Join Motherhood Later... Than Sooner Older Mommy Group

  Want to find an older moms group with other moms over 35+ who are parenting later in life?  Did you become a midlife mommy at 35+ whether for the first time or again?  Join an in-person chapter, or help launch one in your town. Membership in our international mid-life parents group is free. Connect with later moms online on Facebook and follow ...

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Testimonial - Lani Neumann, Member of NY Chapter

A quick reflection on my childhood and one can see no obvious signs to suggest my path to motherhood would be anything but typical. My favorite childhood photos are of me walking in our driveway, on my tippy toes, pushing a baby stroller like a natural. I couldn't have imagined that I'd be 43 the first time I pushed a stroller ...

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Write For Us

Want to Blog for Us? Have you always wanted to blog and didn’t know how to get started?  Are you an experienced mommy blogger who would like to share with our midlife parent community?  Are you a parenting expert?  Author?  Someone with wisdom to share of interest to moms over 35?  Do you have a compelling story or point of view ...

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Meet Motherhood Later Chapter Head Chris Thompson In Los Angeles

Many are surprised to learn that our first child was conceived through IVF after 25 years of marriage. While some perceive it as late, Sarah is our miracle girl and the sunshine of our lives.  We also have two identical twin boys, Ryland and Dylan, born December 22, 2009.  My husband and I always wanted three children, and while it ...

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Later Mom Features

Interview with Later Mom: Author Gail Sheehy by Robin Gorman Newman

gailsheehygailsheehybookcoverGail Sheehy, 77, is the author of seventeen books, including the classic New York Times

bestseller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress. A multiple award-winning literary journalist, she was one of the original contributors to New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984.

A popular lecturer, Sheehy was named AARP’s Ambassador of Caregiving in 2009.I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Sheehy, and she was every bit the candid and inspiring force I anticipated.

Robin: You have two children, and how many grandchildren do you have?

Gail: I have three, and the third is turning 8 and is still in that totally admiring phase.  I took her to see The Lion King.  We were enthralled together.  The funny thing is I’m showing her some of my tweets, and a picture of my memoir poppcd up.  She asked, “What’s that?”  I said, “It’s a picture of my memoir.  It’s the latest book I wrote.  It’s about my life.”  And she said, “Well, how old were you in that picture?”  I said, “I was in my 20s.”  And, she said, “Boy, now you’re so old.”  It takes a child to say right what you’re thinking.  She asked, “What’s your job?”  And, I said, ‘I’m an author…..that means I write books.”  I had never talked about it really, and her older sister who is 10, I write with her sometimes.  We pass a story back ‘n forth.  Children do not think that writing is a job.  They think you just kinda scribble in your corner.  You never seem to be going to an office, so it can’t really be a job where you support yourself.  I had to make that come together for her.

Robin:  You became a single mom in your 20s and then adopted in your 40s.  What is your take on it?

Gail: The number of women 30 and under having children has grown exponentially and really shocked me.  Half of American women 30 and under are having children without a husband.  At least one third of the time it wasn’t planned.  Very often they were living with somebody or had been with them for a while.  They get pregnant because they’re not taking birth control, and they decide to let it happen if it happens.  He’s not really up for it, and maybe the baby daddy is around for a couple of years.  In the average situation, he moves on, and she’s a single mom. Having been a single mom in my 20s when it was really really tough back in the 1960s — it wasn’t a cool thing to do — it was rather shameful and you really had to support yourself at a time when women weren’t easily achieving careers, including being a journalist.  It’s much easier today, but it’s not so easy.

The children who have the best chance to take advantage of the opportunities out there are the children, this is statistically documented from Isabel Sawhills research — she’s with Brookings Institution, and she wrote about it in a book called Generation Unbound  — from women and men who marry, go to the same type of school (good colleges), graduate, meet either at school or after school, get married before they have a child or children, and both are working.  They have two careers and income and stability,  have a child or children, and that child will be able to actually exceed the parents living standard and opportunities for growth.  So, that old model is still working really really well.   And, now we have the new norm which is having babies under 30 without being married, and we have yet to see how that’s gonna work out.  There are loads of single moms who are strong, resilient, resourceful and making things work, but it’s a struggle. And, if the child hasn’t been planned for, then it’s all by the seat of your pants, and maybe the chips fall in your favor and maybe they don’t.

I had a really hard time making life work and being a present mother.  The biggest deprivation of all is not really being able to be a fully present mother for the first year or two because you have to make a living and make a life without a partner, and that takes time.  I’m a lone voice out there because it’s such a popular construct now, but I have to say that being a later mother — adopting a child in my 40s — was totally different than being a young mother in my 20s, who as a result of divorce, I did it on my own.  I had full custody, but our daughter was only 2.5 years old when we divorced, and I wanted her to have a father as much as he was willing to participate.  He was a good father.  But, the divorce happened as a result of him being unfaithful.  It was a very sad situation. He’d take her a couple of nights/week and every other weekend, and that continued until she was emancipated.  We never took it out on her.  But, it was missing having a real family life that made me really hungry and sad about getting to the end of my reproductive life and not having a child with a family.

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TRAVEL MADE SIMPLE. Calling All Travel Lovers! Do you find it hard to come up with cool things to do with your kids on family vacation?

sanfranfiretrucktourThat’s where I come in.  I love to travel, and have planned many a trip, near and far, with my son, now age 12.  It’s not always easy finding activities that a boy, particularly, finds cool….but one of my strengths is coming up with off the beaten track things that both parents and kids can enjoy.  I’m not suggesting you visit a wild ‘n crazy place, unless you want to. But, aside from the must-see attractions, there are things to do that you might not know of.

I’m now offering a vacation planning service for busy moms and their family to help create an itinerary for your next vacation that generates special memories for years to come.  I do the homework, so to speak, and you have an awesome vacation!


(Photo: My son and I took a fire engine tour over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  It was really special!)

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