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Overcoming Old Parent Syndrome


Being a parent can be tough. Being an ‘old’ parent can be tougher.


Even though I’m still an age that is considered fairly young, I’ve been parenting for 19 years. That’s half of my existence on this earth.


19 years is a very long time. In most professions, that’s considered veteran status. I’m serious.


Don’t get me wrong. I totally adore my 4 babies and they give me joy. I enjoy being a parent. I would not trade it for anything on this earth.



There are moments—in fact, many moments—when being a parent wears me out. I’m not just talking physically, but mentally, emotionally, and yes, sometimes even spiritually. Sometimes I get tired of hearing “Mom” shouted. I get tired of being the reliable listener, responder, and ATM machine. I get tired of attitudes and bickering amongst siblings. I get tired of having to keep up with school events and play dates and fundraisers and emails from teachers reminding me about upcoming class projects. I get tired of my children expecting me to be everywhere and accessible to them all of the time. Simply put, I get tired of it all.

This is what I like to call Old Parent Syndrome or OPS for short.


I’m empathetic with my own self, because it’s true that 19 years is a long time to be doing anything day in and day out, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When it starts to take a toll, I try to catch myself before I take the thought of my longevity out on my children.  The problem is that I’m not always successful in time enough to prevent damage.

 Old Parent Syndrome

So I began to think of some ways that I can do better in this area. Some steps that I can take to overcome the effects of Old Parent Syndrome. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

 Old Parent Syndrome

~I Must Remind Myself That I Wanted To Be A Parent In The First Place

It’s true. I was the little girl that always wanted dolls for Christmas and birthdays. I also wanted all of the accompanying accessories because “I needed them to take care of my babies.” The only thing I use to dream about my entire childhood was becoming a Mother and having a family. I need to always revisit this state in my mind whenever I’m feeling the pressures of OPS.

 Old Parent Syndrome

~I Must Relax, Relate, Release

I’ll admit I get still get overwhelmed when all of my children come at me simultaneously shouting out things that they want, or breaking things, or fighting with each other, or ignoring me when I ask them to do something. It results in me being uptight and frazzled. Since I still have a very long way to go in parenting, it’s crucial (especially for my health) that I learn to chill out. I need to relate to the fact that no matter how I’m feeling at the moment, I am Mommy. The children are only doing what they know to do (which is that same thing I used to do to my Mom as a child). They do not deserve for me to take Old Parent Syndrome frustration out on them or to even be filled with it. I need to just release it and let it go.

 Old Parent Syndrome

~I Must Seek Out The Support Of Other Old Parents

This one is the hardest for me, since I am pretty much a loner. Very few in my family that are around my age have been parents for as long as I have. Nevertheless, I need to start doing more outreach to the ones that are for support. I also need to seek out some local meeting groups and even some online groups of parents of similar duration. That way the feelings of Old Parent Syndrome won’t build up because of my feeling like I’m by myself.

 Old Parent Syndrome

I feel with my whole heart that OPS is a real condition—it just has not been ‘officially’ announced in the medical field yet. (lol) I hope to be completely cured someday. For now, I will be happy with the smaller victories of overcoming it one day at a time.

 Old Parent Syndrome


Do you or someone you know go through the feelings of Old Parent Syndrome? Do any of the practices above sound like they can be of help to you? What methods do you use to overcome OPS? Share with me below or tell me about it at: melisasource@yahoo.com.

Old Parent Syndrome


Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families

Wow your post made me realize that I am an old parent..lol. In December my daughter will be 17 years, so I have 16 years on my belt. I am still not perfect and have a soft heart.


When I would get sick of the constant “Mom, mom, momma, mom” thing, I would change my name for the day. I would say “today my name is….. hmmmm Gladys, I will only answer to Gladys, Mom is not here today” and it would really break it up because they would say “Mom… oh uh… Gladys” and it took a lot more time and it slowed them down….. try it! LOL

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