Single Motherhood

Breakfast in Bed

breakfast in bedWeeks before Mother’s Day, it became clear that six-year-old Claire had absorbed the importance of the day and had big plans to check off every box a child could check to mark the occasion. Bags of artwork would come home from daycare and school, but I was not allowed to look — it’s a surprise, she’d say. Pockets were filled with pebbles one day and pine cones the next, but if I even asked about their purpose, I was met with a plea not to look, not to ask, not to wonder. It’s a surprise.

She fretted that her oven mitts were at school (for the class pizzeria — don’t even ask): how was she going to bake? She needed a recipe for chocolate cake, but I was not to inquire why. She needed to know how much something would cost, but she wouldn’t tell me what, or where, or how. [Read More…]

Spring Celebration of New Life! (Wendy Sue’s Story)

Wendy Sue's tribeHappy Spring, my friend!  Isn’t it truly magnificent how Mother Nature resembles our lives, and reminds us of our own natural transitions?  Like the blossoming ecstasy of new life after a cold and dark existence.

This Spring, in particular, is sensational on many levels.  Why so?  After many years of a cold and dark existence, my family and I are in a thrive-0-mode.  Just like that lovely bush of bursting fragrant Jasmine.

This story began when I had just turned 30 years old.  I was living my dream life in San Francisco. And, then, it hit me hard. “Hey, Wendy!  You didn’t come here for a fun and party life.  You took this birth to be of service to others ~ wake up!” I received this exact message from three different mentors during my 30th year -an Astrologer, an Aura Picture photographer, and a Clairvoyant. [Read More…]

The Next Stage

schoolI just registered my youngest for kindergarten, and I’m almost positive that means life is getting easier. If nothing else, I’m counting on lower daycare costs, but people insist I’ll soon be spending that money on ukelele lessons, lunchboxes and gym clothes. We’ll have to see.

Having both my girls in full-time, full-day elementary school come September means I’m no longer in charge of the educational aspect of their lives. I’ve turned that all over to the school. Now, when they ask questions, I can refer them back to their teachers. I can also stop feeling guilty about not doing educational things with them, like “Sight Words Bingo” and “Zingo Math,” which we really only got around to once and afterwards just felt guilty about the neglected box sitting on our games shelf.

Now the guilt can rest; someone else can teach my girls math. My job can be reduced to food preparation, laundry, and refereeing fights over whose turn it is to choose the DVD. I have to say, I’m ready for a reduced role around here. Elementary school, I give you my children. [Read More…]

Cyma Shapiro Interviews Serena Kirby, author of Better Late Than Never Baby

Better Late Than Never BabyHi, Serena – I’m so happy to be interviewing you, today. As my Australian compatriot, I see so many similarities in our midlife experiences, despite being half-a-world away.

Today, I’d like to focus on your wonderful book, Better Late Than Never Baby. Having read all manner of like-minded books, I expected to be reading another “same-old.” But I’m so happy to report that this book is refreshing, informative and so understanding of those women who have chosen new older motherhood/midlife motherhood.

Q: As a new mother @ age 43, you must have had your hands full. Yet you chose to write this book. Please tell our readers a little bit about how and why you did so.

A: When I became pregnant with my first baby at 42 I went looking for pregnancy books written for my age group. Occasionally, I stumbled across a chapter or paragraph dedicated to older mothers, and in several cases bought a book purely for its snippet of relevance. What I really wanted to read was how my older age may impact on my pregnancy, my baby, my body and my life. But finding an up to date book written by a first time later life mother, proved as elusive to me as pregnancy had previously been. [Read More…]

Tips for Raising An Only Child (Part III)

only childThe single-child family is the fastest growing family unit in the developed world so you’re far from alone if you have just one child. For many of us who became mothers later in life, it wasn’t ‘choice’ but ‘circumstance’ that caused us to have just one child. Reduced fertility and increased fatigue all play a role in the high number of only children to older mothers. [Read More…]

100% Responsible Mothering, But Never Alone

I was a single parent for one month shy of four years – the first years of Isaac’s life. Prior to having a child, I’d considered getting a dog thinking I was finally ready to take on that weighty responsibility. However, just before I took that step, I took a pregnancy test. So much for the dog.

Fortunately, I had learned a vital lesson about responsibility, while in my early 20s.

I’d been floundering with an eating disorder for a five years. I’d sulked and skulked my way through college, therapy, churches, and friendships, looking for someone to rescue me from myself. I’d found no prince nor adoptive parents, and I was deeply depressed. I wanted to die. [Read More…]

Tips for Raising An Only Child (Part II)

warning-Only-ChildUndoubtedly the most noticeable drawback for the young ‘only’ child is the absence of a sibling playmate.  This often leads to heightened demands for parents to be the child’s primary playmate. As fatigue can be a major factor for older mothers of a young ‘only’ child, life can be a whole lot more tiring if your only child’s world revolves totally around You. [Read More…]

Through the Eyes of A Midlife Mother

Everyone was having children. Except me.  Co-workers. Friends. The teenagers I taught in an afterschool program. The moms at the mall who yanked at their children’s arms and made them cry with curses and slaps.

I received birth announcements. Baby shower invites.  I wanted to celebrate and feel joy for my friends, but each new announcement brought a yearning for what I couldn’t have.  [Read More…]

Doing a Little Less, Imperfectly, At Midlife

My friend’s mother just had a heart attack. A small one, and she’s recovering well. But besides the shock and concern my friend has for her mother, she’s lost her mother’s help with her two children, and her life has quickly become that much harder.

Like me, my friend is a Single Mother by Choice, having arrived late to motherhood without a partner. She had two children using an anonymous donor, and her parents have been supportive in both emotional and practical ways. Until the heart attack, her mother drove her children to many after school and weekend activities, enjoying the time with her grandchildren and helping close that gap all working parents feel between the end of the school day and the end of the work day two hours later. [Read More…]

The Advantages in Being An Only Child of an Older Mother (Part I)

Whether as a result of increased fatigue or decreased fertility, the reality is that many later in life mums have only one child.

“Spoilt Brat”, “Little Emperor” or simply “The Boss”, these are just some of the phrases often attached to the only child. Add to that the belief that loneliness goes hand-in-hand with the single-child and it’s no wonder some older mothers feel guilt and regret for the sibling-less life of their one and only. [Read More…]

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