December 2010 Profile: Karen Salmansohn
Residence: New York City, with a partner Howard
Children: Ari Remy, 3 months old
Profession: I am a best selling self help author – who creates self help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self help – because my books are written with feisty humor and kinetic graphics. I love helping people get excited about growing (with best selling books like my How To Be Happy Dammit) and bouncing back from challenging times (like The Bounce Back Book, now going into its 6th printing!). I’m in the midst of renovating my website: NotSalmon.com. Plus I’m about to introduce a new book I’m super psyched about.
Web Site: NotSalmon.com
Q: Why did you decide to become a mom later in life? What factors precipitated this decision (or dictated it)?
A: A combination of wanting to wait because I have a passion for my career which I wanted to keep exploring – plus the inability to get pregnant. I ultimately did IVF and it worked on the first try. I made sure I used lots of progesterone and also supplemented with estrogen tablets – both of which I recommend to any women trying to get pregnant later in life – whether you do it the natural way or through IVF.
Q: If you work, what do you love about it? What is most challenging about your work? How long are you doing it? Where do you see yourself heading?
A: I love writing books which wake up sleepy minds and spirits and getting people to think in new ways which can help them to live happier, more love-filled, more successful lives. I love inspiring people to push past their fears and pursue the unknown – thereby growing in new, exciting ways. I’ve been writing books since the 90’s. My first published book was a novel published in 1993 – which I sold to St. Martin’s Press and was then optioned by Miramax to be a movie starring Marissa Tomei – but was never greenlit. I love writing fiction – and hope to write another novel or a screenplay at some point in the next few years.
Q: What have you experienced through motherhood that has also helped you in your work or personal life?
A: Whenever my little 3 month old cries, I’m reminded of some of the tips I write about re: happiness for adults. For example – there’s great power in learning to distract ourselves away from negativity and choose happier thoughts. With this in mind, when my son cries, I try to distract him with a fun toy — or by smiling at him big time — or by taking him on a tour of our apartment and pointing out art work or cool looking lamps. Sure enough, my son gets happy again. Basically, my son keeps me reminded daily about how what we focus on creates our reality. If we choose to focus on things that upset us, we will remain upset and negative. If we choose to focus on happy things and positive thoughts, we will feel happy and positive. There are so many happiness lessons to learn from Ari daily –like the benefits of being fully present – and fully curious about the world.
Q: What is a typical day for you like? If you work, do you do any work from home? If so, how do you find that? Have you worked more or less since you became a later mom?
A: I wake up at 6:30 — partly because of Ari – and partly because I actually like waking early. I then stroller over with Ari to a café where he giggles/naps, and I drink coffee/write. I’m still figuring out the writing/mommying balancing act. I’ve been writing a lot less since I got pregnant and gave birth. But I’m now about to move forward with some new projects and get back to my normal busy workload. At the end of day when Howard comes home from work, he and I take turns with cooking dinner at home, or we stroller over with Ari to a local restaurant.
Q: How do you think being a later in life mom has affected your experiences as a parent (share both good & not so good)? Has anything about being a mom surprised you? What do you most want to reach your child? What influence, if any, has your own mom had in your life and in your parenting?
A: I feel being a later in life mom makes me an especially appreciative mom. I have major gratitude every day for my miracle child.
Q: Where do you or did you turn for support as a mom? How important do you think it is to connect with mom peers? Do you consider yourself a role model for other later moms or aspiring later moms? How so? Do you think an organization like Motherhood Later…Than Sooner can be helpful to later moms?
A: I love meeting other late in life moms – as well as moms of all ages. We all have different kinds of insights about motherhood we can share with each other. Some girlfriends have introduced me to women who have babies around Ari’s age. And I’ve started conversations in cafes and my building’s elevator with moms who have babies Ari’s age. I’m always up for meeting fellow moms!
Q: What words of wisdom would you most like to share with others contemplating becoming a mom later in life?
A: If you can become a mom later in life, do it. The love you’ll feel from your child will make you feel younger than ever!
Q: When you became a mom, did your own mother or mother figure share any particular sentiments or advice that really resonated? Or do you recall anything from your own upbringing that really stuck with you and you’d like to pass on to your child or other moms?
A: When I was a kid, my mom was a successful actress – and so I was encouraged to explore my creativity — and feel as if I could make my dreams of success at a creative career come true. I want to encourage my child to also feel like “anything is possible” – that he can become anything he wants to be, if he works hard at growing his talents and keeps his eyes away from fears and obstacles and focused on his dreams/goals.