mother over 40

Swimsuit Season

swimsuitsWell, fans, it’s back-to-you-know-what time, and once again we’re hoping that everyone is returning refreshed, with a little more knowledge and maybe a little more confidence than last year! We’re pretty excited up here in the booth, as we get a bird’s-eye view of the season’s latest styles.   [Read More…]

Question: At 42 and still childless, is it time to have a baby with a sperm donor – instead of my long-term boyfriend?

delayed fertilityI was a month shy of my 38th birthday when I filed for divorce. I knew my biological clock was fast ticking down, and if I wanted a child I’d need to do it soon. But I was in the throes of starting my life over. I had just moved across the country, embarked on a new career and needed to put the broken piece of my heart back together. A baby would have to wait a little longer.

When I met a guy who was so much of the guy I was looking for, I tried to ignore the fact that he was less than enthusiastic about adding more kids to his family (he already had three boys ages 5, 7 and 11).  At 39, I convinced myself I could wait another year and see how our relationship unfolded. Maybe he would come around. [Read More…]

Fertility Eating on the Road

healthy foodIt can be especially rough trying to stick to a fertility diet (or any diet, for that matter) when you’re travelling. You may not have access to a kitchen, and depending on where you go, you may not be able to find your usual healthy foods or know where to go to get them. Here are some tips to help:


  • Do the best you can with what you got. If you go out to a restaurant, try to make it one that serves salads or vegetables. Even if these items are not organic, you’ll still get the nutritional value, and they’re a whole lot healthier than eating pizza, sandwiches or cream- (and wheat-) laden pasta. Plus, you can eat as much of it as you want. [Read More…]

Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day as I write this. The end of the day, the kids in bed, and they’ve survived, once again, this day our family does not celebrate. It was the first year Claire was really aware of Father’s Day, because her kindergarten class did a project for their dads. I’d given her a head’s up, of course, when she was thrilled with her first elementary school Mother’s Day project.

Guess what, sweetie. You’ll do this again next month, but it’ll be for dads. You can do your project for someone else, for me or for Grandpa. She chose Grandpa, and on Friday the project came home, duly wrapped and labeled for my father, who lives 300 miles away and will get it when we visit this summer. [Read More…]

American Adoptive Parents Don’t Deserve the Heat

julia and meA few weeks ago, a filmmaker for Radio Free Europe spent the day with my family at our home in upstate New York documenting our “ordinary” moments. Olga Loginova, the filmmaker, promised to produce the six-minute documentary within a week. She said it was urgent to show the world there are “successful Russian adoptions.”

Why? Because Americans’ ability to parent Russian orphans has become a flashpoint in a complicated political struggle that began when Americans took aim at Russia’s handling of human rights by passing the Magnitsky Act. The conflict escalated after Russia retaliated by shutting down adoptions to Americans after more than two decades. [Read More…]

there’s no place like hOMe

meditation on mountainI’ve been practicing meditation on and off for thirty seven years. I started my practice at six (or whatever age I was when I was playing with my Wizard of Oz dolls, because they came with me to my first lesson).

My parents brought me to a meditation center where a nice lady gave me a mantra to practice. The mantra I was given was the classic sound “Om” and I was to say it as many times as my age, so six times. When I got home, I recall chanting on my swing in the backyard and saying “Om” out loud and losing count as I enjoyed the vibration of the sound in my chest. [Read More…]

Have You Become a Midlife Concert-Goer?

midlife rock and roll womenIt’s funny how people over thirty but under fifty tend to deny that the term “midlife” applies to them yet. I understand that impulse, but I also understand actuarial tables. Still, there is a fail-safe way to figure out whether you’ve officially hit midlife yet: by dint of your concert-going behaviors.

I’ve devised this easy test to help you figure it out!

1)     Upon learning that a band you love is coming to town for a show, but is scheduled to play at a venue that is General Admission (standing room only), do you:

a)      Get a thrill of excitement that you’ll be able to dance and hope that the crowd will be as pumped up as you?

b)      Groan inwardly and scan other local tour dates in case any of them offer, you know, chairs? You’ll gladly pay more for the privilege. [Read More…]

By |June 10th, 2013|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Myths and Realities of Open Adoption

Dear Reader: I first became interested in open adoption in 1985 when, in my clinical practice, I worked with two little guys adopted from foster care.  These boys, ages 7 and 8, were tormented by unanswered questions about their first mother, “Susie,”  who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction. 

Susie’s parental rights had been involuntarily terminated due to her abusive neglect of her young sons.  A loving couple had recently adopted the boys, yet the kids continued to struggle; hence, their referral for psychotherapy with me, an adoption specialist.  The boys could not understand why they could have no contact whatsoever with Susie, as they worried endlessly about whether or not she was still alive, or if they would ever see her again.  Listening to my young clients, I too wondered why it would be so awful for them to at the very least be able to contact Susie by mail. 

Bewildered and curious myself, I looked at the adoption literature at the time.  I read a lot of beliefs about how secrecy was necessary.  But I found little if any research data to support these beliefs.

Thus began my two decade long study of families living with open adoptions.  In 1988 I identified 22 families who had just adopted an infant in open adoptions, and I have re-inteviewed these families every seven years since then in order to find out what open adoption is like, from the perspective of those who are living in it.  The infants in that study are now young adults, able to tell me their stories in their own words. The research findings are the basis for the “Myths and Facts” below. 

MYTH:  When adoptive parents to give their child’s biological parents [Read More…]

Cyma Shapiro Interviews the Authors of The Mother’s Wisdom Deck

motherswisdomdeck125Q: Good Day, Niki. Thanks much for our time together. As a creator of Mothering with Soul, you have a unique, purposeful message. Tell me a little more about yourself, your collaborators, and your combined mission.

A: Thanks for having us, Cyma. It is an honor to connect with other midlife moms. As I was sharing with you, The Mother’s Wisdom Deck and Mothering with Soul largely grew out of our desire to marry our pre-motherhood life experiences and spiritual growth with the path of motherhood. Co-author Elizabeth Marglin (44), illustrator Jenny Kostecki-Shaw (38) and I (40) have each spent a lot of time traveling, studying with wisdom teachers around the globe, and contributing to the world as professional women.

Speaking for myself, I was totally unprepared for the changes that motherhood would bring. When I became pregnant, I was in the midst of a project to document the wisdom of indigenous elder women and thought that I would be able to continue my work with a baby on my back. My son had other plans. I can laugh now at my naïveté, but moreover I am grateful for how motherhood has enriched my life in ways that I never could have planned. Motherhood is about surrendering to something greater than myself and seeing what wants to unfold. The Mother’s Wisdom Deck supports that process of letting go and tuning in. [Read More…]

Mush Brain Ramblings (A Commentary on New Older Motherhood)

sticks and stonesThe whole issue of my age as a mother has never really bothered me. It is a miracle that I have Hope in my world and that both of us are healthy, happy and having such a wonderful time getting to know each other.

I don’t think of myself as an ‘old mother,’ simply as a mother. And, as such, I strive to be the best mother I can be.  Nothing more complex – just doing my best for an amazing little girl and doing all I can to ensure that she has a secure and happy life. I think that’s as much as any mother can do and generally what most mothers – old, young or in-between aim for. [Read More…]

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