Please find us now at www.forwomenoverforty.com and on WESUfm – 88.1 fm Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. EST (live stream rewind and on archives)
Nearly seven years after launching my art gallery show, NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers – www.MidlifeMothers.org (the first and only show dedicated to presenting women choosing motherhood over 40) and this wonderful, inspirational blogsite, MotheringintheMiddle.com, which followed soon after, I have decided it is time to move on.
In addition to writing and speaking engagements, I am now the talk radio host of the weekly show, “For Women Over 40” – www.forwomenoverforty.com. (88.1fm) broadcast at WESU and available through the Pacifica Network. This work has taken me even further than what was started so long ago.
During these years, NURTURE has visited 13 venues throughout North America to accolades and much press. MotheringintheMiddle.com has garnered more than 150 writers – midlife mothers and fathers from seven countries, and experts working with this genre – representing nearly 950 essays. We also published The Zen of Midlife Mothering– the first anthology by and for this group.
Passionately dedicated to the topic of women choosing motherhood over 40, I originally created these projects to show society who we were and help provide these women with a voice, face and forum. However, the work became so much more: an opportunity to create our own community, a method for providing information, support, inspiration and guidance, and a place where midlife mothers (and then, fathers) could find that “aha” moment – that breath which followed the thought, “I am home,” and these are my peeps.
More than eight years after I initially interviewed 60 women from Alaska to Maine (eager to find their how, where, what, when and whys), and found/met even more subjects after the art gallery show launched, my intent – to only work with women over 40 (as first-time, last or repeat-time mothers) – slowly changed to include those women in their mid-to-late 30s who felt a kinship to this group, women in midlife whose children were now grown and, later, to add fathers over 40 who were late bloomers, “Mr. Moms,” or in same-sex partnerships.
Exploring the seven ways to midlife parenting – natural childbirth, IVF, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship, adoption and blending stepfamilies – provided even more opportunities for delving into the many other “spokes of the midlife mothering wheel” – issues relating to adoption and adopted/foster children, hormonal changes, the Sandwich generation, living with blended stepfamilies, co-parenting, single parenting, trying to stay healthy at an older age, and dealing with the shame/fear and ambivalence of living outside traditional norms while trying alternative routes to parenthood – surrogacy, IVF, etc.
The burgeoning “phenomenon” of midlife mothering (now rapidly assimilating into many societies), represents what I termed the “newest chapter in the women’s movement,” which has helped redefine the family model going into the 21st century.
We are now living in a new world order: midlife mothers now total well more than 1 million and going strong. In truth, this phenomenon is here to stay – evidence of the Zeitgeist of it all – continued breakthroughs in medical technologies, socio-economic freedoms for women and a restructuring of the “traditional family” unit. In truth, that traditional family model no longer really exists as the litmus test for and a redefinition of our lives.
So, there you have it. I am so grateful for the hundreds of people I’ve met along the way, countless new friends I’ve made in and out of this country and the thousands of people who also share(d) this journey with me.
Twelve, and, again, ten years ago, during our many trips to Russia (which resulted in claiming my two youngest children), I could not have imagined that at age 46 and 48 I would be considered a (brave!) pioneer paving the way for others to follow.
In truth, I only followed my heart, and my desire to love and have a family.
In truth, I only strove to be a mother. And, I did so during midlife.