I am Mama by Later Mom Marina Topsis


I worked in the airline industry for 38 1/2 years and took early retirement at 60 for many reasons. I wish I could say it was solely for my then 4 and 6 year old sons. It turned out to be a great decision. A few months later, 3/16/20, we went to full virtual school due to COVID19. Thankfully, I was home.

While I worked, I missed many milestones that were shared with photos and videos when I got home. One time, I had to be away over the holidays. When I got home I asked my then 5 year old if he missed mama?  He was visibly upset and said, “You should have been home with your children.”  My then 3 year old didn’t even call me mama at that point, as he spent more time with the Au pair.

Yes, I miss the office and friends that were, but that environment has changed and my recollection of good times are of a time and place that no longer exists. This last year and a half as a stay at home mom has given me precious moments with my boys. I love just “being” with them. The busy times, the quiet times, the fun times, the hectic times. Being there to kiss “boo boos”, and make them their favorite food, or just play and listen to their thoughts about Minecraft or their latest video games, helping them with their school work, talks about the world, talks about loss, prayer time,  and watching their individual tastes and little personalities develop are moments I would have missed had I continued to work.

Having your little ones invite you to dance with them or play hide and seek brings more joy and accomplishment than any work related milestone. These are the precious moments I relish as an older mom.  I don’t have any doubt that I made the right decision. Being home for my boys has allowed me to bond with them far more than if I only had a few hours with them before and after work. Yes, it is about quality time, but more important is quantity, the times you are just “being”. Just Being.

The impromptu cuddles, snuggling on the couch watching cartoons and movies for the thousandth time. Yes, there are internal challenges.  I wonder if I am a good enough role model for them. Would they be better off with a working mom?  And then I realize, we are all better off, especially me. I am blessed to have this precious time with my children. I did it backwards, retired to be home with the kids, but it works. Now especially, with social distancing and hybrid/virtual school schedules my children need me to be here, with them, giving them support and love, lots of love.

I don’t rule out returning to the work force, but only to a job that allows me to put my children first. I am grateful I was able to have a career in an industry I loved for so many years. For now though, I have the best job title ever.  I am Mama.

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  1. 2 Responses to “I am Mama by Later Mom Marina Topsis”

  2. I know the author, She was quite spectacular in the work force. She is so committed in the of raising her 2 beautiful boys and most definitely they are so blessed to have her.

    By Audrey Lieberman-ibelli on Feb 28, 2021

  3. Marina what a nice story. My story is similar except I had to work most of life after my divorce. I admire you and happy you are with your kids. I am now taking care of my grandson which I could not do with my kids. God Bless us that we are strong women. I too 33 years with the airline.

    By kay quijada on Mar 1, 2021

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