Mothers Over 40

Ready for College? (Six Ways to Support and Prepare Your Child)

 knowsymoms

If you’ve got a teenager, then you know how baffling and beautiful they are at this tender age. You’re probably wondering how you will make it through this challenging time, and may even have concerns about whether they will ever be ready to go to college. After all, wasn’t it just yesterday that you were stressing out about whether they would ever be potty trained? As difficult as it is to fathom, the reality is that your kid will be heading off to college before you know it.

While academics are obviously important, there’s a lot about going to college that has nothing to do with school work: moving away from home, adjusting to a new environment, making healthy choices, self-advocating, managing stress, and balancing school and fun–just to name a few! [Read More…]

Seven Tips for Navigating the Adoption Process

adoption

Imagine putting your most treasured desire into the hands of a stranger. Someone you have neither met or seen, with the understanding that days, weeks and months may pass before you hear from them.  You are constantly battling the urge to email them to see if your dream is any closer to coming true, but it’s all you can think about.

Building your family through adoption is a matter of trusting in the unknown. Whether you are a waiting parent, hoping to be selected by a potential birth mother or planning to adopt internationally, there is no easy way to make this a reality. Below is a list of suggestions on how to feel like you are making informed choices. [Read More…]

By |August 13th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , |0 Comments

Comfort Food

comfort foodWhen I told a friend, a fellow American, that our family was moving to Canada from Japan, she exclaimed immediately, “Oh—they have a kind of cookie there that I like very much!”

This amused me, and then I thought later that this is also how I most often recall places I have been but do not know well.

In England, a savory pastry that you can eat with your hands as you walk through the park, trailing crumbs for gray pigeons. In France, pungent red wine (legally!) sipped from a glass in a restaurant when I was barely 12 years old. In Mexico, cheese curds—soft and fresh and salty. In Thailand, a coconut curry.

[Read More…]

Reflections of a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM)

SAHMI became a mom at 45.  It wasn’t by design.  I met my husband at 35, married at 38, and we tried to start a family six months after we married.  To our surprise, that was no easy task.

After three invitros, two inseminations, a frozen embryo transfer and after mixing in four years of acupuncture, various shamans and healers, along with several miscarriages and a too-long process to adopt a baby from China, we finally became parents six ½ years later when we brought our son home from Ethiopia in August 2010. [Read More…]

Little Kids, Big Summer

Andrea Lynn's kidsSummer beckons, and it feels like we are making the great leap this year from the familiar to the unknown. Claire’s leaving kindergarten behind and heading to Grade 1 in September, and Anna is leaving preschool and heading for kindergarten. The summer represents the gulf between the old and the new, the last vestige of Little Kid Land before they are in school every day all day for, oh, the rest of their lives.

I suppose I’m nostalgic, but right now it feels great. Leaving the daycare (and the fees, oh the fees!) behind. Good-bye to the arcane rules of preschool, the push-pull of teachers who reject last season’s sunscreen and Anna’s favourite crocs, who dictate which cupcakes are acceptable and what toys are not allowed at Show and Tell. I know one day I’ll look back with great fondness and nostalgia, but right now I’m ready for it all to be done. I’m eager to ease up a little on the very cautious approach to early childhood education and embrace the chaos that is elementary school. [Read More…]

Vacation I

family bathing suitsThe purpose of a vacation, they say, is to make us feel better. It is an opportunity to escape from real life for awhile, to pamper ourselves, to do things we ordinarily don’t do. It is meant to restore our mental health so that the usual daily routine isn’t so bad. That’s why we look forward to it each and every year.

This year, with the kids a little bit older, we had a family meeting to discuss where to go. After some debate and discussion, we decided as a family to go to the ocean. After making said decision, the husband and children then went about their lives, their jobs apparently complete. [Read More…]

The Language We Use (Regarding My Letter from Shutterfly.com)

I love Shutterfly.com.

I live in a very rural community and therefore both really love and really rely upon online ordering for just about everything.  When I found out that you could order groceries online, it was miraculous.

I am not a huge fan of shopping to begin with and once I found myself living in a rural part of the country as a result of my job, managing my life online, the anonymity and rapidity of service seemed the logical solution and immensely appealing.

So, it was a bit of a surprise when last week Shutterfly sent me an apology – a personal apology.  Not because I had an erroneous order of photographs, note cards or address labels.  Not because I had a missing set of personalized gifts or family calendar unsent.  Not because a gift didn’t arrive in time for the Mother’s Day holiday that was on the horizon.

Shutterfly sent me an apology because the week prior they had congratulated me on becoming a mother! Great news, one might expect! How thoughtful! It was exciting! Except for the fact that I don’t have (but am working extremely hard to have) my own child/ren. [Read More…]

Love is Never Having to Say “Clean Up”

clean upEarlier today, when my son went into the den to pick out a movie, I grabbed a few of his creations—construction paper topped with dried, crumbling Play-dough ‘sculptures’—and dumped them in the trash. They had been sitting on the coffee table for weeks, and every time I looked at them I fought off the urge to toss them.

Does that sound mean?

Let me explain further: Also in the living room, where I’m working, the sofa is festooned with (wonderful, whimsical) drawings of spaceships and astronauts, along with Star Wars figures, all affixed with tape. [Read More…]

My Two Dads (In Honor of Father’s Day)

You could say I always had suspicions.  The fact that they get along so well in and of itself was a tipoff, but true confirmation came the first time I saw my husband clean the house.  He was a man on a mission, determined to clean it like it had never been cleaned before . . . and convinced that it hadn’t been.

I found myself watching the whole scenario with my mother’s bemused expression and thought, “Oh . . . my . . . GOD.  I’ve married my father.”

Although I’m doing better with it as time goes on, I admit I saw many of the stages of grief when the similarities started becoming noticeable.  There was denial (“No. I’m imagining it.  He does not turn the TV up after I go to bed”), anger (“Okay, stop it! I mean it! Stop rearranging my counters!”), all the way to acceptance (“All right, honey.  We can leave for the show two hours early.”) [Read More…]

10 Things Not to Say to a News Editor About Being an Older Mother

newspaperThe media-led furore around older mothers rumbles on. Tabloid headlines inferring that the rise in mothers over the age of 50 having babies was responsible for excessive pressure across the health service. The percentage increase was huge but in real terms the number of women (in the UK) giving birth into their fifth decade went up to the total of 154 – a tiny figure as a part of the general rise in the number of births to older parents (35 and upwards).

When figures like this are published, I get approached by the press about my own experience as an older mother. My response is and has consistently the same – that I am where I am, and that I’m extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old. And, that (in common with mothers everywhere) I’m doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future.

Sometimes that’s OK. But often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, “How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?” “Did you feel judged by the medical profession?” “Are people rude to you when you breastfeed in public?” “You must have had a terribly difficult pregnancy?” “Do you have low energy levels due to your age?” and so on and so forth. [Read More…]

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