Mothers Over 50

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…]

Vacation II

family bathing suitsIt’s good to get away.

The family unity experienced at the start of a vacation is a thing of beauty. The sense of expectation is high and positive attitudes abound. Vacations provide bonding opportunities for both parents and children that will last a lifetime. There is no fighting, no crying and very little whining

We try to vacation at least once a year. We usually go to beaches because I’ve been on a quest to find a conch shell on the beach for the last forty years or so. We’ve been to Maine (no conch shells), Cape Cod (no conch shells), and North Carolina (no conch shells.)

With each conch shell failure, I become more dejected. It bothers my husband almost as much, I think. He hates to see me sad, because he loves me and also because my clutter tends to worsen. “Hey, here’s a thought!” he helpfully chimed in during this year’s planning process. “Let’s find out where the conchs are, and go there!” I ignored his sarcasm and booked a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. [Read More…]

A Mid-Life’s Summer Night

sleepIt’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check. [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…]

Culture Vulture

BroadwayI became a first time parent in middle age. Prior to that, I had a long run immersed in the cultural life of New York City, where I lived, and still live. My cultural palate was diverse and full, and I felt humbled and grateful to be deeply connected to a world so richly filled with art and artists.

I had a big social life, and most of my friends were people I’d met at artist colonies, where I often spent time writing. The friends I made were novelists, poets, screenwriters, painters, sculptors, composers, and musicians.

Fast forward to my new life as the first time mother of an infant daughter. I was simply too exhausted to do much socializing or event-hopping. I got by on so little sleep, and had so little free time, I didn’t have it in me to linger over lunch with a poet friend to discuss her latest chapbook.

When I did have time to socialize, I often did it with my daughter in tow, and it tended to be with other new parents, which whom I could discuss the minutia of diaper rash, diaper changing, and the best type of stroller for city streets, rather than the use of metaphor in the latest French avant-garde film. I was far less obsessed with the arts at that point than with my daughter’s “art” of projectile vomiting. [Read More…]

By |June 26th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , |0 Comments

Swimsuit Season

family bathing suitsWell, fans, it’s back-to-you-know-what time, and once again we’re hoping that everyone is returning refreshed, with a little more knowledge and maybe a little more confidence than last year! We’re pretty excited up here in the booth, as we get a bird’s-eye view of the season’s latest styles.

We’ve seen it all over the years, haven’t we? Hahaha. I mean, especially with The Mom – the shorts and t-shirt . . . the skirts that float around her like some bizarre jellyfish when she steps into the water . . . the caftans . . . the wraps . . . the classic towel-about-the-waist . . . yes, folks, she’s really “covered” the gamut in her ongoing efforts to convince us she doesn’t have thighs! And I don’t even want to think about the bikini wax issue! [Read More…]

By |June 18th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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…]

Troubled Child Adoption

Troubled child adoption is about loving enough to accept not being trusted. I learned that by watching my wife’s example. I’ll give you fair warning… if you need compassion and are left to choose between my wife and me, go with my wife. If I don’t like you and can justify my position, I’ll throw you under the bus. Then I’ll eat my dinner and drink a Coke before sleeping through the night like a toddler. My wife is different. If you screeched obscenities at her before hurling yourself under the runaway death-trap, Amy would crawl beneath it to drag you out.

My adopted daughters don’t understand that, though. From their earliest moments, their developing and pliable minds were taught that they could never trust a mother. As much as I’d like to blame that demonic abuser for the suffering of my daughters, in honesty, it’s probably not her fault. [Read More…]

By |June 10th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , , |1 Comment

I Made a Promise Never to Be One of Those Sports People

sports dadI made a promise never to be one of those sports parents, loud, obnoxious, screaming from the sidelines.  I rarely get upset watching sports on television.  As a matter of fact, I pride myself on calmly and cooly passing judgment on plays on both sides of the field.  So why do I have so much trouble watching my children play sports?

I broke my promise in the time it took me to write it down.  I just can’t understand why I can’t let it go.  Let’s face it.   If I can’t even watch a six year old soccer game without yelling, screaming and losing my stoic, cool demeanor, then I’ll become one of those pariahs that everyone stares at on the sidelines.

That does not stop me from being critical of the way everyone else stomps around on the sidelines.  Hypocrisy is one of my strong points. [Read More…]

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