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One might argue that Joan Lintz-Thompson—who donated the Mom & Tot T-Shirt designs for Celebrating Motherhood After 40 garden party—is the product of an after-40 ‘arranged marriage’.
The now 49-year-old graphic designer from Santa Cruz, CA, gave birth to twins Emmett and Clare in April 2005 after a successful second round of IVF treatments.
Lintz-Thompson describes herself as a ‘late bloomer’—qualifying her certainly as another over-40 mom.
“For many years I was uncertain if I would have kids. I finished school late and started my career late—or maybe that was just on time for me”, she explains.
She Waited Too Long To Pop The Question
After graduating from college in Santa Clara in 1991, Lintz-Thompson began to build her career while dating prospective partners, only asking if they wanted children into the third or fourth month of dating.
Retrospectively, she feels that perhaps she waited too long to pop the question.
“When they said ‘no’, I would begin to end the relationship” she says.
“I know this may sound harsh, but I was old enough to know that romantic love only lasted several months, then life on life’s terms would follow.”
After settling into a secure job, Lintz-Thompson happened to become friends with “the Grants”—her mystical match-making landlords with two married couples to their credit—who arranged a little dinner party for her.
There she met her future husband Marty who, ironically, had rented the same house 10 years earlier.
When Joan asked “early on” if he wanted kids, he said ‘yes’.
And after a few months, they decided to get married and start a family.
40 Years Old On Her Wedding Day
Joan Lintz-Thompson was 40 years old on her wedding day.
Despite her hopes for an immediate family, she miscarried in the first year of her marriage and got a sudden age-related wake-up call from her OB/Gyn.
“I was given the news that there was no time for holistic fertility treatments that they would normally provide to younger patients—she recommended we seek the help of a fertility center right away”, recalls Joan.
“My insides were 41, but I felt 30”, she says.
After the first round of IVF failed, she found she “needed to wait awhile physically and emotionally to try again.”
When the second round of IVF took hold, Lintz-Thompson opted for a C-section after suffering from high blood pressure, some bleeding and a concern that one of the twins was in breech position during the 3rd trimester.
“I Hadn’t Planned On Being An Older Mom”
“We knew going into the delivery room our lives were forever going to change—had already changed.
“I had not planned on being an older mom—what were my options, except to remain positive and hopeful?”
Ever the pragmatist—and having fought hard for the privilege of motherhood in her forties—Joan’s approach to her role bears the hallmark of most later-life mothers: that of being firmly grounded.
According to Lintz-Thomspon: “I’ve got life experience that I wouldn’t have had in my 20’s and 30’s—I learned to know my limits and when I make a mistake, try not to take it so hard and forgive myself.”
She Admits To A Rocky Beginning
She admits to a rocky beginning, however, when she “got to freak out, cry briefly, and worry about how we were going to manage” after the twins were born.
And how she overcame it virtually laid the groundwork for her future management of motherhood.
“For me it was overwhelming when we first arrived home with the twins” says Joan, who did not hesitate to call in the help of friends, family and a postpartum doula.
“If you can afford a doula, and a house cleaner to come in twice a month until you can manage the household, it’s worth every penny. Don’t be afraid to ask for help’’ is her advice to any older expectant mother.
Regarding her growing up years in the 60’s, Lintz-Thompson shares the sadness of her generation—the one gift she cannot pass down to her young.
“We Could Play Without Fear Of Being Abducted”
“We had the freedom to run around the neighborhood without setting up a ‘play date’” she says.
“We could run in packs of kids after school to the park, play hide and seek on our block or play in the orchard until it was time to come home for dinner without fear of someone abducting us.
“It’s the sad truth that my kids won’t have the freedom we had because of the fear someone will take them.”
Of the future—which strikes doubt into the hearts of most later-life mothers—Joan Lintz-Thomson’s vision is forgivingly tempered with her trademark brand of common sense.
“We will be in our early 60’s when the children graduate from high school.
“How Lucky We Are To Have These Children”
“Our responsibility to our kids is to stay fit, active and face the obstacles of aging together. It’s not an evil; it’s life.”
With the twins starting kindergarten next year, Joan Lintz-Thompson plans to start a freelance graphic design business with a special sensitivity to other over-40 moms in their businesses.
On meeting with the other over-40 mom volunteers for the Celebrating Motherhood Over 40 garden party she says:
“The love for our children we have is clearly great and solid. How lucky we are to have these children! We will do whatever it takes to make a great life for them.”
Notes for this blog:
SHARE YOUR FREE MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE E-CARD
Mother’s Day 2013 is on Sunday, May 12th. AChildAfter40.com has launched a FREE Mother’s Day Tribute Album in an E-Card and social media friendly format. It features candid mother & child portraits and “pearls of wisdom” from real over-40 moms: the true faces and authentic voices of later motherhood.
Join us and help to dispel negative, stereotypes regarding mothers over 40. Please share this e-card via email and your social media and encourage friends to pass it on. Get the message out there: You can do it by emailing, tweeting or Facebooking the card and/or the blog from the share bar.
“CELEBRATE MOTHERHOOD OVER 40” HANDMADE WINE CHARMS
We are launching these elegant, handmade glass wine charms, made especially for AChildAfter40.com for this occasion. They come in an organza sachet as singles or “His & Hers”, and “Celebrate Motherhood Over 40” gift tag for Mother’s Day at only $3.95 each. Order now! They are ideal for accessorizing gift wrap, to adorn wine glass stems, or to wear as a personal charm. Proceeds will help to fund our online forums.
Photography donated by: Scott Lewis (http://www NULL.lewisimages NULL.com/)
Graphic designs for “Celebrating Motherhood After 40” Mom & Tot T-Shirts donated by graphic designer: Joan Lintz-Thompson (joanlintz_thompson null@null yahoo NULL.com).
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