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When a movement, a cause, or a trend has taken on a life of its own, people who own a modicum of common sense usually know that it’s pointless trying to stop it.
The vernacular is, I believe, that it’s like ‘trying to close the barn door after the horse has bolted.’
I suppose the alternative is to vilify it, if you can, rather than try to understand the cause and how you can manage its effects more positively.
In the post-Mother’s Day era, I’ve had tremendous amount of email feedback from articles featuring FPM—some of them in the Santa Cruz Sentinel (http://www NULL.santacruzsentinel NULL.com/ci_15049150?IADID=Search-www NULL.santacruzsentinel NULL.com-www NULL.santacruzsentinel NULL.com), The Bay Area Parent (http://siliconvalley NULL.parenthood NULL.com/sv_MidlifeMothersDay NULL.php), and the Minnesota Star-Tribune (http://www NULL.startribune NULL.com/lifestyle/health/93202889 NULL.html?elr=KArksUUUycaEacyU).
As usual, the virtual mailbag has lots of email letters of support and excitement from other over-40 moms who have now ‘found’ Flower Power Mom (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com), along with a mishmash of dissenters who, for various reasons, enjoy a good beef-carving rant about the selfish geriatric grand dames who’ll be stumbling on canes when their kids grow up.
And, while I do understand that there’s a Newtonian equation inherent in all things—that for every growth trend in one direction there’s likely going to be some sort of virulent backlash that will tsunami in from the other—I find it hard to digest intolerance and lack of foresight.
I had a letter from a 42 year-old grandmother who intentionally had a whole passel of children while she was young because she was a ‘victim’ of being the child of an over-40 mom.
Reading between the lines of her letter, it sounded more like she was a victim of emotional indifference—an unfortunate parental affliction that occurs all too often— regardless of a parent’s age.
However, in the spirit of fair speech, I offered to write her story. So far, she’s agreed—so good. Watch this space.
While it is not the first letter I’ve had from a finger-pointing grandmother—many of whom were far more critical—it’s a first-time finger from an accusing offspring.
Whatever happened to ‘honor thy mother? (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Honor_your_father_and_your_mother)’
My former Belgian mother-in-law would often provide me a loose translation from French of a favorite saying:
“The dog barks, but the circus still passes by!”
Motherhood over 40 is on the rise.
It’s on the rise because women born from the 1960s and ‘70s era and onward now expect an opportunity of an education and a career prior to a family. Unless you are going to stuff the genie of Women’s Liberation back into the test tube of fertility technology, vagina first, that trend isn’t going to change anytime soon.
But there is something that does need to change and that’s social attitude.
Mothers are still bringing home paychecks, doing the dishes and the laundry too, not to mention managing their child’s social and extra-curricular activities and putting them to bed at night, all without passing Go, but certainly getting burned out into the bargain.
We’ve all seen that now it’s time for equally shared parenting and domestic responsibilities between husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.
The days of Dad coming home to a newspaper, pipe, easy chair, and slippers are supposed to be long gone aren’t they?
If society is now going to demand that women have their children during peak fertility, then the social fabric needs to support it.
And when they do have them after the age of forty, society needs to support that too.
Why? Because at the end of every sordid, finger-pointing, allegory that is nothing less than a showcase for the judgmental to strut their stuff, Mothers, by their very definition have the right to our support.
Failing to support procreation—for mothers at whatever age—is like voting against yourself at the ballot box.
So why the finger-pointing, why the blame game, with these people?
To put a mild spin on Horton’s mantra (from Horton Hears a Who (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=t6QT3CIbrg8)), ‘a mother is a mother, no matter how old’.
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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