February 2012 Profile: Terri Friedlander
Relationship Status: Married 6 years.
Residence: Currently residing in sunny Melbourne, Florida but lived my whole life before now on Long Island, New York.
Children: Danielle (14).
Profession:I’ve dabbled with a notable list of job titles in my career from Information Technology Director to teacher to college professor. I’ve been working since I graduated college in the 1980’s and am proud of my Master’s Degree and Certifications. I have a passion for computers, music and writing.
I decided to share my five year, bittersweet journey to motherhood in my novel Chasing Her Destiny, recently published and available on Amazon and the Kindle. It’s based on my desire to leave the fast lane of New York City and start a family. Dedicated to all the brave birth mothers in the world and the innocent victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I believe it will inspire and motivate women faced with fertility issues and yearning to become a mother later.
My site is www.terrifriedlander.com and like life, it’s a work in progress. I believe in living each day to the fullest and helping in the community (when I can find spare time). I believe today’s multi-tasking women can have it all, do it all and all on their own schedules!
Q: What led you to become a later in life mother?
A: Two reasons: 1) Later in life marriage. 2) Determination to Work Hard and Play Hard (name of my first book) and travel the world before having a family. Little did I expect that my aging eggs would not easily cooperate when I was ready.
Q: What do you see as the positives and challenges of becoming a 35+ mom?
A: Positives are that I have more confidence in myself and my abilities than when I was young and trying to prove myself in my career.
Challenges are that I’m sometimes exhausted from my multi-tasking lifestyle and wish I had the energy I had when I was a 20-year-old who loved going out to discos after working all day. Now I relish bed time by 10pm. Big difference.
Q: Has anything about being a mother surprised you?
A: It surprises me when I feel like I just said or did something to my daughter that my mother would have done, and I swore I wouldn’t be as overprotective as she was.
Q: What do you most want to teach your daughter?
A: To live each day to the fullest, don’t smoke or do drugs, and always follow your dreams. (And don’t forget to have fun, go dancing and laugh a lot.)
Q: What influence, if any, has your own mother or father had in your life and in your parenting?
A: Does anybody else cringe when their husband yells the great insult of them all, “You sound just like your mother!?”
My mother was a stay-at-home mom who never went to college and lived for her three children. She had no hobbies or interests besides worrying about me commuting to Manhattan or riding on the subways alone. I want my daughter to see me as a vibrant, successful person, living and enjoying life with many diverse activities and friends. I love being her mother, but I have my career as well.
Q: Where do you turn for support as a mom? How important is to connect with mom peers? How do you think an organization like Motherhood Later…Than Sooner can be helpful to later families?
A: I turn to my female friends…who else is there? I cannot turn to my husband because he wants ME to always be the bad guy when it comes to setting rules for our daughter (who knows he is wrapped around her finger). Plus our parenting styles are like oil and water. He wants to be her best friend, not her father, so he never says NO. I get support from other working women who understand how to balance work and home. It’s vital to my sanity to connect with other moms, and an organization like Motherhood Later is very helpful. Reading a blog by later moms about problems with discipline and texting, etc., and having the opportunity for a dinner out once a month (if you join a Motherhood Later chapter) with other “older moms” (ok, I typed it– we’re older) is a great way to relieve stress.
Q: What words of wisdom would you most like to share with others contemplating becoming a parent later in life?
A: Don’t despair if you find yourself on the infertility treadmill. While the medical procedures work for some, you can always pursue adoption as an equally wonderful option. My five year journey to motherhood wasn’t easy, but I don’t regret the effort for a second. I appreciate every day I have the chance to be her mother.
Q: When you became a mom, did your own mother or father share any particular sentiments or advice that really resonated? Or do you recall anything from your own upbringing that really stuck with you that you’d like to pass on to your children or other parents?
A: My mother always threatened me with the line “Wait until you become a mother. Then you’ll understand.” Was she ever right on that one! I also want to protect my daughter from all life’s dangers, bullies, selfish boys and even mean girls. And I’m not always a popular mom like when I take the phone or the computer away because she can really push and try to get her way. But my daughter knows that I do what I say, and I hope she will always respect that and love me the way I love my mother for her devotion. Like my mother told me, “Having a child is the best thing I ever did in my life.”