Mothers Over 40

Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions

IMG_0186I was raised Catholic. My husband, some sort of Protestant. But, he refused to go to church after someone gave him a hard time about having nothing for the collection plate.

Together, our little family is very atheist. We celebrate the secular Santa and Rudolf Christmas. Presents, gatherings, and needed time together as a family. Celebrations with no religious overtones, but which include a ton of togetherness.

This has left us with some non-traditional traditions. “Hookey Day” is our favorite. We have been doing this since our sons were young. We pick a day in the middle of the week, right after Thanksgiving. We pick a weekday because my oldest son has sensory issues and navigating crowds is hard for him. I let the boys stay out of school. [Read More…]

Merry Christmas – The View From Scott’s Corner!

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Mothering contributor DeAnna Scott, 48, is the mother of twins, Robert and Phoebe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013). DeAnna is a p/t photographer and full-time mom. Her work is featured on a monthly basis. Copyright Scott Photography.

The True Age of Santa Claus

Christy's Christmas IChristmas used to be so simple.  My girls would compose and illustrate their letters to the North Pole in their very best flowery handwriting and colorful artistry they could muster – giving Santa great ideas of what to look for in the children’s aisles. “Santa” would find a bunch of toys, games and stuffed animals and put them under the tree and the kids were delighted on Christmas morning.  Sigh.  If only it were still as easy.

It all gets more and more complicated every year.  What makes it so tricky?  One sister is 14 – the other is 8 – and the age of Santa Claus is sadly coming to a close.

The teenager has known “the truth” for a few years now – and has been marvelous at playing along for the sake of her younger sibling.  But, just like she had to be coerced into dressing up for Halloween and opted to not have an actual themed birthday party this year, she’s not easily convinced of the necessity to sit down and write that letter to Ol’ Saint Nick with her sister.  [Read More…]

Our Twelve Year Old On Tour and What Life Lessons He Learned From the Bass Player and Drummer (Part II of Touring With Thorazine)

Jo-Ann's son on tour IIII knew my son Ryan had formed a bond with our bass player and drummer before we left for the road. We see the band more than we see our biological families. Our band, Thorazine, always lived as a family and it is natural that the second time around we would fall into family roles again.

It started the first day we picked the band up from the airport in Los Angeles. Ryan does not always use his best table manners, although we have worked with him on this for years. Drummer Dallas and I both mentioned to Ryan about how he is going to choke since he eats so fast. He needs to slow down.

Of course, he is twelve, and has been oppositional since birth. Despite all this, we didn’t give up. Then bassist Hoover and my husband joined in. I think Hoover said it best, “One day, Ryan, you are going to want to impress a girl and you are not going to be able to eat like a caveman in front of her and keep her attention.” [Read More…]

A Life After 40….5…..?

Carmel Harrington Fall 2015I’ve been writing full time for almost five years, starting just after I turned forty. It’s a funny age isn’t it? On one hand we are told, over and over that life is just beginning, on the other, that it’s all downhill from here.

I, being a glass half full kind of gal, chose to believe the former.

Making the decision to change careers was a terrifying one. I was a Sales and Marketing Manager, with a company car, expense account and decent salary. To become a writer meant giving all that up, because there is no fixed salary for this profession. Many authors never earn a minimum wage, never mind a decent living. And taking aside that not insurmountable obstacle, every time I thought about sharing something I’d written, I’d become paralysed with fear.

It was one thing to kick stories around in my head, another to show the world those very words that up until then I’d kept hidden. who I wanted to be, who I really was. [Read More…]

Every School Day is “Pajama Day”

Stansell JammiesDon’t you love it when your kids get excited about something? I know I do! One thing my eight-year-old daughter is most tickled about is “Pajama Day” at school. At the end of the trimester, their 2nd grade teacher lets them wear PJs and bring a pillow, blanket and favorite toy to be comfy for the class reading marathon. This novelty of wearing sleepwear to school is oh-SO cool to her and her classmates.

Well, then there’s me. I have my own opinion about going to school in jammies.

I SWORE I’d never be “that” mom who would show up to drop off her kid looking like she just rolled out of bed. (Excuse me, I’m way more professional than that.) I have a reputation to uphold. I spent 14 years in television news and am now a well-known speaker and coach. I’ve been a personal assistant to high-ranking leadership in the Idaho Senate, plus I served two terms as “Mrs. Canyon County America.” I could never be seen looking frumpy, with no makeup on and hair all amess. Have some dignity, please! [Read More…]

What’s a Touring Punk-Rocker Midlife-Mother To Do? (Part I of II – Touring with Thorazine)

Jo-Ann in CATouring with your twelve-year-old and with your punk band sure turns heads.

Everywhere we went, people stared and then thought, who gave them a kid? Driving across the country with my on-the-spectrum, ADHD-boy (Ryan) was a joy. The road was a novel place and every time he looked up things were different. He was joyful all the way across the USA. He didn’t sleep a wink and more times than not, he was staring out the window just taking it all in.

Ryan was so excited as we arrived in Los Angeles. The band would join us there and was thrilled to be somewhere for more than one night. He and I swam in the pool that afternoon and by evening were joking that we were poolside in LA. It was grand. The next day, a friend picked Ryan up. She is someone he knows well and her daughter is a few years younger.

Although (in California) they start school in August, Ryan was able to play Mindcraft with her and swim in the pool at their apartment. When we got to the show, the promoter said it would be fine if he showed up and it was the only show  he was allowed to watch. (Of course, Ryan did not change after swimming and showed up to our punk show in his bathing suit.) [Read More…]

The Delicate (And Sometimes Painful But Growth-Producing) Art of Co-Parenting

co-parentingOn the eve of what would have been my 15th wedding anniversary, I’m thinking about how I felt on the night before my wedding.

I remember vividly how excited I was to marry my long-time friend. It felt completely right to be laughing with him, eating dinner surrounded by our family and friends, ready to cheer us on as we began our new life. Not only was I in love, but I was full of hope for the promise of what was before us. There was no hint of the idea that this type of love would not last forever.

Fast forward to this afternoon – leaving work in a hurry to meet the bus at my house to pick up my son at drop off and race to my daughter’s soccer game. I was looking forward to it as it was the first I’d been able to attend in two weeks. On the ride there my son asked, “Will Daddy be there?”

“I don’t know Buddy,” I replied not giving it much thought. We hadn’t discussed it during our hurried text conversation of who was picking up who within the last couple days and at that particular moment, he was on my nerves. We’d had a disagreement only days before, so his presence at the game was not on my mind. [Read More…]

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

Autumn Musings

leafIn Love With Death

Fifteen years ago, I was talking to a woman at a party who told me she absolutely hated the Fall season.  No bones about it – she loathed it and would never feel any different, no matter how many picture perfect postcards you could wave of New England’s vibrant color change.

To this day, this mystifies me. My favorite month of the year is October.  I am invigorated from October 1st till well after the Christmas holidays.  The month of October rejuvenates my spirit and I believe that the air I breathe in during that month sustains me for the rest of the year.

This same woman told me that the only thing she felt during the fall was the impending notion of winter.  It was as if on exactly September 21st, her bones began to brace themselves for all things cold.  At the time she had two small children and I asked her if the kids liked jumping in piles of leaves, apple picking, or of course, the thrill of Halloween.  She told me that she didn’t do leaf piles(there might be ticks) and yes she did Halloween but it was generally in a safe place like the mall.  [Read More…]

Teens and Hate – A Scientific Life Lesson

Stansell Daughter - Scientific Life LessonYou know what I HATE the most?  I hate hate. And, I REALLY hate it when my children say they hate something.  In fact, I hate it so much that I hate to even write this.

I hate it when people say, “Don’t you hate it when….”  I hate that there is hate in the world that causes me to have to write about hate to help people see why it doesn’t even make sense to hate anything.  OK. Enough.  Blech!  I think you get the point.

Here’s what has me riled up:

The other day, my 8th grade daughter was getting herself ready for school.  I’m proud of her because, until now, I’d have to get up early to make sure she’s out of bed in time.

[Read More…]

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