Robin: Motherhood Later…Than Sooner (http://www.MotherhoodLater.com) is an international organization devoted to those parenting later in life. We are an on/offline community/resource, with chapters nationwide and beyond, for those who became a mom at age 35+, whether for the first time or again. Our goal is to connect, inform, and empower “later” moms.
Mia: Why did you feel the need to create this site to support older mothers?
Robin: We prefer to use the more warm ‘n fuzzy word “later.” I became a mom at 42, and had times when I felt like the oldest parent in the playground. My son was less than one year of age when I found myself in a mommy & me program feeling like I was in a totally different place in my life than younger moms. Age had never been an issue for me. I’m told I don’t look my age, and I never really thought about it. But, with more life experience behind me, both personally and professionally, I yearned for mom peers who could relate to what I was currently going through and had lived through. I also wanted to be part of a community where there was no judgment based on age. I was once asked, for example, by a complete stranger if I was my son’s mom or grandmom, and it was unsettling and caught me off guard.
Mia: What do you believe is one of the greatest benefits of being a “later” mother?
Robin: Having more wisdom to share through the life experience you’ve cultivated. Additionally, more than likely, your road to parenthood wasn’t the easiest for whatever reason, so there is a huge sense of gratitude amongst “later” moms. We don’t take mothering for granted.
Mia: How important is self-care in your opinion to mothers?
Robin: Very…no matter your age. But, certainly a “later” mom, particularly over age 40, will likely experience hormone fluctuations that we don’t always understand. Your body changes in ways that you can’t necessarily anticipate, and self care is vital, in addition to educating yourself about what you can expect so you may act preventively. What used to work for you in the past might not suffice now. I lift weights twice/week and it makes me feel good to know I’m keeping my body strong, especially my bones, which is so important as women age. And, I take a lot of vitamins/supplements and see a holistic doctor.
Mia: What types of things do you do for fun to balance motherhood?
Robin: I adore theatre and try to go as often as my schedule permits. I’m working on writing a play based on my book How to Marry a Mensch (decent person), and that excites me. I recently signed up for a local acting class. I treasure conversation/quality time with close girlfriends (when I can get it). I yearn to meditate more. It’s really important to work on quieting your mind, in order to deal with stress and gain greater clarity on a daily basis. A real treat for me is getting a reflexology massage, though I don’t do it nearly often enough. I also like attending enlightening workshops at places like the Open Center and Omega in NY. Combining business and pleasure is always great, and last year I was invited to lead two workshops on dating and relationships at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, and that was a wonderful, nurturing trip. I hope to travel more, as my son gets older and can appreciate the wonders of the world.
I work from home, so it’s a delicate balancing act for sure. Aside from MotherhoodLater.com, I am an author and the founder of http://www.LoveCoach.com and work with singles privately and in groups. I’m always looking at the clock to figure out how much work time I can get in, in between family responsibilities. In addition to my young son, I am married, and have a senior dad with health challenges. There can be a lot of caretaking when you’re part of the “sandwich” generation, as I, and many “later” moms fit that bill.
Mia: What is the best advice that you've received in motherhood?
Robin: My beloved mom, who passed away 10 years ago, had a favorite expression, “And this too shall pass.” And, I always remember that when I’m having a challenging moment as a homemaker and mompreneur.
Mia: What type of support does your community provide mothers?
Robin: I am the founder of MotherhoodLater.com, in addition to heading the New York chapter, which has over 400 members at present. We plan varied events and vehicles for moms, including mom’s night out dinners, workshops, and family getaways, a teleclass series, blog, free monthly email newsletter, online communities where they can chat, and a shop with cool exclusive merchandise. Each chapter offers their own events, and membership is free. We have a very strong social networking site presence in an array of communities, so our reach is vast.
We have varied advertising opportunities available, and welcome sponsor inquiries. The 35+ moms market is a powerful demographic since they often have greater spending power than younger moms because they’ve potentially worked longer. And, they are particularly conscious of wanting to give their child/children the best in life, as much as is possible.
We are open to partnering with other parenting organizations, and welcome hearing from writers would like to contribute to our website and/or newsletter. We are looking to expand on the website content. We are unable to pay at present, but offer exposure and the opportunity to share with a savvy community hungry for information, resources, etc.
Follow Mia's self-care tweets on twitter at www.twitter.com/Mia_redrick.