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When I started hanging out with baby Alex at the playground at 43, I remember thinking that—sometime during a surreal, Rip Van Winkle-style afternoon nap—I must have landed the role of understudy for Nicole Kidman’s part in the 2004 film Stepford Wives (see link below).
Although many may prefer the historical 1975 film, it was the modern rendition that made me feel old as well as marginalized to the level of outcast from a cult of motherhood defined by age and generation.
To be a card-carrying, covert member, you had to be a mother under the age of thirty-five, with an attitude steeped in saccharine pretension to the point of being sinister. (And your tiny, work-out buffed buttocks had to shine like brand spanking new hubcaps.)
There is a Stepford cult sub-sect also known as Yummy Mummies (http://www NULL.urbandictionary NULL.com/define NULL.php?term=yummy%20mummy)—just the thought of it is enough to make you want to hurl your hoagie (at their shiny hubcab rumps).
I was so disaffected by the sense of anomie generated by being plunged unwittingly and unwillingly into the company of SMUTS (Stepford Moms Under Thirty-Five)—many of whom peered at me down the long nose of personal judgment—that I wrote one of my first blog features on it: Revenge of the Fried Green Granny-Moms.
Today, however, we’re going to kick it up yet another notch and find the cure. Why? Because there’s always a risk you’ll be tempted to drink the Stepford Moms’ Kool-Aid and try to become one of them (or their aging mascot). And because, in a few short months, I’ve learned that I was not alone in my loneliness.
It appears that unexpected immersion in a Yummy Stepford Mummy culture is a rite of initiation for every new mom over 40.
In fact, it’s a midlife mom parental pandemic.
FPM subscriber Lisa Cohn from Portland, OR, who had her third baby while in her fifties , says that she started looking for alternatives after a few “adventures in the park” meeting much younger moms whom she felt weren’t interested in speaking to her and with whom she had little in common.
“I felt really isolated at first. I really wanted to get together with older moms so we could discuss some of the issues related to being older…including nursing, having much older children plus a baby, how different it feels this time around to have a baby.”
A few months ago, Lisa got lucky with Geezers and Tots (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/olderwiser/), a socializing and play-date Meet-up Group for over-40 parents and their children.
“This group has been really important to me”, says Lisa. “I no longer feel isolated. I’ve met some people I really like. I love getting together with other parents who have kids the same age as mine (toddler) and just hanging out with them and talking about the kids. It’s always fun and satisfying.”
Forty-one year old Leah from Seattle, WA, who has a 16 month old and a 2 and a half year old weathered a similar social storm as a new midlife mom, experiencing a depth of isolation caused by a complexity of contributing factors—mostly to do with age differences.
Aside from not having much in common with younger moms, she says that many had “not been college educated or had well built careers like me before they became a mom.”
She goes on to point out they did not understand the fertility issues she was dealing with, and many were lacking in the kind of maturity that can only evolve from time and experience.
A mom with a mission, Leah launched a new Meet Up group in the Seattle area called 80s Ladies with Babies (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/80s-ladies/), which currently boasts 77 members.
“I strive to build a supportive group of moms who get together for play-dates and socialize”, says Leah. “I’m working especially hard to build a group that is open multi-culturally and is not cliquish. It’s important to be connected with like-minded moms to build friendships , community, and decrease isolation.”
Tamara, another midlife mom from San Jose, CA is on the lookout for a similar group. At 41 with a 13-month- old, she says that she doesn’t seem to be able to “click with the younger moms”. Worse, she finds that “a lot of mommy groups are cliquey and I feel like I’m in high school trying to fit in.”
Stepford Moms Under Thirty-Five gotcha feeling like the only warm body on the playground? If you can’t beat ‘em, start your own group.
Note to readers:
Stepford Wives, 2004: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327162/
Original film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cRrbcv_qKA
If you wish to start an over-40 moms group, please email me (editor null@null flowerpowermom NULL.com) and I’ll include your info in the FPM Blog as well as the new “What’s On Guide” section of FPM News—sign-up to subscribe here (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/pages/newsletter NULL.html).
Geezers and Tots, Portland, OR (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/olderwiser/)
80s Ladies With Babies, Seattle, WA (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/80s-ladies/)
Tamara, San Jose, CA (t_gold31 null@null yahoo NULL.com)
Meetup (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/)—Start your own group.
Motherhood Later (http://www NULL.motherhoodlater NULL.com/)—A network of social groups for older mothers.
- (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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