A single mum who welcomed her baby at age 50, says that having a child later in life means she’s the ‘best mummy’ she can be.
Kelly Clarke, now 52, enjoyed a high-flying career in the travel industry while her friends were building their families, and even though she always wanted to be a mum, she hadn’t found the right person to be with and so decided to use IVF when she was nearing 50.
She flew to Athens, Greece, in 2020, where she had IVF using a sperm donor – and a test 12 days later revealed she was pregnant.
She welcomed Lyla Rae Clarke in March 2021 and now, Kelly insists that having a baby at 50 was the right thing to do at the ‘right time’ for her.
Kelly, from Sussex, UK, said: ‘I don’t feel the need to be travelling and partying, I just feel the need to watch every minute of Lyla Rae growing up.
‘I feel super blessed that with the life experience I have I can better guide Lyla Rae now than I would have in my younger years.
‘I can focus solely on her as I am content with what I’ve done. I don’t have to rush her youth to be able to carry on with mine.
‘Everyone is different, that’s just how I feel about the way round I’ve started my family.
‘No one’s right or wrong this is just how my journey to motherhood came about and was right for me.’
Kelly says another thing she likes about single parenting is that she doesn’t have to co-parent.
I’m happy not to co-parent as I can bring her up as I see fit and not have to disagree with anyone or have a partner do the opposite of what I do when I’m not there.’
‘I’d been met with a huge amount of resistance from family for deciding to become a single mum at 50.
‘They were worried about me and the implications of using a donor.’
She added: ‘Now that Lyla’s here they are incredibly supportive and couldn’t be a better family to her. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
‘She has two amazing cousins who adore her and who she adores, a fantastic aunty and brilliant grandparents, so as far as I’m concerned, she is very grounded.’
Kelly signed an agreement with the fertility clinic agreeing she would tell her daughter the truth about her conception and admits that she sometimes thinks about the fact she’s an older mum.
She said: ‘When she’s old enough to understand the situation, I’ll explain it to her. I’ll be honest, upfront and she’ll know that everything’s in place.
‘It has hit me that in 20 years’ time when she’s 22, I’ll be 72.
‘Those kind of things about life insurance and a will are now in my mind which they weren’t before.
‘But I haven’t got too much left to pay on my mortgage and once that’s in place that’s hers.
‘One thing’s for sure, Lyla is going to know she is loved and how much I wanted her – she’ll know the lengths I went to bring her into my world.’ ‘Right now, I’m the best mummy I can be to Lyla.