Meet Later-In-Life Mother Stephanie O’Hara

AGE: 46
RESIDENCE: Norman, Oklahoma
NAMES/AGES OF CHILDREN: Aidan, age 12;  Stella, age 4;   Smith, age 4

I am an American mom, wife, author, entrepreneur, lead singer of a rock band, and community leader. I am also an advocate for women experiencing fertility challenges through my infertility memoir “Angel Wings: A Story of Love, Faith, Infertility, Surrogacy, and Not Giving Up Hope,” releasing August 18th, 2020 via Plum Bay Publishing. You can find a copy at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Plum Bay Publishing, and my website,

Please share about your road to motherhood and your experience with secondary infertility and surrogacy. Becoming a mother of three was not easy for me. After having my son, I experienced what is known as secondary infertility. Although I could get pregnant, I ended up miscarrying 7 times over 6 years – my last miscarriage was in the middle of church. After going through 3 fertility specialists, lots of testing, furniture sized boxes of fertility meds and IVF, I realized my body needed the help of a gestational carrier. Our miracle girl/boy twins were born in September 2015, thanks to our carrier, Tiffany!

If you would have told me I would have twins in my 40’s, and that someone else would carry them for me, I would have laughed! I have the unique position of having given birth and watching someone else give birth to my biological children.

(Tiffany with the twins.)

Is it challenging to balance parenting, a personal life and professional pursuits?  Do you have a strategy that works?  Of course! What I have learned is that you will never be perfectly balanced. I gave up that ideal a long time ago. Your parenting, personal life and professional pursuits will ebb and flow. Your career might require more attention one week, and the following week, your entire focus could be on your children and all of their activities. After having children, I had to let go of perfection, and realize that I was only capable of 75% of what I used to be able to do. Giving myself permission to say “no” to certain things was so freeing!

I find that having a routine and schedule is beneficial for our family…although we have been more flexible since the pandemic. Now that my twins are older, they can help with chores and tasks. Not only is it helpful to you, but it empowers them.

I have also found that by “letting go of the little things,” it reduces stress. When my little girl wants to wear polka dotted sweatpants, rainboots, a unicorn headband and her brother’s superhero t-shirt to pre-school, I let her. Don’t sweat it.

My husband and I pray together every Monday morning, which is a time for us to connect and bond – sharing our concerns, goals and desires. I also am intentional about scheduling a date night once a week when possible. Even if it is just watching a show together after the kids go to bed, or a quick dinner date – that connection with my husband is so important!

What was your inspiration to write your memoir?  When I was in the midst of my first miscarriage, I was so scared and felt alone. I walked into my local bookstore and asked for the section on “Infertility and Miscarriages.” I needed to find someone who had been through what I was experiencing. I was told that it was an “odd request,” and that no such books were available in the store. I ran out, got into my car and sobbed. I knew then that I would write a book, so that those women that came after me would not have to face infertility alone.

The book is written as though I am sitting in a comfortable chair, curled up with a blanket, glass of wine in hand, sharing my story with a dear friend.

What do you see as the positives and challenges of having a child at age 35 or over?  Positives: Your children keep you young! As you get older, you become wiser. The knowledge and experience you have collected is a great gift to your children. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like my husband and I are more financially stable and more emotionally prepared as older parents. I find myself more settled, happy, and laid back than I was in my younger years.

Negatives: As one might guess, it can be more difficult to get pregnant as you get older. Do not give up hope! That is exactly what my memoir is about. You might not have as much energy as the younger moms, and you will probably have a few more wrinkles than they do. Ha! But – it is also an opportunity to meet new mommy friends that you would not have otherwise had. I have found that they will sometimes come to you for wisdom, too.

What do you most want to teach your children?  How much time do you have? So many things! My husband and I teach our children our family core values; humility, honesty, respect, justice, love, honor – to name a few. They are our fundamental beliefs and help to guide our decisions and actions. Our family mission statement is: Make the world a better place, today.

We love to travel and open their world to experiences they cannot get in a classroom. It also inspires adventure, curiosity and makes them more adaptable. Volunteerism is also important to our family. We want our children to have servant’s hearts.

We also have family rules, which are:

To love everyone. Embrace their differences.

Be kind. Always.

To leave the world better than they found it.

Stick up for the little guy, or for those that do not have a voice.

Assume the best in people.

Be polite and always use good manners.

Keep your promises and commitments.

Forgive and forget.

Have a great work ethic. Work first, then play.

Practice the Golden Rule.

Be an includer, not an excluder.

Are you conscious of raising them to be a Mensch (decent, responsible person)?  It is so important to us to raise good humans. We are Christians and believe that our job on earth is simply to love each other. There is far too much judging going on in the world today. We also teach our children to “mind their wake,” and to leave things better than they found them.

Do you have memories from your own childhood that inspires you to make memories with your kids? I had a great childhood, but what comes to mind is the memories my kids have at our family farm. My in-laws still live on the (wheat and cattle) farm where my husband grew up, just 30 minutes from our house.

It has been wonderful to be able to escape to the country and enjoy the space and the fresh air, especially since the pandemic. Our kids love it, too. From hay bale jumping, riding in the tractor, bottle feeding calves, eating my mother in law’s famous chocolate chip cookies, and just watching the circle of life – we have never been more thankful for the farm.

How do you practice good self care and role model for your children? I view self-care as an activity where we take care of our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional or even financial health. My husband and I teach our children that self-care is not selfish. Self-care encourages and enhances our well-being, making us better humans. Our kids watch what and emulate we do. I always try to be mindful of that.

Many moms are multi-tasking.  Any advice on carving out me time? I try to wake up 15-30 minutes before my children do. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when the house is quiet! I think I can unload a dishwasher in exactly 55 seconds flat.  Be intentional about taking some time for you. With Covid-19, it is even more difficult to get that “alone time” that we so desperately need. Whether it is getting away for a walk, a pedicure, or a glass of wine on the patio, do not be afraid to honor yourself. You deserve it!

When I order my groceries, I always add a “little something extra” at the end for myself. Maybe it is a new book, a good smelling bubble bath, a bottle of champagne, a chocolate bar or a hair conditioning treatment – it encourages me to take that “me” time that I need.

What words of wisdom can you share for someone contemplating parenthood over age 35?  We can learn so much from the elderly!  They have true wisdom that comes from a wealth of experience.  My husband and I have been in long-term healthcare (nursing homes, assisted livings) for many years. Our residents are in the final stages of their lives, and often reflect back on memories. Some of them, not all, regret not having had children or regret not having had more children.

I would encourage you to talk to your “80 year-old self”. Imagine her – sitting in a rocking chair, smiling at you. Ask her (the older “you”) how many family members she wants you to have around your Thanksgiving table over the next several decades. That will help you make your decision.

For those that are over 35 and are single, professional, or don’t find themselves ready for children just yet, I would encourage you to consider egg freezing. Women are often waiting longer than they ever have to start a family. Egg freezing can help reduce fertility anxiety and improve your chance of a healthy pregnancy later in life.

On the subject of aging well….what is the best advice you can offer a mom over age 50…..and over age 60? Drink looooooooooots of coffee. ? Take care of yourself. Get a lot of sleep, exercise a few times a week, take vitamins, drink water, always use sunscreen, make lists and pray or meditate. Having children later in life will never make you feel so young…or so old all at the same time. Embrace this phase of your life and the blessings that come with it! Spread your wings and fly. Let’s rock this “mom” thing!


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