Midlife Mothers

My Letter To Ryan

Jo-Ann Rogan's son IIDearest Ryan,

I have been writing you letters on your birthday since you were four years old. Wish I thought to do this when you were younger.  This year was about you blossoming.

You have grown so much this year. In early June you were on the tall side but had a little kid look to you with a roundness.  Suddenly in July you were what seems like four inches taller, broad shouldered, and had a decidedly young-man-look.  Your face is changing and you are wearing men’s sized clothing and shoes.  You have become a strong young man. You often volunteer to carry heavy things for me.

You started this summer as a little boy.  In July, your rapid growth had your brain chemistry thrown off and your behavior was hard to manage and you were just hard to reach.  August brought a new found calm.  When your Dad was away working on his big project you stepped in to be my right hand man.  Often when Aaron was melting down you were the one to take the higher road in your arguments. I was so thankful for your calm head. I enjoyed the time we had together in August and I adored our “summer bucket list,” which was a list of things we wanted to do this summer.  Last week, we crossed everything off the list with the time we spent at the beach. [Read More…]

Too Much Post-Halloween Candy? Never Fear, The Great Pumpkin Is Here!

Melanie Elliott Halloween IIIOur first Halloween with The Littlest E was easy breezy. He was 15 months old and didn’t really know or care about pumpkins, costumes, going trick-or-treating, or eating candy.  We stayed home that year and answered the door whenever the bell rang.

For the past few years some friends of ours whose son is The Littlest E’s age, have held a Halloween potluck.  They live in a great kid-friendly neighborhood with lots of children going door-to-door.  We starting going to their house when The Littlest E was a little over 2 years old.  That first year attending their party, we lasted 10 minutes trick-or-treating.  Our little guy was too scared of adults in costume and he didn’t even like being in his own costume.  It was all a bit too much for him. [Read More…]

The Perimenopausal Double Whammy

I became a mom, through adoption, at the age of 45.  I’ve been a mom now for a little over 4 years, which means I’m pushing 50.

Yikes and Yay!

I love being this age, even though I have a few more cricks and creaks in my body.  For the most part, I have a pretty level head, am grounded and comfortable in my skin.  Life is good with no major complaints.  There’s a bit more stress in my everyday world because we recently rescued a lovely dog, Pepper, so we’re all adjusting to the furry addition in our lives.  And, there’s an added layer of, well let me call it mishegas (Yiddish for crazy), in life due to entering the world of perimenopause. [Read More…]

Autumn in the Air (Going Back)

leaf“I wouldn’t go back there for the world!” I said to a woman whose daughter was picking out new school stuff alongside my son.

“All I did was worry about homework and clothes, and if I wasn’t doing that, I was chasing a boy – not that I ever caught one. It was just way too much stress.”

“I know!” the woman laughed. “I’m glad this one’s only in first grade!”

“That’s when I was talking about,” I replied. She grabbed her child and fled. [Read More…]

Is That Your Grandson?

Here’s to Your Health

I put the supplements up on the counter at the health food store.  My eight month old was positioned on my hip and my 11 year old was standing next to me, bored and put out by the endless errands we had to run that day.

On the counter was Kava Kava for relaxation, B12 for energy, Vitamin D for my immune, Psyllium powder for constipation, and Black Cohosh for menopausal symptoms.  My son was fidgeting and trying to grab whatever was colorful on the counter.  The owner had yet to come to the register.  I handed the baby off to his sister and said, “hold your brother for a second, I forgot something.”  She obliged begrudgingly, still annoyed with his existence, ruining her standing as an “only child.” [Read More…]

The Importance of Pets in Our Child’s Life

Making the decision to bring a pet into your family isn’t always easy. There are many things to consider such as the type of pet, cost, housing, etc.  You may be hoping to teach your child responsibility. All of those things are important. But adding a pet into your home can provide priceless experiences you may have not considered before. [Read More…]

8 Tips For Boomer Women To Better Enjoy Their Friendships

We can say without a doubt that intimate friendships have always been important to women. But have you noticed that they’ve become even more so as you face the transitions of children growing up and parents growing older?

Findings from a recent MacArthur Foundation Study indicate that the emotional security and social support that these relationships provide for women have been a survival strategy for them in adversity. In fact, friendship is one of the keys to a long and more satisfying life. [Read More…]

“Fertility Goddess” – An Excerpt From the Book, Ghostbelly

Ghostbelly“I am a fertility goddess,” I told Glenn. “First I get pregnant with a woman, then I get pregnant at forty-five.”

“Indeed,” Glenn said.

“Yes. If I’d lived my whole adult life with men, and at an earlier time, when they didn’t have such good birth control, I’d have six kids and six abortions behind me by now.” I am a historian of women and sexuality, and such people have no illusions about how women used to control their fertility.

“Good thing Julia saved you from that fate,” Glenn said. [Read More…]

Maiden, Mother, Not Quite Crone

Maiden, Mother… Whoa-Not Quite Crone

Maiden, mother, cronePlanning to have a baby at 42 was, well, not in the plan.  It happened.  I thought I was in perimenopause, but alas, not so much.  My daughter was nine at the time and though we had tried while she was younger, it hadn’t happened and so we were a happy family of three.  I know for a fact that my son was supposed to come to me at age 42 even though I was not only unprepared, but more importantly, scared out of my wits.

Divine, Parental Intervention

I was 40 years old when we took my dad to live with us. We put an addition on the house.  I should have known it would turn into a metaphor.  Pops was great, but forgetful.  As an only child himself and then a father of eight, he had his own ideas about family.

“You know I was thinking kid, you might want to have another, being an only child is tough.”

And with that, my guilt would swell and I would clean the house. [Read More…]

“Working” Woman (Me)

A few weeks ago I stood waiting on my coffee at the counter of my neighborhood Starbucks. Making small talk, the young male barista smiled and asked, “You headed to work?”

My mind went into overdrive. [Read More…]

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