Cyma, 56, is the writer/creator of NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers, the creator of MotheringintheMiddle.com, and the creator/editor to her book, The Zen of Midlife Mothering. NURTURE, the traveling art gallery show, features a collection of stories told through words and photos, of (25 out of 60 interviewed) women from across the country who chose motherhood over 40. It has traveled North America. MITM has been the subject of numerous print and media coverage. This multi-dimensional approach is intended to celebrate midlife mothers – women choosing motherhood over 40 through adoption, IVF, natural childbirth, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship and blending stepfamilies and their male counterparts who include gay fathers, new older fathers and Mr. Moms. A former journalist, now an online contributor to numerous sites including Huffington Post; a speaker, talk show host and businessperson, Cyma brings years of varied personal experience to all her endeavors. Cyma is mom to 10 and 12-year-old children and 29 and 31-year-old stepchildren.
Gina, 61, a decade long card-carrying member of AARP, became a first time/only time mother at the age of 38. She left her corporate career in communications and human resources for an “extended” (about 18 years!) maternity leave. Gina jumped headfirst into her stay-at-home mother role to the max, serving in every volunteer assignment for which she could raise her hand; room mother, cookie mother, religious education teacher, and perpetual field trip chaperone. Now, with an empty nest, Gina is back in the full time work force for a few more years. Like a Monday morning quarterback, she remembers with a chuckle her “helicopter Mom” days when she fretted over her daughter’s every sniffle, snubbed birthday party invitation, and less than “A” grade on five paragraph essays. She enjoys texting daily with her now 23 year-old daughter about clothes, career, cooking, and yes, even “boys.”
Lydia, 58, has earned her empty-nester status. After having launched her two twenty-something children, she immediately became a part time caregiver to her aging parents. During this difficult life transition, she carved out time to write, and since 2011, she has been involved with the East Hill Writers Workshop. Although hands-on parenting is slowing down, the calls and texts from her daughter and son are speeding up. She feels more like a 24/7 therapist without a degree. When not on the phone with her kids, Lydia can be found tutoring in local city schools, participating in her French speaking group and enjoying her yoga practice.
F. Nicolas D’Ambra
Nicholas, 47 years old, is a mostly work-from-home kind of Dad. He runs a wholesale cocoa business, manages several rental properties with his wonderful and supportive husband, and in his SPARE time he throws children’s parties for the preschool set. He wears so many entrepreneurial hats that his head is no longer visible to the naked eye. Five years ago he found his dream position…being a Dad to his son Ben born via surrogacy. Five weeks ago his duties increased with the birth of his daughter, Charlie. He couldn’t be happier with the extra “workload.” He feels it shouldn’t matter that he’s a gay Dad, just that he’s trying to be a good Dad.
Michelle, 44, became a mother at the age of 38 through the incredible, taxing, emotional crazy beautiful ride called adoption. Having worked as a restaurant hostess, fragrance demonstrator, visual merchandiser, and spa manager she was intent on going to return to work after her maternal leave was up. Today, Michelle is now a SAHM (stay-at-home- mom) who loves to cook, read and has learned a lot about food intolerances, specialty baking and label reading since her daughter arrived. In addition, she loves to do laundry half way, run the dishwasher but not empty it, and pretend she’s not home when the doorbell rings because she is horrified to be seen without make up. She hopes that her entrance into MotheringintheMiddle.com will be the start of a beautiful thing. Her essay was chosen for the anthology The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Melanie, 50, is a mom, wife, producer, blogger, and the Executive Director of the Elliott Family Residence. In her blog, Mom To The Littlest E (http://bit.ly/wjl4gp), Melanie writes about parenting and life as a transracial, international adoptive parent. Before starting her own blog, she wrote for LIFEclectic online parenting magazine. Melanie serves on the board of directors for Connect-A-Kid www.connectakid.org. Once upon a time, she acted with California Shakespeare Festival (SF Bay Area), Eclectic Company Theatre (NoHo), and was a founding member of Woman’s Will. You can catch Melanie on Twitter tweeting @Mom2TLE. Littlest E is six years old.
Carmel, 44, writes emotional and compelling contemporary fiction, published with Harper Collins UK. She has won several int’l awards including Kindle Book of Year and Romantic eBook of Year (2013) for her debut novel, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow. Her second novel, The Life You Left, was published in July 2014. Carmel has just completed her third novel, The Road Back Home, and plans are underway for a fourth. Carmel is a freelance writer with articles published in The Irish Independent, The Evening Herald, Woman’s Way and The Daily Mail. Her first play, “A Dunganstown Romance,” was received to critical acclaim. Carmel lives with her husband, Roger, and young children, Amelia, 5, and Nate, 3, in a small coastal village in her beloved Wexford where the idyllic setting is a constant source of inspiration to her. She can be found at www.carmelharrington.com.
Trish Ladogna/Rachel Ruby
Laura Jane Murphy
Laura Jane has traveled the world has a yoga teacher for the past 30 years. But, the most profound journey was when she and her husband traveled to Vietnam in the midst of 9/11/01 to bring their baby girl, Colby, home to the Midwest. At 46, after years of infertility issues and life challenges, she became a mom. Now, at 60, she is balancing raising a teenager, teaching yoga and running a studio for the past 17 years,( YogaAmongFriends.com,) and finding time to travel as the adventurous spirit of a woman who refuses to stop loving life. Writing has become the joy of sharing the journey! Having grown up in the East Coast and living in NYC as an actress, then in LA, and completing her MA in clinical psychology, she moved to the Heartland in 1995 on her 40th birthday as a divorced single woman to follow her dream of finding community and the siren call of motherhood!
Marc, 55, just celebrated his 10th anniversary with Heidi. The Parsont clan have two young children giving signs that their teenage years will be complicated. A nationally certified massage therapist with 20 years of experience, Marc resides in the DC Metro Area. His previous incarnations included work in the hotel and convention industries. Marc loves to cook, watch bad television, read Sci-Fi and murder mysteries. He collects way too many things and thinks that dumpster diving is still fun. He is not allowed to fix the plumbing in the house anymore and has finally gotten most of his electronics to work on one remote. Marc thinks he’s funny; his wife disagrees. His essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Nancy LaMar Rodgers
Nancy, 51 1/2, is an educator, writer and therapist. For the past seven years, she has worked in the public school system, teaching in an inner-city environment. She also developed and directs an after-school creative writing program for at-risk youth. Nancy also holds a M.A. in Mental Health/ Community Counseling and works as a therapist with troubled teens and their families. She is currently building her own private practice and will focus on women, especially those experiencing the many changes and upheavals of midlife. A freelance writer who has been featured on NPR’s “This I Believe,” Breakaway Books, Ink Magazine, Artistic FX Magazine, she is currently at work on her first novel which is loosely based on her experiences working in an adolescent psychiatric unit. Nancy is the mother of two children, ages 20 and 10, and lives in the wilds of Connecticut. She can be found at her life and career coaching website: http://www.opp4me.com
Jo-Ann, 48, is the lead singer of the punk band Thorazine and bartends in Philadelphia at the legendary McGlinchey’s Bar. She started her blog, Punky Mama in 2006. She is married to the guitarist from her band and they are the parents of two wild red head boys, ages 9 and 11 1/2, with diverse special needs. Jo-Ann graduated from Temple University with a degree in Kinesiology. She can be found @ www.punkymama.com
DeAnna, 48, is the mother of twins, Robert and Pheobe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013) and wife of 18 years to husband, Rob. DeAnna works p/t in the corporate world, p/t in photography and full-time as mom! Prior to motherhood, she was active in little dog rescue. She lives in Ventura, CA, with her seven Chihuahua mixes and with three cats and four doves thrown in for good measure.
Ellie, 51, became a mother for the first time following IVF treatment in England and Spain at the age of 47 3/4. Her world is now ruled and brightened by her miraculous daughter, Hope. Californian by birth, Ellie is based in the UK where she is a passionate advocate of breastfeeding, baby-led weaning and trusting your own instincts when it comes to motherhood. Ellie’s blog, Mush Brained Ramblings, http://www.crazypregnantperson.com followed her pregnancy and the traumas leading up to Hope’s birth, and continues through her years of motherhood. She is a social media marketeer, researcher, champion of local and the underdog, and has worked with the UK Government and the Prince of Wales to support local communities to thrive. Ellie enjoys Springsteen and margaritas … and hanging out tiny vests and dresses on the washing line. Her essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering. She just published her first book, Milky Moments.
Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D.
Rosemary and Phyllis are consultants in family dynamics. If you’re coping with marital stress, boomerang kids, acting out teens, aging parents or difficult daughters-in-law, they have solutions for you. Visit their blog and website, http://www.HerMentorCenter.com, to subscribe to their free newsletter, “Stepping Stones,” and download complimentary eBooks. Their new book, Whose Couch is it Anyway: Moving Your Millennial, is now in press.
Irene, 58, is a mental health professional and parenting expert with specialties that include ADD, bullying, infertility, and third party reproductive assistance and adoption. A regular guest on CNN, she has extensive expertise in eating disorders, body image perceptions, and women’s issues. In addition to her authorships and philanthropic work, she maintains a private practice; she lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. 99Tips to Reset The Table: Parenting in a Society Obsessed with Food, Weight, Obesity and Body Image (Graphite Press) is her latest book. You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/celcerirene and on her website http://irecelcer.com. Her daughter is 15 years old.
Adam, 37, is a professional opera singer, musician, and stay-at-home dad. When he is not on the road travelling for shows and concerts, he is teaching voice lessons, running a church music program, performing locally, writing silly things online, and taking care of his children. He has guest posted on multiple blogs and written for The Good Men Project, but mostly writes about music and parenting at www.tenordad.com. One of his essays will appear in the upcoming book, Dads Behaving Dadly 2.
Lori Mihalich Levin
Wendy Sue Noah
Wendy Sue is 48 years young, and a single mom of five children ranging in age from 7 – 15 years. She is blessed to have a home office with several clients, working in the Social Media world. Her personal slogan is “Social Media with a Conscience.” The flexibility of a home office allows her to be the supportive and loving mom she chooses to be, which includes retrieving her kids from the nurse’s office when sick, attending her children’s award ceremonies, or volunteering to speak at their school’s “Career Day.” As for cooking and cleaning, she gets by OK but prays for enough money for a nanny helper someday! Wendy can be found at: http://www.wendysuenoah.com. She can also be found in The Zen of Midlife Mothering. Wendy just published her first book, Real Eyes Faith.
Lynn, 40, is a single mother to two high energy and kind hearted kids who teach her just how many emotions we can feel at once. Lynn was a School Counselor to teens for many years and blogged about parenting before completely changing her life to focus on educating people on the inner workings of their thought and behavior patterns and re discovering their truest selves. She now runs her private practice in Connecticut as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Master Energy Therapist. She blogs about her passions and insights on www.healingwithserendipity.com
Christy, 45, is a professional journalist turned stay-at-home-mom turned entrepreneur. She’s gone from writing news stories… to reading bedtime stories… to telling and creating success stories. She is the founder of “Make a Choice to Have a Voice” – a campaign to raise awareness of verbal, mental and emotional abuse, one voice at a time – starting with her own. With two daughters six years apart (one now a teenager) and an angel son, Christy “gets” the challenge of trying to balance motherhood with a successful career. She revels in coaching survivors and others through her “5D Life Blueprint: Discover, Define, Design and Decide for the life of your Dreams” where she teaches tools, techniques and strategies to help women (and some men) to finally feel free and in control of their lives so they can get out of their rut and follow their gut to true health, wealth and happiness. She can be found @ www.makeachoicetohaveavoice.
Deb Adrian, Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, Julie Donner Andersen, Deatra Haime Anderson, Cindy Bailey, Hanni Beyer, Peggy Bodde, Gina Broadbent, Kathy Caprino, Irene Celcer, Lydia Chiappetti, Patricia Cohen, Douglas Crawford, Pamela Cytrynbaum, F. Nicholas D’Ambra, Ilana DeBare, Mia DeBolt, Dr. Barb Depree, Niki Dewart, Vivian Diller, Alice Domar, Ramona Duoba, Janice Eidus, Michelle Eisler, Melanie Elliott, Cheli English-Figaro, Len Filppu, MeiMei Fox, Tracy Franz, Lisa Garon Froman, Julia Garstecki, Jenilyn Gilbert, Valerie Gillies, Amy Wright Glenn, Beverley Golden, Jan Graham, Elizabeth Gregory, Barbara Hannah Grufferman, Adam Hall, Elizabeth Heineman, Donna Henes, Judith Lee Herbert, Barbara Herel, Randi Hoffman, Karen Hug-Nagy, Josie Iselin, Cynthia Wilson James, Fay Johnson (CSP), Nancy Davis Kho, Serena Kirby, KnowsyMoms, Casey Kochmer, Faydra Koenig, Linda Anderson Krech, Maddisen Krown, Lori Luz Lavender, Lauri Leadly, Hanni Beyer Lee, Lori Mihalich Levin, Suzanne Braun Levine, Evelyn Lim, Karin Lippert, Aviva Luria, Janet Madsen, Jennifer Magnano, Karen Maezen Miller, Denise Mooney, Joely Johnson Mork, Denise Naus, Robin Gorman Newman, Susan Newman, Peg O’Neill, M.D., Wendy Sue Noah, Susan Paget, Marc Parsont, Adam Pertman, Liz Raptis Picco, Lisa Qualls, Heather Rancourt, Lynn Reilly, Patti Rice, Lewis Richmond, Winter Robinson, Nancy LaMar Rodgers, Jo-Ann Rogan, Alyssa Royce, Rachel Ruby, Jane Samuel, Sharon Sanchez, Julie Scagell, Carolyn Schweitzer, DeAnna Scott, Lori Shandle-Fox, Ann Sheybani, Deborah Siegel, Joanie Siegel, John M. Simmons, Maggie Lamond Simone, Tracy Slater, Kris T. Smith, Rachel Snyder, Christy Stansell, Kriste Stevenson, Ellie Stoneley, Lori Pelikan Strobel, Aleta St. James, Shana Sureck, Flora Sussely, Laura Sussely-House, Karen Synesiou, Stephanie Tillman, Tina Traster, Jamie Walters, Linda K. Wertheimer, Lora Freeman Williams, Austin Wimberly, Jo Beth Young