her requirements for taking a job:
“People who are like-minded and have a similar taste, and a similar definition of what’s good. Because what’s good to someone is terrible to someone else and if you’re working with people who don’t want what you have to offer, that is demoralising and a very lonely feeling. You just want to crawl into a hole.”

On the uncertainty of acting
“You’re a human being, so you’re going to be nervous, and you’re going to doubt, and fret. The way I deal with that is I just go to work. The way you get rid of the anxiety is to demystify it, and get involved, and realise that it’s not about you.”

“It depends on why you do what you do,” says Linney. “If you want to be a business or a brand, if you are playing parts based on [the demands of] your career, rather than on what’s interesting, then it is all about you.” And, of course, she says, “a lot of it is out of your control. But you try to learn something, you try to have a good time, you try to contribute. And then you do the best you can.”

[From The Guardian]

I like how she explained doing what you can and letting go of what you can’t. I struggle with that and she explained it in such a clear and matter-of-fact way. As for being a mom, the article explained that she takes four out of seven days off to be with Bennett and that her husband, Bennett’s dad Marc Schauer, and her mom take care of him while she’s away. I’m 44 and can’t imagine having another child at this age, it’s so hard to raise a child but it’s also so rewarding. I do think about it and sometimes look wistfully at babies and try to remember what it’s like, but I also remember all the hard work, worrying and sleepless nights. I could also relate to her requirements to work with like-minded people. I can attest that when you have the same values and basic principles as your coworkers that it goes a lot easier since you’re all starting from the same page.

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photos credit: WENN.com and Getty

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107 Responses to “Laura Linney on having a child at 49: It’s unlikely I’ll be alive when he’s 50”

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  1. D says:

    Ozark is great

    • t.fanty says:

      It is. I’m three episodes in, and really enjoying it. I do think that Bateman puts it in his contract, though, that he is entitled to one sassy and quick-thinking speech per episode.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Just finished episode 3 of Ozark last night and can’t wait to watch 2-3 more tonight. That show is GREAT, we’ re loving it.

    • Snowflake says:

      I need to watch it, I’m from the Ozarks. Lived my childhood there. Now in FL. Would like to see if it’s accurate. In million dollar baby, Hillary swank’s accent sounded so hickish to me. I don’t think we sound that bad

  2. Jayna says:

    I finished Ozark this past week. LOVED it. I didn’t want it to end. She is phenomenal in it. It’s not a typical wife role where she’s there for window dressing. She gets a meaty role in this show. As I said in a previous thread, there is not one false note actingwise between Jason Bateman and Laura. And I so love they hired someone who is the same age of Justin for his wife. She’s actually older than him in real life.

    She’s always one of my favorite interviews.

    • Algernon says:

      Is it really dark or does it have some humor? I want to watch it, because I like everyone involved, but I just can’t handle depressing “everyone dies” stuff right now.

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        We had to stop after the first episode for that reason too. It was dark, depressing, for us. Not to others, but for us.

      • TQB says:

        Pretty solidly dark. I didn’t like my Bateman without some humor and bailed.

    • ichsi says:

      @Jayna THIS. I did have some problems with Ozark but I generally enjoyed it and I absolutely LOVED her in it. Such a layered role and she played it so well, especially in the scenes she shared with Bateman. They both shined as soon they were together.

      @Algernon there is some humour in it but it’s more blink and you’ll miss it and the series overall is very dark. Not your typical Bateman vehicle.

  3. TQB says:

    1) I covet that dress. So simple and lovely.
    2) Bateman is still so freaking hot BUT
    3) Ozark was not good.

    I’m pregnant at 42. It’s a lot to handle but really, all of it can be handled, except for the one thing she notes. You just can’t get around it. I just hope to have the chance to know her as a grown adult for a while.

    • Kitten says:

      Jason Bateman is one of my Forevers. He just gets hotter and hotter….

    • Esmom says:

      TQB, I’m glad I’m not the only one who disliked Ozark. Although I’ve only watched one episode. I didn’t see much of anything that would want me to watch more, except for Linney. She’s so great.

      All the best to you and your little one. Enjoy every precious minute because no matter what age you are as a mom, the time flies.

      Kitten, I used to find him hot but there was something about him in Ozark…I can’t put my finger on it. Physically he’s still attractive but there was a coldness to him — that wasn’t just connected to the character he was playing — that i found really off putting. Like there was something selfish about his performance. Not sure if I’m making sense!

      • Anon33 says:

        @esmom: this will prob get lost in the shuffle of comments but I agree re: Bateman. A long time ago my husband and I were watching some bonus materials on one of the Arrested Development DVDs-it was a bunch of the actors doing funny commentary over an episode-and I will never forget how Jason WENT AFTER Judy Greer (who was not present for the commentary) about a zit she had on her forehead in one scene. Very fratty in nature, he kept going back to it and mentioning it, and it has put me off him since that time, even though he’d been one of my oldest crushes. It was quite an odd thing for a grown adult to dwell on and came off as super sexist considering she wasn’t there to defend herself.

      • Anna says:

        I feel the same about Bateman. His humor/comedy is all that (almost) saves him but I find him energetically mean, cruel sometimes and self-serving, as if his humor is dependent on unkindness to others just waiting to be expressed in a kind of elitist-style disdain. I have never found disdain to be funny.

    • third ginger says:

      Many congratulations!! Older mom, also.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I had my last baby at 42-congrats!

    • JEM says:

      I just had my second kid at age 43 – the first was at 39. I do worry a bit about how long we’ll be around for our kids, and honestly that’s one of the reasons we had a second – we wanted them to be there for each other when we’re older. Parenting when you’re older is a mixed bag – we’re more tired, but also don’t really worry about the things younger parents do.

      • kibbles says:

        Having a child in your late 30s and early 40s is not old. I don’t see as many men questioning their mortality when they are in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s, 70s, and 80s (blech) knocking up young women. Plenty of young parents die all the time. Older moms have the maturity and finances to take better care of their children should anything unexpected happen.

      • TQB says:

        Yeah, we have another one and that was a major concern – I want him to have someone else. And I get that not all siblings are like that, but both my husband and I have a sibling and while we’re not super best friends, we are there for each other, if only to be able to say “Jesus, mom and dad are SO NUTS!”

      • TQB says:

        @kibbles thank you. It’s nice to have the reminder. I am 10x a better parent at my age than i would have been 10 years ago!

      • Trillion says:

        My dad was 55 when I was born. My mom was 35 (probably considered old at the time) and died when I was 20. My dad lived to be almost 100 years old, was able to meet his grandson,who I had at age 42. For me, this was the perfect age to become a mother.

  4. third ginger says:

    Lovely actress. I am so glad she has the experience of being a mom. I had my daughter, our only child, at 40. She’s now 24, and there has been nothing better. If you have not seen Linney with the great Mark Ruffalo in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, please see it.

  5. HK9 says:

    Good for her. I know this thread will probably be filled with people and their faux concern about the child & her age but I’ve lived long enough to watch friends & family bury their young ‘age-appropriate’ mothers. In life nothing is promised or guaranteed. I wish her the best.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Yeah, I’m one of those people. It has nothing to do with the general uncertainty of life. It doesn’t even have anything to do with death, frankly.

      My parents had me when my dad was mid-40s. My mom is now nearing 70 and I’m only 33. That is not a problem in itself but the fact that she is by far the youngest of the parents/aunts/uncles in the family is. Let’s not even mention grandparents, I’m very grateful that I had them until i was a teenager.

      The thing that really sucks is that a LOT of peole don’t get to 80 super healthy and then die in their sleep. There are the years of “getting older” which often involve illness, surgeries, hospitals, and generally a lot of very sad and painful things that the family goes through. My ENTIRE family is dealing with that. I spend a lot of my time visiting them in hospitals, after surgeries, remembering to ask how it went after doctors’ visits etc. etc. I don’t know what happens when they need even just part-time care. I have a job and no husband. I can’t take care of them.

      So when Laura Linney – who seems to be wonderful person and mother and I wish her all the best – says it’s “bittersweet”? I side-eye that hard. It’s many things but bittersweet is not one of them.

      And the age where there parents then might need care are also the years you possibly want to start a family yourself. Having children is wonderful for a lot of people (I personally don’t need it). But it’s also not just about you. And there is nothing “faux” about that.

      • HK9 says:

        I’m in your situation. My family is older (mom has Alzheimer) and my dad died 17 years ago. Like all caregivers I’ve given up a lot. I also have a slew of friends who’s parents (Mom, Dad or both) died when they were in their teens/twenties/thirties way before my parents. I get that you don’t like your situation, but until you’ve had to support a 21 year old through the the health issues and eventual death of her 48 year old mom you realize that there is no guarantee that if your parents were younger they’d be healthier or even alive. You assume that and unfortunately it’s not always so. We tend to romanticize the life we wish we had.

      • noway says:

        I understand your issues, I went through that about about 15 years ago as my parents were older. It is odd as it seems to all happen at once. When I was born, my mom was entered in the hospital as the oldest mother to naturally have a child at 43. I’m 50 though so we rarely saw Mom’s and Dad’s as old as mine. I can’t tell you how many people thought my parents were my grandparents. It did kind of bug me and dealing with them both, old, sick and dying at the same time was awful, and I was pretty young too, but now that I am older it really wouldn’t have mattered if it happened later. I know it would still be awful. Granted it’s not optimal to be the older parents, but life rarely is optimal, sometimes you just have to deal with ok. I wish her and her family luck. One good thing about being an older parent is generally they are able to spend more time with the kid as their career is already established.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        HK9: I never said “I don’t like my situation.” It is what it is. I love my parents and my family and my mom was 35 when she had me. She was at a reasonable age. I don’t blame them for anything.

        What seriously angers me is the way old (yes, old) parents talk about it. You made a choice, own it. “Bittersweet”? Yeah, for you. Her entire statement is all about her. And honestly, your “faux concern” comment had the same effect on me. There’s always someone who has it worse so don’t complain I guess? Young people get sick and yes, they die. But you can minimize the risk of dying when your child is young by not having it at 50. You also minimize the risk of all kinds of complications. That is all I’m saying. And the honest response to that wouldn’t be “Oh yes, how bittersweet that I won’t be there.”, it would be “I wanted a baby. It’s unfortunate that I will not be around as long as I could have been but I wanted this.” Only that’s selfish as f*ck and it’s not a good interview.

      • HK9 says:

        @littlemissnaughty Plenty of dead people in the cemetery tried to mitigate the risk you speak of. They lost the bet and lots of well meaning people lose that bet every day. You have the right to think she’s selfish. I stand by my faux concern comment because most people don’t really care and can’t see past their own situation and or self-righteousness about how others should live. As a kid, since I knew my parents were older I knew I would lose them earlier and I knew I would probably have to deal with sickness when others didn’t. Much to my surprise, these situations didn’t seem to discriminate. They hit young and old. Trying to organize your life to doge it seemed to be futile.

        Young people die, kids die, & old people get sick. I’ve seen too much in my life to judge her too harshly and let’s be real we’re living what she fears. Today, my best friend texted me because she now has temporary custody of her 6 month old niece because the 26 year old mom can no longer take care of her due to mental illness. So much for mitigating risk.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        You do know that mitigating risks does not mean nothing bad will ever happen. You know that. There will always be people who get the short end of the stick, maybe despite planning etc. That doesn’t mean certain decisions don’t carry a higher risk than others. If you don’t want to live your life like that, that’s is fine. But parents don’t make these decision only for themselves, that’s my point. And they often lie to themselves about why they do it. My mom is very upfront about it (my sister came later). “I wanted a baby, we had been trying for years. I don’t regret it.” That’s honest. And again, she wasn’t 50.

        And we all make decisions based on risk. People die in car accidents despite putting on a seatbelt. That doesn’t mean I’ll ditch the seatbelt. And that decision affects nobody but me. But when it comes to children, the “miracle of life”, suddenly it’s all rainbows and “Oh, whatever is meant to happen happens.”

      • HK9 says:

        I didn’t mean to portray a whatever happens happens mentality. Reading your response though, I got from it that old parents = certain issues. My life experience is people making this decision at a younger age didn’t have much of an effect on avoiding those issues-they still had them. You have to make the decision and deal with what life gives you as best you can. It’s also a risk of being a parent that the decisions you make for your child, any decision no matter how you try to mitigate risk your child won’t like. It’s a risk of being a parent. You have no idea what personality/issues your child will have but you go ahead because you think you have something of value to give a child.

      • Truthful says:

        @littlemissnaughty:My dad died when I was 16 , he was just 46… and I would have love to have to deal with your issues…just sayin’

      • jjj says:

        @HK9

        I don’t think you understand how risk works. Yes, everyone at every age is at risk of getting hit by a train. Yes, young people get sick too. The chance of getting cancer, heart attack or a stroke however, are much higher for someone who’s 60 vs someone who’s 30. So the people who have kids later in life, have all the same risk of everyday life plus the increased risk of these (and many other) diseases. The fact that everyone can slip in the shower at anytime doesn’t make that difference disappear.

        I lost one parent as a child. However, my parents had me young. I’m now a grown up and my remaining parent is still only in their 50s. If they had me at 50, I’d be f***d.

        A 50 y.o. mother has a much lower chance of seeing her child get to their 30 than a mother who gives birth at 25 or 30. It’s not an opinion, it’s not a conspiracy theory or a faux concern. It’s a statistical fact.

      • Nike says:

        My brother and I dropped out of middle school when all our immediate family were diagnosed with terminal illness. We were full-time caregivers all through our teens and twenties. We later got our GEDs, and are just now starting to figure out who we are outside of caregiving. And we’d do it all again – and would have done it forever. We loved our family. And they loved us, and would have done anything for us – and DID do so much for us. They were wonderful people, who all died too young. And they did their best to leave us what they could – a house, a car, their love, and their wisdom.

        Shit happens. It’s no one’s fault. You make the best of it, and find those moments to shine, and love, and appreciate each other. And yes, I’m appreciating every freaking moment I have, now. For me, and for the family we lost – for all that THEY lost. I’m with an amazing guy… my first relationship ever. And yeah… I’m older, now. I’m doing all those young people things in my thirties. And I’m eight months pregnant, and about to pop! You have to see what life gives you for what it is, and not what it might have been in a perfect world. There is no perfect situation, no perfect outcome. It’s what we do with what we’re given.

      • Anna says:

        I just want to acknowledge @littlemissnaughty frustration. You have every right to feel frustrated with the fact that your life involves endless hospitals and illness. That is a choice your parents made to have you late and while there are many on this board sounding off about how nothing is for sure/promised/can happen anytime, it is true that statistically, the older one gets the more issues crop up. I agree that it’s unfortunate to be young and wanting to live your life and enjoy the possibilities but to feel so dragged down by the seemingly endless space that hospitals and illness take up, emotionally, time-wise, everything. It’s not selfish to admit that; it’s reality. It *is* hard to navigate. Just because someone else had an experience where their “whole youth was spent as a caregiver and they’d do it all over again because they loved their family”–seriously, that’s cool for them but everyone’s experience is different. I am not down for shaming. You have a right to your feelings and frustrations.

      • hmm says:

        Hear hear @littlemissnaughty. Some people here don’t seem to understand how risk and statistics work. Obviously nothing is guaranteed, and there are outliers and deviations from the mean, but the idea of average still means something.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Just to clarify, I did not mean to whine or complain. But is IS an issue that older parents most likely equal health issues much earlier in their children’s life. And that means you’re not as far in your life/personal development/career as you might be if they had you earlier. You’re just starting out, starting to work your way up (if you’re lucky enough to have that opportunity), maybe have kids. And it wasn’t your choice and THAT can be frustrating. Of course once it’s done you wouldn’t change it because you love your parents (again, if you’re lucky) and would do anything for them. ALL I was saying was that the way Laura Linney talks here made me angry. There’s a point in life where having a baby is dicey and she was at that point. Just admit it.

    • Artemis says:

      Count me as those people too!

      My grandmother took care of me when my very young mother died. Besides the 2 generation gaps, my grandmother is not that close to many of my close family members resulting in a an isolating child and adulthood as who can I rely on besides myself? Friends aren’t everything, positive and reliable family structures are so important.

      Age does not make a parent/carer more patient or understanding either. People are more likely to get stuck in their ways and have their set personality traits. It’s not guaranteed you ‘change’ when a child enters your life. That’s wishful thinking. My grandmother didn’t change, she was still a distant woman hardened by life and traumatized by my mom’s death.

      And yes, the physicality is not always there. My grandmother is a woman who never exercised resulting in health issues that were made far worse than they should have by doctors (diet and exercise I realise now should have been the solution) and me having to take care of her (and myself) at times which made me more independent but I lost my childhood. I’ve met women my grandmother’s age who were more in shape than I am at 27 and women in their 50s who have a sixpack. Those are conscious choices about health which is down to personality again. My grandmother will not exercise or change her diet now, even if her life quality would improve significantly.

      Add to the fact that her friends were also old people, there was nobody I could talk or relate to (including friends who all had nuclear seemingly happy families). Oh and then lots of past friends and family that she never saw who passed away which resulted in many funerals I had to attend to and being very aware of people’s mortality.

      I wouldn’t mind being an older mom but the cut-off point would have to be 40 as I never would want to put my own needs before a child and there is nobody from my side of the family that could provide for a potential future child of mine. When I’m gone, I’m gone but in good conscious I would have to make a choice to benefit my child’s later life. To be able to have other family to rely on which is less of a given with older parents. There is something very beautiful (but not a certainty as nothing is certain) about a child that can rely on, live with and learn from the older generations.

      • HK9 says:

        It’s a shame your Grandmother was not able to give you what you needed growing up. However, you were in that situation not because your grandmother wanted another child, but because of the tragic death your mom, who you mention was very young when she died. No one had any control over that, which was my point. That shouldn’t have happened, but it did. Your grandmother didn’t expect to be your primary support and never adjusted to it. However, with all you have been through, this puts you in the position to be a excellent parent if you chose to be one.

    • Menutia says:

      Well, my mom had all her kids by 24 years old, and still got cancer when I was only 17. Yet her own mother (my grandmother) had kids at 44 and is still alive at 93. I know odds and likelihoods and all of that, but it is what it is. My dad’s mother had him at 33 but died by 60, and my aunt had hers at 37 and is alive and kicking at 65. You just do not know these things.

      I personally wanted all my kids by 30 because of my experience with my mother dying. I was like you (and keep in mind I had a very young mom!!!). My whole teenhood was about mortality and dying and caretaking. So it happened to me with a young mother- similar results with different parental ages. I had 2 kids by 30, but a suprise baby at 34 (pregnant at 33 but turned 34 right before he was born). I am honestly stressed about it because of my personal family history. But what should I have done- aborted him? I’m sure he’d rather be alive. All I can do is my best to exercise/eat right (cardio 6 days/week here, vegetarian). I have almost freakish energy levels (I’m a little hyper) so I don’t think he’s missing out- we take all kinds of classes and I take them to the park, etc. every single day. In the end, life rarelt goes according to exact plans, and I’m just trying to roll with it.

    • kibbles says:

      Why does no one consider maturity when taking into consideration whether someone will be a reliable parent? Youth isn’t everything. As many have pointed out, young parents can die from disease, cancer, illness, or from accidents. I know a young mom in her 20s who had kids before she was ready mentally and financially. She and her husband are relying on her parents and in-laws to help take care of the kids and pay for their rent. Immature adults should not be procreating nor should young parents struggling to survive look down or criticize older parents who at least had their sh*t together before bringing another life into this already overcrowded world.

      • Andrea says:

        I am 36 and being an only child I have tried to no avail to get what my parents wishes are if one of them becomes ill. I live in another country from them (canada) they are in the US and thus this worries me a lot. My father is 75 and my mother is 68 and given my mother has a lot of health problems, I’d like to know given I am contemplating moving across the country from them (I am thinking of moving to BC, they live in NY). They act like they are invisible and I won’t have to worry about anything for 20 years. I feel this is unrealistic. I don’t know how to get through to them. It is extremely frustrating.

    • Lucy2 says:

      That was my thought too, nothing is guaranteed. I can’t imagine having the energy to have a child of that age, but it sounds like they have it working pretty well.

  6. snowflake says:

    I’m trying to decide if I want to have a kid. I’m 41. My husband has 2 daughters. I feel like he’s been dropping hints that he wants us to have a kid. Mentioned to his grandma that I won’t giveg her grandkids, as a joke. My mom is ok with me not having one, she doesn’t think I should. I’ve always been on the fence. I don’t like the idea of being pregnant and shooting something out of my vagina.

    • Wren33 says:

      If you really love kids and have the energy, I wouldn’t let the idea of pregnancy and labor deter you. While unpleasant, they are temporary. However, I definitely wouldn’t let your husband hint you into doing something you don’t have a great desire to do. It does take time, energy, money, etc.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        I agree, hinting is one thing for birthday presents and another for a permanent commitment like a child. Why not sit down for an open discussion, or series of discussions, about this? He needs to make his desires clear, and as it would affect your life – your body, your life – far more than his, hinting isn’t enough between the two of you. This isn’t like a little present you can give to him.

      • tty says:

        > I wouldn’t let the idea of pregnancy and labor deter you. While unpleasant, they are temporary.

        Both these things can have pretty permanent consequences.

    • me says:

      Since it’s your body that will be going through pregnancy and childbirth, I think it’s your call. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t. Don’t let people pressure you…that isn’t fair.

    • Esmom says:

      Not that you want more advice but a few years ago friend had two babies at age 47 and 49 with her second husband. She has three older kids from her first marriage. When she and her second husband decided to have a baby, they decided to have two so that they would be close in age. It’s worked out really well so far for parents and kids alike.

      As for the pregnancy thing, I get your squeamishness. I found it less horrible than I ever would have imagined. The harder part for me was that I felt so exposed, especially around my co-workers, like I was a walking billboard for the fact my husband and I had sex. Irrational, I know.

      Best of luck with your decision!

    • Snowflake says:

      I appreciate everyone’s advice. : )

      • KLO says:

        Like Oprah says : get still, ask a question and feel how your body feels (I know, cornballs). No one elses advice really works when it comes to things like these, I feel. i guess it is another piece of advice, here ya go darling. Best of luck with it whatever you decide!

    • CynicalAnn says:

      The pregnancy/birth is so small in the span of raising a child though. You need to figure out if you want to raise a child. And it’s not for everybody-that’s okay.

      • KLO says:

        I agree. But I feel like raising a child nowadays is such a lonely place to be, somehow. In the past it was natural to have your whole extended family help out with everything – babysitting, cooking, watching the rascal etc.

  7. HelloSunshine says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with having a child later in life. Her son will obviously be well cared for if something were to happen to her. I try to save my outrage for doctors who help women have 5+ kids at a time and stuff. THAT is irresponsible. Having a baby at any time is hard, I don’t see why someone with many resources who is older should be discouraged from it.
    I see people on here saying Ozark is good so I think I’ll give it a shot. I was on the fence but I trust my fellow CBers on recommendations!

  8. TeamAwesome says:

    My parents tried for biological children for decades before I surprised them at 41 and 43. My dad will celebrate his 82nd birthday next week and mom will finish out the year with her 80th. My mother-in-law had my husband at 20 and passed away unexpectedly two months after her 60th birthday. Absolutely nothing is promised.

  9. Sue says:

    Hope she has a second child so they will have each other.

  10. Veronica says:

    I actually think it’s more likely than ever that she’ll be alive at 99. Medical technology is already extending our lives dramatically. Who knows where we’ll be in a few decades.

    I’ve always been found of her. Great actress, and one that often lets her work speak for itself.

  11. homeslice says:

    I’m 46, my husband 50 and we have a 7 and 5 yr old. Life is so good. However, I feel the same tug at my heart that there is the likelihood I won’t know them as older adults. I am so lucky to still have my parents alive and kicking and involved with our lives…but my mom says it will be sad for her too not to know her grands as older adults one day. Life is bittersweet.

    I will say though I hated being pregnant and recovering from two c-sections and the infant days were really hard for me. I had PPD and still take meds to this day. I always knew I would be a much better and adjusted mom to older kids and it’s true. Every single hard thing I would do over in heartbeat to know these two kids of mine.

  12. JA says:

    Sounds like it happened naturally and she had a healthy baby so great story this morning… gives me more hope i don’t need to rush thing’s! I’m 33, just married and eveyone around us is having babies but i feel like we need time and more experiences before we can give a baby EVERYTHING it needs but I’m in my 30s sooo. I had a baby dream last night so things like this ease my mind and also something i want to share with my sister. 43, single but always wanted a child. There is ALWAYS hope.

    • S says:

      A 49-year-old woman’s pregnancy does NOT “happen naturally.” You’re more likely to win the lottery, twice, WHILE being struck by lightening. By 45 your chances of naturally getting pregnant are, no joke, well less than 1 in 1,000,000,000. Doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity, a Dugger or Joan Doe.

      This is NOT side-eyeing Linney’s decision, nor whatever medical intervention that allowed her to have a child at that age. Good for her, and none of my business. Statistically, the odds are she had an egg donor and IVF, possibly even a surrogate. Both are totally legit ways to become a parent, but neither are, something that “just happens.”

      Perpetuating an illusion that pregnancy in your mid-to-late 40s is, “just something that happens sometimes” is scientifically ridiculous, and actually somewhat irresponsible, because average women believe it’s no big deal, then find out otherwise to their determinant once it’s too late. Why have we shamed fertility treatments so that many women feel they have to lie about how they conceived, creating a viscous cycle of more interventions and more lying?

      This will be followed up with comments that say their friend/grandmother/cousin or friend’s grandmother’s cousin got accidentally pregnant by forgetting to use birth control just one time at age 45. My response is either A) Probably not (see common deception theory above) or B) If it did actually occur, the reason you heard the story is because it’s so completely, vanishingly rare. But, yeah, it’s probably actually A.

      This doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to have children, but it does mean that fertility decline is real and it happens to everyone. Everyone. No exceptions. So take it seriously if you want children and can’t afford the endless attempts at interventions that celebs can.

      • Algernon says:

        Why do we shame fertility treatments? Because motherhood is so natural and beautiful and all mothers are earth goddesses who conceived blessed bairns under a full moon with mother gaea standing by. The cult of motherhood privileges conception in a way that is creepy and weird. On the other side, people demonize it as a waste of resources and cause of over-population, even though, as a species, we’re not even close to over-populating the planet.

        I will say, though, that I have seen close friends and family struggle with conceiving, and fertility treatments can be a medical miracle, but there are also unscrupulous doctors and clinics who bilk families out of tens of thousands of dollars, and the whole practice should be better regulated to prevent families from being preyed upon in this way. There is a financial element of fertility treatments that requires as much oversight as the medical stuff. And personally, I do understand the “demonization” a little, in that I knew a woman once who ruined her family over an obsession with getting pregnant. She was in her forties and desperately wanted another child and she drove her family into enormous debt to achieve it. When she finally did have her child, one twin was stillborn and the other was severely mentally and physically disabled. She just physically was not able to conceive without extreme intervention, and then she could not carry to term, not even close. Her son is, for all intents an purposes, a vegetable in a wheelchair. She says, “He’s so sweet!” Sure, because he can’t speak or move or communicate in any meaningful way. What kind of life is that? And all this happened, meanwhile she had a perfectly healthy and adorable daughter, who is now grown and doesn’t speak to her mother because the years when she should have been caring for and bonding with her daughter she was istnead pouring over medical journals and iVF brochures, she blew her daughter’s trust fund meant for college on treatments, and then she spent the rest of her daughter’s childhood caring for an invalid child 24/7. Essentially, this girl never knew her mother even though they lived in the same house for 18 years. She left for school (and her own pile of debt) and never looked back. So I get the demonization on a certain level, because people can take it so far they end up alienating the family they do have.

      • Esmom says:

        I posted up above that a friend had babies at 47 and 49 and that was without fertility treatments. It doesn’t seem that impossible. My doctor told me that one of the most fertile periods a woman has is right before menopause, when your body is having its last hurrah, so to speak.

      • HK9 says:

        If you are born with a uterus and plan to use it, your doctor breaks this down to you well before you turn 30. I don’t think women are using these occurrences in lieu of sound medical advice. Women in their early 30s are using IVF so I’m sure she might have. Trust and believe there are very few illusions about children after 40.

      • S says:

        @esmom Seriously, not trying to bring shade, but unless your friend has been written about in multiple medical journals, it almost certainly was NOT without fertility treatments. Again, that’s not a bad thing. That’s not slamming your friend, just saying it’s inaccurate anecdotal information to be spreading.

        Yes, just before menopause CAN be a fertile period, but it’s also a period where most– not some, but the vast majority — of your eggs aren’t viable. Meaning: your chances of STAYING pregnant and having a healthy child are far less than having a miscarriage, even if you do conceive.

        So, much bad information out there, often typified in celebrity later-in-life baby news. It really is doing harm to people’s general fertility knowledge and expectations. If you’re someone struggling to conceive after 35, get help sooner, rather than later. Interventions only get more expensive, and less successful, as time goes on.

        I had two of my three after age 35 (but all before 40) and feel blessed to have done so without issues, though I did have multiple miscarriages. I know so many who haven’t been as lucky. And I also have more than one friend over 40 who lied to my face about interventions with their post-40 pregnancies. One co-worker who gave birth at 45 had sworn to all who would listen, and many who didn’t care, how they just naturally and immediately conceived, wasn’t it amazing? And then, when I had my second miscarriage, came to me with the name of her fertility specialist, “He’s who we used, he’s really good,” without ever acknowledging her deception.

      • porcupette says:

        Actually my mother got pregnant, naturally and accidentally, at age 51.

      • Esmom says:

        S, no offense taken, I’m just going by what my friend said and doc said. Admittedly I have not done any research on having kids after 40. I certainly don’t mean to spread disinformation. I do know one woman whose husband never wanted kids until all of a sudden he did when they were both around 40 and it was too late. They tried and tried for about five years but it never happened. She was willing and ready to adopt but he wasn’t. It was kind of heartbreaking.

      • Kit says:

        :::: comment deleted sorry, bored myself to death responding to this argument ::::

      • Lascivious says:

        @S, well aren’t you quite the condescending commenter! You make an absolute claim backed by no research whatsoever. You then attempt to avoid being challenged, by pre-emptively calling anyone who disagrees with you a liar or, well a liar. Yes, fertility declines with age, but very few things are absolute, and birth giving is definitely one of them. Next time, try inviting discussion rather than shoving your need to be right at us.

      • ichsi says:

        I agree on how ridiculous the shaming of fertility treatments is, but I will also be one of the people who add their so incredibly unbelievable relatives/friends stories: My best friend’s mum had her fifth child when she was 50 and her oldest son almost 30. They did not plan or want that. No one here is using these stories to lull themselves into some kind of security that we all can wait and have children later (I for one don’t want any at all), it’s just that these things happen. Sporadically, but they do. As for Linney, you don’t know how many miscarriages or how many problems she had before.

      • S says:

        Actually there is a tremendous amount of research into female fertility. Your odds of getting naturally pregnant at 40, and carrying a baby to term, are around 1%. At 42 that cuts in half. By 45 your odds of becoming naturally pregnant, without medical intervention, are so small as to, statistically, be zero.

        This isn’t my “condescending opinion,” just medical fact, but if you prefer to think otherwise, that’s OK, too.

    • Menutia says:

      Yes, it absolutely CAN happen naturally and does. My currently 93yo grandma had my uncle at 44 as a huge woops. My aunt met her husband at 40 and had her kids naturally at 44 and 46.

  13. Who ARE These People? says:

    I’m an older mother and I have found it wonderful and worthwhile but there’s no question it’s different from having children younger. More smarts, less energy, and far more awareness of the need to get them “up and running” and self-sufficient because the anything that can happen gets more likely the older we get. We want to be there for graduations, personal commitments, even grandchildren if that happens, but understand that we can be grateful for whatever we have. At the same time, it’s not just about “us,” it’s about wanting our child to have us be there as participants in her life passage.

    We are parents by adoption (very much on purpose, Plan A) so we don’t deal with criticism about “bringing another child into the world at our age” (which wasn’t THAT much older, but just enough to be a bit different) … and we know that we provided a good, loved start in life for this young person no matter how long we are together.

    It is extra important to have the will, guardianship, powers of attorney, estate planning in shape and reviewed every few years. My child asked about what would happen “if” in adolescence and we went over everything with her and ensured she was comfortable with the arrangements. Now she’s of majority age though still in school, and can fend for herself with the help of adult family friends, a few key relatives and estate trustees whom she knows and who know her.

    It’s important for all parents, but there’s an edge for older parents just because of the rising odds. And you want to leave them some other documentation so they ‘get to know you’ if they lose you earlier than when they are at stages when they want to understand their parents better.

  14. Caitiecait says:

    My grandmother had my mom at age 21 and died from childbirth complications at 29. My grandfather had my dad at 31 and died at 40 because he had heart problems his whole life. Nothing is guaranteed.

  15. Ennie says:

    My husband and I have just adopted a newborn baby girl. I am 47, he is 10 yrs younger. I am hoping for the best and will try to be living in a healthier way. I have been on the other side of judgement, as I work with problematic teens, now I am on the same boat, wish me luck.

  16. BB1075 says:

    I loved Ozark! Couldn’t believe the ratings I saw it get.

  17. adastraperaspera says:

    Have loved her since “Tales of the City.” She’s never been afraid to put herself out there.

  18. Mannori says:

    There are plenty of MEN having children in their 50s and NOBODY ever dares to question them….::::COUGH ….CLOONEY……COUGH. I’ve never ever read the same criticism over them that is applied to women. And some women too, somehow never are touched by the same criticism: Cate Blanchett adopted a girl in her late 40s and Halle Berry had a kid herself, also in her late 40s. So for some reason the criticism touches some and not others, particularly men.

    ETA to add: I hated Ozark.

    • Algernon says:

      I don’t know, I heard a lot of people commenting on Clooney having kids at “his age” and same for Clint Eastwood. I think the reason it comes out more with women is, yes there is a double standard, but there’s also more actual medical risk involved with an older woman going through pregnancy, to herself and the fetus.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      People all over the place were mocking Clooney for having kids now.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I side-eyed Stellan Skarsgard hard when he had his two young kids. I posted about it here. So …

  19. Lightpurple says:

    That’s Laura F**king Linney and her best work is in Harding, co-starring Anna Kendrick, Campbell Scott, and James Cromwell

  20. Algernon says:

    “I find that Metacritic has harsher review scores than Rotten Tomatoes for some reason”

    Metacritic has a much stricter standard for critics applying for their service than RT, so there are more real critics on Metacritic and less hobby bloggers. They also allow critics to assign middle grades (it’s and A,B,C,D,F scale), so you don’t have to just choose “good” or “bad.” You can choose “okay.”

  21. mkyarwood says:

    Love her. I’d have been a ‘better’ mom, sooner, had I had my children later. Luckily, learning patience has been going okay. But it might have killed me, with my various physical issues. The point is: congratulations!

  22. Angelique says:

    I’m just happy to see another child named Bennett. My son is named that and people always think its his last name.

    • third ginger says:

      I love that name!!

      • S says:

        Agreed, Bennett was actually my first choice for our second son, but my husband had a boss at one point named Ben he very much disliked, so couldn’t get past the negative conations it had for him. We went with Beckett, instead. I admit I kind of love the last-name-as-first-name thing which, now that I think about it, could apply to all 3 of our kids’ names. LOL.

  23. third ginger says:

    Forgot to say how great Linney was in the JOHN ADAMS mini-series with the divine Paul Giammati. We felt as though we knew that family.

  24. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    This post hit me especially hard today. We’re meant to outlive our parents, but we always hope for more time…
    I’ve posted before here-and you guys are the most supportive group on the internet, hands down-about our struggles to have another child. After a second trimester loss last year, we decided NOT to try go have another biological child, and so I changed my medication (I have a chronic illness, and the medications that are good for pregnant women have a lot of side effects), went on birth control, and we started looking at adoption. I’ve had a lot of health issues the last few years, but we’ve been doing better, and last night I realized I’m a few days late, which never happens, and my breasts were sore, and my heart LEAPED…so I took a test this AM when the drugstore opened and of course we’re not pregnant. But the 12 hours of hope were just…wonderful and awful at the same time. Now we’re back in the debate-do we try again? Change my medication, do all the things necessary…I genuinely wanted that baby, but I’m 36. My son is 6. How selfish are we to keep riding this roller coaster, when there’s no guarantee it will turn out well?

    Wow, this turned into a therapy session fast. :) Sorry guys, guess I need to go call my actual therapist.

    • third ginger says:

      My best wishes to you. Do not be sorry for telling your story. These struggles are heartbreaking. I had my daughter when I was forty. I was pregnant twice before that, losing my son when I was five months pregnant and then the next year having an early miscarriage. You are not selfish.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I’m so sorry-and you’re not selfish at all. Having the family you want is a genuine desire-whether it’s 3 kids or no kids at all. I hope you’re able to have another or come to grips with having an only. I’m thinking good thoughts for you.

    • Izzy says:

      My mom wasn’t able to have another one after me. It hurt her, but she put her energy into raising me, teaching me to be a decent human being, making sure I had good friends and strong connections with my cousins, aunts and uncles.

      You’re taking better care of yourself which is also good for your family. Seems like you’re a great parent, whether you have one child or a dozen. And to my mind, that’s what matters most.
      ((hugs))

  25. jugil1 says:

    I really liked Ozark. She & Jason Bateman had great chemistry together on how they both played off one another. Her role is great. She is not the typical “clueless” wife or martyr. She has a great character role. I think the negative reviews of this show are being too harsh & trying to compare it with Breaking Bad, which it is not.

  26. Asiyah says:

    “if you’re working with people who don’t want what you have to offer, that is demoralising and a very lonely feeling. You just want to crawl into a hole.””

    She summed up my problem perfectly. Tomorrow will be 10 years at my current job and I still feel like an outcast, even more now because we have a new attorney who offers something completely different. I’m all for differences but some differences are too incompatible for their to ever be a middle ground. I feel so demoralized and lonely here. I’ve been looking for employment elsewhere for years but they can’t match my salary.

    I like Laura Linney.

    • LizLemonGotMarried says:

      I’ve been in this boat for the last 6-8 months too. I’m a director at a Fortune 50, I’ve been here 10 years, and I’m struggling with the direction of my channel, but it’s so hard to make the jump.

  27. J says:

    Long time reader, first post. I love the array of comments on this site. Today, it’s actually relevant to me. Had our only child at 41, almost 42. Hubs and I married later in life, first marriage for both. We both had done the independent career thing. Anyway, there is no one size fits all answer when it comes to any aspect of child rearing. I think. Yes, I ponder too the chronology thing. But what can you do? I try to cherish every minute with our child, live in the present, and share every piece of wisdom I have. Some days that is difficult (!!) but even the tribulations of parenthood are a gift and a blessing. It’s how you deal with them as a family that builds a child’s character. For all the control we think we have in our life choices, I wonder sometimes if we really do. The stork delivers the baby when the stork delivers the baby. Parents are called guardians for a reason, hard as it may be to accept. We raise them but they live their own lives after a certain point. If we did anything right as parent/s, all things being equal, we get to remain in our child’s life for as long as the Lord keeps us on this earth.

    • third ginger says:

      I love your post. I spoke about being an older mom upthread. We are 64, and our 24 year old daughter [world's best person since 1992] is the light of our lives.

  28. Skylark says:

    Loving Ozark.

    The Savages is in my all-time top 5 films. Very few actors could bring such unsentimental, low-key, understated, heart-breaking beauty to such a bleak story as Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Bosco between them did.

    Linney is sublimely talented and, in better world, would be one of the standards to which all other actors aspire to.

  29. D says:

    Love Ozark. Out of my normal genre but they are anaEballs love them both which is why I have it a spin. Wish there were more episodes!

  30. Andrea says:

    I’m 36 and have always wanted a child but never dated anyone thus far I wanted to have a child with. If I found someone to have a child with (adopted or naturally) from here onwards, what’s the big deal on having a child later in life? Would it have been better to bring a child into this world with someone I had no intentions of staying with or who was inept to fatherhood just to have a child early? I don’t get people’s argument that later in life children are a bad idea.

  31. Skipper says:

    Older mom here too – I had my kids at 37 and 42/almost 43 (now 44). I wouldn’t change a thing, except to have the energy I had back in my 20′s (hell, even my early 30′s). Being an older parent is wonderful and I think I appreciate the experiences more than I would have if I’d had kids earlier in life. I’ll never know for sure, but that’s my feeling.

  32. Lilith says:

    I love Linney and had the distinct pleasure to speak to her about my infertility status in a green room after an interview with James Naughton at Lincoln Center this past March.

    Her words of advice to anyone battling infertility, “Don’t buck. Push through.”

    She is a strong advocate of freezing eggs and not being defined or confined by age when it comes to career or family planning. She believes strongly that her strategy to wait until she was a trained actor and feel out roles that resonated have made a difference in the quality and longevity of her career relative to the young ingenue who risks it all in the teens/early 20s with no skill banking on looks and youth as the door opener. I adlibbed and paraphrased that last part but it’s the same takeaway.

  33. Jenn says:

    It’s only since women started having Babies around 50 that people get judgey.
    Men have been doing fatherhood in their 40s and 50s so long and only the stray comment here or there.
    And They dont even live as long as women on average.

    My mom had 11 kids between the ages of 19 and 45 . I watched her become a better parent the older she got. They like to say older parents are too
    Old to play with your kids, yet The ONLY kids my mom played with, went swimming and hiking with, were the kids she had in her 40s. And she’s a very healthy 60 something parent to my 22 and 19 year old younger bro and sis.

    Studies show that women who give birth in their 40s live longer anyway.
    Anyway. I’m happy for Linney.