midlife mothering

Who Has Time for a Midlife Crisis?

In earlier years...
In earlier years…

I was just thinking the other day that I must have missed my mid-life crisis.  I looked high and low and couldn’t find it anywhere. Then I suddenly remembered, I was raising kids at just about the time I was supposed to be experiencing a midlife crisis! Then again, juggling twin babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and now teenagers is a crisis all by itself!

Yes, I’m a  late bloomer. Seems to be a pattern I follow. Instead of jetting off to someplace warm to sip exotic drinks, I was volunteering at the school for holiday parties, or making sure my kids had their homework done. [Read More…]

Isn’t Sibling Rivalry Normal?

argumentSibling rivalry is normal. Fights between sisters and brothers are so common that they’re often dismissed as just part of growing up. But a recent study from the University of New Hampshire finds that sibling aggression is associated with increased depression and anxiety in children.

Although physical and emotional aggression by peers is generally thought to be more serious than by siblings, the present findings showed no independent effects. That is, the results of those experiencing persistent and unmonitored aggression, whether from siblings or peers, did not differ.  [Read More…]

Spring is in the Hair

maggie lamond simoneMy house, to me, is like my hair. For the most part, it’s clean; it’s just usually . . . disheveled. Tousled. Windswept, as it were. It’s got a carefree, playful look. Sassy, even. Some days I might forget to comb it, and for special occasions I might add a little style, but in general, I just throw a big ol’ hat on it and hope for the best.

Yes, I am not what you would call a neatnik. My husband calls me the Clutter Queen, and it was not without some irony that I married a man whose only truly pushable button is, yes, clutter. His dream house would be a vacant building. He believes that anything designed for storage, from the kitchen counters to the hall closet to the basement, is specifically designed for the storage of air. [Read More…]

Third Daughter

Apple GirlShe is my fourth child and my third daughter. She holds a special place in the order of the family.  She is my last child. The others are grown or grown enough to be out of the house. She is the child I long to be closer to. She is the child who pushes me away and the child who needs me the most.

In 1981, I gave birth to my son. I was 23 years old and single. In 1995, I married and at 48, in the prime of mid-life motherhood, I traveled to China to bring home my third daughter. Mei Mei means little sister in Mandarin. I traveled with my two older daughters, also adopted from China. We were a fearless bunch maneuvering our way through Hefei, the city where my third daughter is from; all speaking Chinese together and attracting a crowd wherever we went. [Read More…]

Winter Moments

I look at the pristine fallen snow and feel somewhat melancholy that there are no little footprints in the yard, no snowman or snow angels. Since I now have adult children, the snow in my yard remains fluffy.

Looking at this unspoiled snow, I notice the immense silence in the air as the downy white flakes fall. The branches look like they have been coated with powdered sugar and I feel the cold start to sneak into my bones. The only marks left in the snow are made by my dog, Louie. I see his paw prints meander throughout the yard to his special area. There, the white snow is dotted with yellow and brown. [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…]

Cada Cabeza Es Un Mundo—To Each His Own

We realized our decade long dream when we brought our toddler sons home from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico fifteen years ago. Amidst the stupefying demands of parenthood, we didn’t hesitate to fast forward to the first day of kindergarten right through high school graduation.

My eyes would go moist at the thought of our pint-sized boys heading out for elementary school and was moonstruck with pride as I envisioned strapping young men flipping their tassels, diplomas in hand.   [Read More…]

By |November 30th, 2013|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , |0 Comments

Finding Peace in Midlife

moniqueNervously, after my adult daughters were already told what was happening, or more accurately, had figured it out on their own, I sat my 19-year-old son down to have “The Talk.” “Mom, what?” he said with growing anxiety. ”Just tell me.” And, so I did: “Leah and I are dating.” (Leah is a woman, of course). With a long deep sigh of relief, I had finally said it.

I stared at him waiting for his reaction and my presumed need to defend my reasons. I was well prepared to explain why at this juncture in my life my relationship with Leah had changed my entire world and would, in turn, change theirs. I wanted to explain that it was not just an overused cliché that spills out of the mouths of many couples but that Leah did, in fact, complete me. [Read More…]

Second Chance

Twelve years ago, in middle age, you and your husband begin the process of adopting a child from Guatemala. You’re assured by your lawyers that the adoption will go quickly, and that within a few months, you’ll be a mother. Still, you’re intimidated by the seemingly endless mounds of paperwork, and by how you must be fingerprinted and meet numerous times with social workers and lawyers. You assure yourself that it’s all worth it to become the mother of a child who needs you, and whom you need. [Read More…]

The Wilderness of Motherhood

wildernessA pregnancy test is like a Rorscach: one’s inner world gets tossed back at her in sharp relief. I stared at mine and felt the weight of my childhood and the hope of a different future in a dizzying twist of emotions.

My own mother had become pregnant with me in 1968, when she was single and an as yet undiagnosed schizophrenic. Exhibiting a striking combination of paranoia and common sense, she moved herself and me a few hundred miles away from her dysfunctional relations and embarked on the next 13 years of our life together. [Read More…]

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