Regular Contributors

Cyma Shapiro

Cyma, 56, is the writer/creator of NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers, the creator of, and the editor and a contributor 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 women from across the country who chose motherhood over 40. Both endeavors are intended to celebrate midlife mothers – women choosing motherhood over 40 through adoption, IVF, natural childbirth, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship and blending stepfamilies. Cyma has recently added men to her roster – a nod to the redefinition of the family model going into the 21st century. A former journalist, now an online contributor, blogger, speaker and businessperson, Cyma brings years of varied personal experience to all her endeavors. In addition to being a mom to 10 and 12-year-old children and 29 and 31-year-old stepchildren, this is her latest ‘baby!’

Hanni Beyer Lee

 Veterinary Nurse Hanni, 50-something+, has worn many career hats. She recently moved from Northern California to Northampton, MA where she created her dream business of traveling to people’s homes to help them care for their elderly pets. She is mom to a 32 year old son, and daughters ages 22, 21 and 16. Her daughters were all adopted at older ages from China. She has been to China nine times. She loves traveling, learning languages, dancing and writing, to name a few passions.

F. Nicolas D’Ambra

NicolasNicholas, 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 Eisler

 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 will be the start of a beautiful thing. Her essay was chosen for the anthology The Zen of Midlife Mothering.

Melanie Elliott

 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 (, 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 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 five years old.

Marc Parsont

Marc, 53, together with his wife of seven years, is a parent to a four-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, born 13 months apart. A nationally certified massage therapist with 17 years of experience, Marc resides in the DC Metro Area. His previous incarnations involved 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 is not allowed to fix the plumbing in the house anymore. His essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.

Nancy LaMar Rodgers

Nancy LaMar RodgersNancy, 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 19 and 9, and lives in the wilds of Connecticut.

Jo-Ann Rogan

Jo-Ann Rogan

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 with diverse special needs. She can be found @

Julie Scagell

Julie Scagell

A twelve year veteran in the mother industry, Julie. 41, has recently added writer to her resume. In addition to a full time job, she is part-time taxi driver, laundry folder, booger picker, and wine connoisseur. She has a Masters in Psychology which has proved useless in trying to understand her preteen daughter. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, 3 children (ages 3 – 11), and ever growing tribe of pets. She has the attention span of a gnat, zero sense of direction and loses at least 3 things every day. Except for a minor situation at a county fair, her children are not on the short list of items she’s lost. She is extremely proud of this.


DeAnna Scott

Deanna's new photoDeAnna, 47, 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 Stoneley

Ellie, 50, 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, followed her pregnancy and the traumas leading up to Hope’s birth, and continues through her first year of motherhood. Ellie also writes for the Cambridge News, and contributes to blogs on the subject of being an older first-time mother. 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 has volunteered with transformative projects locally in her home town of Cambridge, and in China and Madagascar and enjoys sunshine, Bruce 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.

Guest Contributors

Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D.

Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. are family relationship experts who deal with marital stress, acting out teens, aging parents, boomerang kids or difficult daughters-in-law. Their blog is Visit to learn about “Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm.”

Lori Pelikan Strobel

Lori, forever 49, lives with her husband of more than 29 years. She is also a mother to two adult daughters and a dog named Louie. She is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Lori’s work experience has ranged from pharmaceutical sales representative, Pilates instructor, community college teacher, to real estate agent. Lori and Louie like to devote their time as a registered therapy animal team. Her favorite job has been, and will always be, Mom. You can currently find Lori walking her dog, Louie, blogging at Book Body Soul, or working hard on her upcoming book based on Louie. Lori can be found at:  Her essay, “Mom-On-Demand,” appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.

John M. Simmons

John, 52, is the award-winning author of The Marvelous Journey Home and To Sing Frogs. Both books are based on adoptions from Russia. Orphans and orphanages changed Mr. Simmons’ entire view on life. He recently resigned from the position of President/CEO of White Knight Fluid Handling, Inc., a company that he started, so that he could spend more of his time focusing on orphan and adoption awareness. Simmons is Chairman of Ele Lembra (He Remembers), a 501(c)(3) public charity that assists children as they age out of orphanages. He can be found at His essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.

Maggie Lamond Simone

Maggie, 53 is a national award-winning columnist. Her latest book, Body Punishment: OCD, Alcoholism and Learning to Fight Back will be released in April 2015; her other books include From Beer to Maternity and POSTED! with essays in P.S. What I Didn’t Say and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. She is a contributor to The Zen of Midlife Mothering. She teaches journalism at SUNY Oswego, Oswego, N.Y and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has two children, a son, 14, and daughter, 12, whose puberty is directly in sync with her menopause.


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: She can also be found in The Zen of Midlife Mothering. Wendy just published her first book, Real Eyes Faith.

Previous Contributors

Deb Adrian, Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, Julie Donner Andersen, Deatra Haime Anderson, Cindy Bailey, Hanni Beyer, Kathy Caprino, Irene Celcer, Patricia Cohen, Douglas Crawford, Pamela Cytrynbaum, 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, 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, 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, Patti Rice, Lewis Richmond, Winter Robinson, Nancy LaMar Rodgers, Jo-Ann Rogan, Jane Samuel, Sharon Sanchez, Carolyn Schweitzer, DeAnna Scott, Lori Shandle-Fox, Ann Sheybani, Deborah Siegel, Joanie Siegel, John M. Simmons, Maggie Lamond Simone, Kris T. Smith, Rachel Snyder, 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