Mothers Over 40

Helping Your Kids Find Fitness

Celia HuddartMy husband and I own a gym. Our daughter, Celia, has been hanging out there for years. Sometimes she worked out, sometimes she didn’t. But she was around it, watching all sorts of people work hard, in all sorts of ways.

We never pushed it one way or another. If anything, I  tried to steer her away from taking fitness too seriously, what with the constant messaging to teenage girls that they should be slim and sexy and….  We just let her hang out there. When she felt like giving it a shot, we simply let her.

Last weekend, she won a Silver Medal at the USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals. I was the last person who expected that, and I sure as hell didn’t push for it. [Read More…]

How To Create A Summer (& Lifestyle) Of Grand Adventures Without Grand Expense

Sara and Ocean on a camel


“Oh NO!!!” screeched the single mom with a tribe of five (that’s me). “It’s summertime again, and my kids will be home bored and hungry for 2 ½ months. We will be driving one another crazy, and my workload is fuller than ever, and, and, and…”

Sound familiar? This is how my summer started, like many before. In my summer article last year, I was asking readers to help give me ideas or suggestions, so that I could make it through! This year, I decided to take the bull by the horns.

What do I mean by that?  I decided to be as pro-active as possible – a lifestyle choice of mine – but this time, I applied it to my tribe’s summer home, and reached out to find adventures and activities for all of them. [Read More…]

Addressing (My) Parenthood Guilt

Lynn Reilly and kidsParent’s guilt.  I’m not even sure when it officially begins, but it could be as early as when first looking into your child’s eyes and knowing that life will never be the same.  That moment when imagining what it was going to be like to hold the responsibility of caring for someone else.  The “shoulds” begin almost immediately with the thought of how we want things to be.

I “should” be with my child as much as humanly possible.

I “should” give them every opportunity to be independent yet fully set them up to depend on me for just about everything.

I “should” let go of all my personal needs and become Super Human to make sure my child gets whatever they need both physically and emotionally.

Something like that.

[Read More…]

A Letter To My Husband On Father’s Day

Jo-Ann Rogan's husband and kids IDear Elliott:

You declared for months,  after our oldest Ryan was born, that you are a Dad, someone’s Dad! You came to parenting reluctantly, as you do so much in life.  For my whole pregnancy, you would say over and over, I don’t get why people have kids and I am not sure I can do this. Now, over a decade in, I am here to say, you are an incredible father.  [Read More…]

My Father By Any Other Name…

It doesn’t matter who your father was; it matters who I remember he was – Anne Sexton

heather's childhood family with father

What or rather who is a father?  If you grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting, a father is depicted as someone who is there for you – supportive and attentive in every way; the “rule setter” – the stern but loving man who helped guide you into adulthood.  The man who would give you away on your wedding day to the person you love.

For me,  I grew up in a single-parent household with my mother and sisters. The person I knew to be my father was unsupportive – a staunch alcoholic rule-breaker in every sense of the word. Still, to this day, he has no idea when my birthday is.  Yet, as a child he was my father.  I grew up learning that I should love him and respect him, regardless. [Read More…]

By |June 12th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Top 10 Reasons: Irrefutable Proof That Mr. H is a Great Dad

Carmel's Mr. HOn my first date with Mr H, we sat drinking elaborate virgin cocktails, in the lounge of the swanky Fitzwilliam Bar on Stephens Green, Dublin. The cocktails had more fruit in them than a Carmen Miranda hat!

As we shyly shared details of our lives, I began to think that this guy could be special.

But then we had a little speed wobble. As in the wheels nearly came off the bus. As I airily declared that I wanted a man with no baggage, his face paled a little.

Feck (translation: oh, no!).

He quickly reassured me that his particular baggage didn’t include a wife, ex or otherwise, (good times), but he did have a three-year old daughter, from a previous relationship (bad times).

Feck. Feck.

[Read More…]

By |June 11th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How Our Family Makes Father’s Day a “Biggie” Deal

Christy Stansell FamilyI hope you don’t have one, but if you do, I’m guessing your court order looks something like mine: the child will spend Mother’s Day with Mom and Father’s Day with Dad, even if it is “supposed” to be the other parent’s weekend.  That was all good and fine…. until I got remarried… and now my husband – the “step-dad” – never gets to have Father’s Day with his step-daughter.  It’s heart-wrenching.

When my second husband and I were dating, my little girl told me, “When my dad goes to heaven, I want Biggie to be my daddy.”  We called him “Biggie” because, as God’s humor would have it, he and my daughter have the same name, just spelled differently. Little did she know then that it wouldn’t be long before she’d get her wish. I remarried soon after my daughter’s 6th birthday.  She delighted in being the flower girl for our wedding.

Now my forever-husband and my daughter are “like this” (picture fingers wound together tightly!) And, even though her birth father is still alive, my daughter calls her step-dad “Daddy” (much to her biological father’s chagrin.)  I’m not about to forbid my daughter from calling him whatever endearment she feels comfortable. Honestly, if her dad got remarried, and she wanted to call his wife “Mom” I’d let her, without complaint, because I’m confident in my role as her mother… but I digress. [Read More…]

Cyma Shapiro Interviews Ellie Stoneley, Author of Milky Moments

Milky MomentsDear Readers: In her first US interview, we are so pleased to welcome Mothering writer, mother, author, breastfeeding advocate, UK-based Ellie Stoneley, featuring her newly-released book, Milky Moments (published worldwide by Pinter & Martin Publishers) – a children’s book about breastfeeding.

Welcome Ellie!

Thank you Cyma … a very exciting and busy time for this mother of one (and I’m talking about my daughter as opposed to my first book!)

Q: Milky Moments features a variety of different mothers breastfeeding in a variety of social situations. It’s not only a beautiful book, but it stresses the importance of individuality and of making such a natural occurrence….well, natural! Was that your intent?

A: Absolutely that was my aim! When my daughter was first born, for her baptism, and for her first birthday, she was given a great many books. Often they depicted babies being fed … and all of those babies were being fed by either mother or father, sibling or grandparent, using a bottle, or feeding was simply signified via the image of a bottle. Not one of the books depicted the act, the normal, instinctive, natural act that is breastfeeding. [Read More…]

Unconditional Love and Gratitude Make Mothering Oh, So Much Easier!

mother juggling2When I was a busy professional, juggling multiple responsibilities on top of keeping up with my friends, my boyfriends, my social gatherings and my travels, I remember thinking what a good multi-tasker I was, to somehow keep all of this in order.

Those are now the days I look back on with envy for having so much “me” time. The days where I could focus on balancing work with so many other enjoyable activities.  (You know what I am talking about here, right, Mothers?)

Yet, with this envy of my mostly unrestricted past, I would never substitute my life, now, as a single mother of five precious children (who I endearingly call, my “Tribe”).  First and foremost, I get to enjoy unconditional love on steroids here!  And so, with this impulse, I have so much more to share with the world than just my personal wants, needs and pleasures. [Read More…]

From Death to Life (A Mother’s Circle)

Laura Jane Murphy's ashes IIMy sister and I were recently able to return my precious mother’s ashes to her birthplace.

Honoring her life, we traveled back to her hometown. This little dot on the map, reminiscent of “Mayberry,” N.C , was established in the eighteenth century by her ancestors.

Mom died almost four years ago.  At the time of her passing, my sweet daughter was only ten.  Losing her grandmother led to a profound questioning of her own heritage. I will never forget the moment when she spilled her guts out in pain. Grief unleashed the deep sorrow of loss and awareness that she was not of my blood.

In that rare moment of emotional release, crying and in between gasp for air, she asked, “Why?  Why wasn’t I wanted?”  And, added the sentence, “You don’t know MY PAIN.”  [Read More…]

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