Career & Professionalism

New Beginnings in the Workforce (A Tale of the Modern Midlife Woman/Mother)

Melanie unmarriedEver since I was a little girl I wanted to be an actress.  I did plays in my youth with high school, community theatre and even in college.  Then, in the early 90s, I moved to Chicago and got an MFA in acting.

In 2000 I started the new millennium in Los Angeles with the hopes of using my degree to succeed as an actor.  I had some good auditions, did a bit of theatre, but suffice it to say, making a living as an actor in Los Angeles was not my path.  I often say the best part about my LA acting career was meeting me husband.  We met at an audition in 2000, got cast in the play together, our showmance became a romance, and we’ve been married a little over 11 years now. [Read More…]

Mindful Return: Returning to Work After Becoming a Mom

mindfulreturnMindful Mama Lori Mihalich Levin is the mother of 2 children and a regulatory lawyer in Washington, DC.  She is also guiding dozens of women as they navigate their way out of and back to work when their lives are transformed by motherhood.  We sat down recently to talk about the origins of her 4-week online course Mindful Return.

After her own maternity leave, Lori noticed how other new moms at work rarely spoke about the changes in their lives, the intensity of their feelings towards their children, and how they coped.  On one hand, her colleagues were undergoing a major transformation, but there was little outward acknowledgement at work that anything was happening.  On the other, fearful of criticism or loss of professional status, the returning mothers dodged necessary conversations about pumping at work, child care hours, or poor sleep. [Read More…]

How to Inventory Your Personal Assets for 2015

2015Have you ever noticed how, at this time of year, there are lists and lists circulating? You can find a list of the 20 best films of 2014, the 10 worst dressed people, the 50 most interesting books.  In addition to spending some of your spare time reading through these lists, how about taking some personal time to create your own list – of your 10 most important assets?

It may seem unusual for you, a midlife mother, to concentrate on yourself instead of on the needs of the family around you, but allow yourself to focus on and embrace your own development at this pivotal time.

Creating your asset inventory will give you a leg up on beginning 2015 from a position of power, but how do you begin?  [Read More…]

My Many Holiday Thoughts….

vampiresIt’s difficult for me admit, but I’ve been taking my kids chocolate from their plastic pumpkins.  I wish I could say it’s only a few pieces, but it’s not.  I’m like a Viking raider plundering and pillaging.  At least I was until my wife caught me.

Then both she and the nanny hid the kids candy.  I found it.  They caught me again and this time they threw the candy away, but not before I squirreled away a piece or two for a rainy day.  I tell you this as a precursor and cautionary tale about my other favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. [Read More…]

By |October 28th, 2014|Categories: Career & Professionalism, Commentary, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Frumpy No More

When I got married 10 years ago, I moved from New York City to a rural little upstate village where a livestock feed store is the main attraction. I brought with me my nearly life-long fashion sensibility and tried, in vain, to keep rocking my 3-inch stilettos, wedge heels and tight jeans. I hobbled along, even in the grocery store, where I ignored the sidelong glances from women dressed in (what looked like to me) pajama bottoms and shoes I’d wear as slippers.

And then I got pregnant. And for the first time in as long as I could remember, I stopped holding in my stomach and discovered the mind-blowing comfort of elastic-waist pants. Part of the reason I loved being pregnant, besides the absolute joy of growing my daughter, was being able to wear whatever I wanted and not caring one single bit about my protruding belly. I put away my high-heeled shoes and strutted around in slides and flip flops. I wore my husband’s old button-down shirts and t-shirts and happily tossed on grandpa cardigans when I was chilly. I never felt freer or more comfortable in my life – it was glorious. [Read More…]

Having Faith as a Mother

Scout and WalterLately, I’ve found myself internally struggling with the same two questions:  “Is motherhood all that I dreamed it would be?”  Yes, and then some!  “Did I ever imagine, in a million years, I would feel as blessed and as challenged as I do now?”– No, never!

This year, I have experienced more challenges as a mother than I ever have in the past. For example, in the past three days I’ve gone from the exhilaratingly proud moments where my son sings out his praise to God unabashed and passionately on the school’s stage to frustration and defeat when he is in the throes of a temper tantrum of epic proportions.   [Read More…]

GEMS for Working Moms

Is your life an endless cycle, revolving around work and taking care of the kids? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent study by the Families and Work Institute, ½ of American women say they don’t have enough time to spend on themselves and for the activities they enjoy. We all know that saying ‘yes’ to more responsibility can make us feel safer with the boss and help us avoid conflict in the family. But too often ‘yes’ is our default mode with just about everything. [Read More…]

Gray Matter

dhaI’m of a certain age (okay, I turned 50 last August) and have been battling gray hair for at least 10 years. It all seemed to start innocently enough … a few hairs here, a few there, and then before I knew it, it was much more than a few and I didn’t think twice about coloring it.

There are two camps when it comes to the gray hair thing: those that embrace (and rock) it and those that well … don’t. I’m definitely in the latter. I look fairly young for my age (really! I’m the lucky recipient of great genes and plumpy skin) and am sure gray hair would age me. And the thing is, I just don’t want to look older. I have a seven-year-old daughter and even though I usually am the oldest mom at the park (I once had the lovely realization that another mom was exactly half my age), I’m vain enough that I don’t want to look like the oldest mom at the park. [Read More…]

A Midlife Mother Defines Success (A Commentary)

All the recent media-hype about Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In has got me thinking again. Thinking like I did last year when Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece
Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” (Atlantic July/August 2012) hit the newsstands and the airwaves like an IED. Thinking like I did years ago when another, more senior, female partner tried to dissuade me from dropping to part-time status after the birth of my first child, arguing in part, “the men won’t like that.” Thinking again about my daughters, about their pasts when I put aside work to nurture them and their futures when they may or may not have a chance to lean in and have it all. Thinking again about the ultimate thing to think about: what it means in life to “have it all,” to be “successful” and to be a woman and a mother. [Read More…]

Mr Mom: A Mid-Life Career Change

You might think it unusual that I read parenting magazines; that I know women by their children’s names; and that most women who speak with me are grandmothers – around my own age! However, what you don’t know is that at age 52, I’m actually the mom (The Baby-Daddy) of the household – not what I expected to be at my age, but one that clearly enhances and supports my family unit. [Read More…]

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