Meet Later Mom Louise Goffin

I’m a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and co-host of a podcast that interviews legendary songwriters. In addition to running my record company, which is set up to allow me to release and distribute my recordings on CD and vinyl, I lead masterclasses and retreats in artist empowerment and songwriting.


What was your road to parenthood experience? I always knew I wanted to have children, but I was so focused on my career that I had no plan in place for when and where I’d enter parenthood in my life. I thought it would just somehow happen.

I was dating a younger man who wanted to be a young dad, and for him there was more urgency than for me. My OBGYN reminded me at a routine check-up that I had a biological window that I couldn’t keep ignoring, and I’m eternally grateful that both these people helped me pay attention and not miss the opportunity to be a mom.

What has single motherhood been like? I lived with the father of my children until my eldest turned eight and my youngest was five. I was fortunate to be able to hire help with my kids when they were young and when I needed to give myself spaces to process changes in my life.

I could be fully present with my kids when I was with them. My ex and I lived within walking distance from one another and the kids spent half the week at his house. When they got a little older, they’d bounce from house to house by their own free will. Single motherhood gave me a lot of confidence. There was less chaos in the house when I was a single parent. I savored every minute. Both my sons (now 16 & 19) are resilient people, with a drive and passion for their creative pursuits, and expressive of their thoughts and feelings.

The hardest part about single parenthood for me was the transition into it. When you have an idea of what you want your motherhood and family to look like, and life sends you another plan, it can take some time to adapt. I learned that acceptance of what is leaves more time to enjoy your children and your life. I soon came to see that my life was better, and I gave my children a stronger role model by leading a fulfilling single life.

How does being a mom influence your work? My work jumped up to a level of excellence I couldn’t imagine until after I became a mother.

My focus and openness to the universe improved. I had a greater ability to follow through on projects in a more time-efficient way.

I stopped sitting in my own emotional turmoil and gave myself to something bigger than me. The greater capacity to allow others needs into my life gave my self-expression more depth and authenticity.

What advice would you offer multi-tasking, overwhelmed moms? Try your best to focus on one thing at a time, and learn to let it be okay that things on your to-do list won’t get done.

Many of the things that used to be on your list won’t matter as much as you might think. Once you learn to take care of yourself, you find you look less to others to define you, and this gives you the gift of time. You learn that whenever you create and make something, it is the right time because you are not competing with other people or trying to keep up with their agendas and time tables. There is only one you, and the relationship you have with your child highlights how important that one you is. You grow to be less inclined to spread yourself thin, and the more you give of yourself to yourself, your child, and the few things and people you prioritize, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel.

When you prioritize giving of yourself to what deserves your energy, the more you get nourished back.

Is it tough to balance parenting, a personal life and professional pursuits? I think life is tough when you are given many blessings, but tougher when you are given few.

Try to show love and generosity as best you can, and forgive yourself when you get off-balance and don’t get to everyone and everything.

Take a break, recharge, and try again to balance.

(photo credit: Amanda Bjorn)

How do practice self-care and de-stress? Let myself off the hook of trying to be perfect.

For every six days of intense focus on the family, home and my work, I give myself at least one afternoon of letting myself lounge around like a teenager, binge watch Netflix, eat what I want, and wear pj’s. Self-acceptance is the answer to almost all problems. Perfectionism is the enemy of self-care.

What are the positives and challenges of having a child at age 35 or over? I am grateful I had my children later and did a lot before I was a parent. I feel, compared to my young parents, it made me more relaxed, with more wisdom to offer and greater appreciation for time with my kids.  Though the pursuit of my own dreams may have been put on the back burner for the years my kids were younger,

I had many years of knowing I could do it and get back to it. I was grateful for the experiences I already had and having had those experiences, I didn’t feel competitive with my children for pursuing their dreams.

In spite of a greater number of decades between me and my kids, we have a lot in common because they’ve seen me fulfilled in my creativity, and they feel free to follow theirs. They love to share what they’re excited about with me, and I feel honored they want to share things with me.

The challenges can be having the energy to keep up with sports and running around, but I have taken good care of myself and so far, I can still ski on the slopes with my kids, though I’ve never been one for rough-house pillow fights.

Has anything about being a mom surprised you? Everything surprised me. I had no idea I’d love it and them so much.

When they were younger, the marathon nature of their ongoing needs was surprising. Nothing can prepare you.

“How do parents ever get any sleep?” becomes your own strategizing to get a few hours of quiet time to yourself in-between sleeping.

The other surprise: how fast it all goes.

One minute they’re in elementary school, and just a few seasons later, they look like completely different human beings, and you wonder where did all the little kids in the house go?

You think you get 18 years but once they hit 13, you become more policewoman than a cuddly mama bear.

(photo credit: Elissa Kline)

What do you love the most about it, and what is the most challenging? I am honored and in awe of the people my kids have become. I learn from them, and they inspire me.

The most challenging part has been to have faith when either one of my children goes through a phase of uncertainty.

As a parent when your kids are working through things in themselves you’re always asking “has this taken a bad turn? Will this pass? What do I do?”

It’s a challenge to have faith in them finding their own solutions, but it is deeply rewarding. It makes them more resilient to know you believe in their own answers, not yours.

The challenge is knowing that of all the jobs of your life, being a parent is the most important one, and the only one that the better you do at it, the quicker you get fired.

There are no promotions until grandchildren.

What did you most want to teach your sons when they were younger?  What have you learned from them? I wanted my children to learn to listen to and trust themselves. To honor their feelings and instincts and protect themselves if they ever got a signal or feeling that something wasn’t right with a person or situation.

And they did speak up about bad teachers or kids who had unhealthy world views.

I never told them that the teacher or authority was always right just because they were the adult.

I taught them that their voice and feelings mattered.

I also wanted them to learn to do their part in relationships, not to feel entitled or that things would be handed to them.

To communicate and respect both themselves and other people.

Some of things I’ve learned:

Age doesn’t matter to kids, you’re either cool or you’re not.

They are always asking themselves what you would do in a situation whether they look like they are or not. So behave in ways you want your kids to, because they’re always watching whether they’re there or not. They know everything.

The more they stand up to you, the more you’ve done a good job – they’ll only stand up to someone they trust to love them in spite of having a different opinion.

Kids who withhold things from their parents often fear losing their parents love…so if you want to be trusted, act trustworthy. Yelling, shaming, and lecturing achieves less than zero and actually causes more harm than good.

My children don’t listen to what I say as much as they watch what I do.

(Louise & sister Sherry)

Did your own mom impart any  words of  life wisdom that have empowered you? When someone offers unsolicited advice that isn’t necessarily helpful, my mom would often advise to “consider the source”.

I.e. what’s their agenda?

Another good phrase was “carry on”, meaning “be that as it may, I have my own journey, and I know what’s best for me.”

What would you like to share with someone contemplating motherhood over age 35?  It could be the best ride you’ll ever give yourself and may expand your capacity to love beyond anything you could imagine.

But you will undoubtedly no longer be the star of your own movie, so be prepared to delay your rock stardom. Eventually you’ll get back to it, but not on your timetable.


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