Meet Later Mom Kimberly Samson


AGE:  49
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:  Happily Married
RESIDENCE:  Los Angeles
AGES OF YOUR SONS: 20, 17 and 9

I left a lucrative and prestigious (because at that time, my self worth was my job) position as a money manager with Merrill Lynch to stay home with my children. I had a brief stint back into the workforce in commercial banking but couldn’t stomach assisting my bank in calling loans and repossessing assets in 2008 so I went back to Mommy, Inc. Fortunately, my job was still available.

After one severe midlife crisis questioning everything, I started The Midlife (podcast, courses & community), recognizing that I wasn’t the only well-educated, capable woman over 40 asking well WTF now and finding no frank resource to guide me through this transition without destroying everything and everyone around me. Visit https://themidlife.co

Did you always want to be a mom? Yes. But frankly because I didn’t know I had a choice. That’s what good girls do. Marry a mensch and have babies. Cue bluebirds and bunnies and happily ever after. And scene. 

What was your road to parenthood like? 

#1 “I think we should try to have a baby.” Poof, baby.

2 failed pregnancies

#2 After much struggle 3 1/2 years later but that felt like 10 years.

#3 8 years after #2. Ooops…but what a gift! 

You have had children at various ages, including one when you were 40.  What has it been like parenting at different stages in your life?  And, how has it been for your sons to be a number of years apart?

I don’t know if it’s the age at which you have the child or the fact that you get better at anything with practice, but I am a better parent to ALL my children because of #3. I am definitely more relaxed, and yes, more tolerant. We are all happier for it.

The little guy has been a galvanizing force in the family. Not only is he absolutely adored, and sometimes parented by his older brothers, but I think he has allowed the older boys to become closer too.

I never babied the little guy. I was intent that the big boys’ lives would not be interrupted because of him. He’s grown up being “along for the ride,” and he’s always a source of entertainment. Let’s just say he was the only 7 year at the fraternity party for Parent’s Weekend. Or as he now refers to it, NO Parent’s Weekend. 

Do you think it is challenging to balance parenting, a personal life and professional pursuits?  If you think of those as separate pursuits, then absolutely. The key to my personal and professional success is that these are all elements of ONE life. It’s impossible that they don’t bleed into each other. And when you let them, it’s a good thing.

My family comes first. They know that so they don’t get bent out of shape when I honestly keep them up to date on something that may take my momentary focus away. I have completely involved them in my business, and they are my biggest cheerleaders, excited for me when I hit a new podcast download milestone or my course enrollment grows. It’s not unusual that I say we’re ordering in because I haven’t edited my episode that needs to drop tomorrow morning or I need a big boy to pick the little guy up somewhere. We are all for one and one for all around here. There are no silos, and nothing is off limits for discussion.

This is the most cohesive I have ever felt in my life, firing at my best in all areas. If everyone is healthy and getting their needs met, nothing stresses me out. But also, I’m willing to drop anything and anyone if one of my sons or my husband needs me. Nothing is more important to me than those relationships.  

What do you see as the positives and challenges of having a child at age 35 or over?  I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little frustrating to know that we would have been empty nesters next year instead of in 9 MORE years. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

It’s also annoying to be older than the other moms. I find them petty and more uptight than they need to be. But then I remember, I was no different. There is no substitute for life experience.

I also did not appreciate the little guy commenting on my forehead “railroad tracks” when he was about 3. 

Has anything about motherhood surprised you thus far?  I did not know that I was capable of loving another human being this intensely. 

What do you most want to teach your children?  That life isn’t about goals or jobs or accolades. Life is in the daily living. And more importantly, in the daily loving. Do your best everyday and the results take care of themselves.

The people in your life are paramount.

Say yes to everything. Figure out a way to jump on any experience offered to you.

You are the only one responsible for your happiness. You have no control over the actions of others. You only have control over how you respond to others.

Choose kindness. Have compassion for others and for yourself.

Enjoy the mistakes. It’s the only way you learn. 

Are you conscious of raising them each to be a Mensch (decent, responsible person)?  If I had a nickel for every time someone commented on their manners or kindness…

I am particularly proud of the relationships I have facilitated between the boys and their 4 still-living grandparents. They have a reverence and respect for elders that extends to the community.

I am cognizant that how I allow them to treat me will set the stage for how they will treat girlfriends and wives (hopefully just one issued per boy). They hold doors, pull out chairs, let people in and out of elevators. All the stuff that used to be baseline normal. 

Any memories from your own childhood that inspire you to make memories with your sons? My lack of “family” memories fuels my drive to create experiences we share together. Whether it’s bar-b-queing and playing trivial pursuit in the backyard or heading out on a family adventure, we have fun together! 

How do you practice good self care and role model for your family? I hold it all together and take really good care of myself inside and out. I feed myself, and the family, very healthy food. I exercise regularly. I make plans away from them with friends to continue my very important female relationships. They see me as a complete and whole individual. I know they appreciate that about me. 

What words of wisdom would you like to share for someone contemplating parenthood over age 35?  I don’t think my advice would change based on age: the parent/child relationship is about them, not you. They owe you nothing. You owe them everything. Your ego can have no place in your mother/child relationship. Don’t guilt them. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for them.

Raise the child you get, not the child you thought you wanted.

Be the place they always have a soft landing.

No matter what, have their back. 

 

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