Bloomin’ Mom: A Later Mom Shares – By Lisa Spahr, St. Louis, Missouri Chapter Head
Greetings Motherhood Later friends. I am so excited to be launching a Chapter in St. Louis, Missouri. I was a proud member of the Pittsburgh Chapter before moving last year. The connection I found with other moms my age was priceless. They simply felt like the most comfortable relationships I had acquired since becoming a mom, or “mum” as my girls call me. I’m hoping to create that same atmosphere here in “the Lou”.
I was having an outstanding adventure before marriage and children – and will admit to missing it some days. A great career, fun travels around the world and more time to myself than you can imagine. Turn page. Then it all changed in the blink of an eye. I married at 35 (to a great guy with FOUR children of his own), had my first daughter, B, 14 months later, and then followed that up with Mimi, my second daughter, 17 months after that!
I loved my pregnancies and even looked forward to the birthing process (yep, I’m one of them). I thought it was awesome to be over 35 and facing this next journey- with relative ease. I have a great birth story I love to tell, but want to be respectful of those who will argue it is too much information! I’ll just leave you with this “56 hours!” – and I wouldn’t have given it up for anything!
I will tell you that motherhood kicked me in the pants in a way I never anticipated. I experienced a devastating identity crisis. Choosing to be a mostly stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), with part-time work hours from home, removed me from a position that I was so used to (and loved). I thought motherhood would be an equal replacement and I was wrong. They were very different – my work life and motherhood. Who was I now and where would I find my value? Yes, it should be in mothering, but it just wasn’t. I would be filled with jealously at seeing my husband pull out of our drive in the morning and go to work. And, yes, I could have just put the kids in daycare and gone back to full-time work, but I didn’t. I wanted to see if I could transition to my new life (and I kept seeing my mom who never had a choice, like I did, and felt guilty if I opted to work rather than care for my children). Not to mention, we chased a promotion for my husband here, to the Lou. There is nothing like starting over with a 1 and 2 year old in a place where you know no one! But, here I am a couple years in and feeling better but still working hard to find meaning outside my children and family by volunteering, working and seeking close, quality friendships.
The challenges and rewards of motherhood are best served in a community. And, when you don’t have one, you must create one. I love sharing myself and my family with those who are open to honest conversation, fun times and a good dose of women helping other women enjoy the good and challenging moments life throws at us. If I do this right, this will be a chapter that changes lives in many good ways.