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Nine years ago, while sitting in the Moscow Marriott at age 46 with my newly adopted year-old daughter, I realized that I was going to be old when she graduated from college.
The “old” was nearly my grandmother’s age – old! This was the very first time I’d ever felt my mortality and had ever even stopped to consider my chronological age.
Although it came as a shock to me that I had not previously become pregnant, on that cold winter’s night nearly 9,000 miles from home, I finally felt my life begin. My age was a nagging problem, but at that moment I was filled with pride, joy and the fullness of starting a new family. I could see nothing but rosy times.
Joining a new club of moms over 40
Little did I know that I had just joined a new club – moms over 40 – with no dues-paying members and no glue to bind them, and that in reality, I was now one of them.
Over the next several years, I set out to investigate this group by networking across the country to find other new older mothers. Why did we do this? How did they do this? How did they feel? How did their family and friends feel? Were they to live their lives over again, would they do it this way?
The latest chapter in the women’s movement
Here’s what I found: Love. This is about love and life choices. It is about strength, guidance, conviction, perseverance, determination, willpower and a breaking down of all relational obstacles – be they physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual or financial.
I believe that new older motherhood is the newest chapter in the women’s movement – the emerging new face of middle age, and women.
Three quarters of a million strong and growing, with approximately 100,000 new births each year, these over-40 women are pursuing their lives not collectively, like “soccer moms,” but singularly and without fanfare—a zeitgeist of the times—the result of medical breakthroughs, greater socio-economic freedoms, and a breakdown of social mores and traditional family structure(s).
We will stop at nothing!
Utilizing other methods—fostering, guardianship, surrogacy, adoption, and blending stepfamilies—this group is creating an uncharted course for our future.
I know I speak for so many others when I say that we will stop at nothing—absolutely, positively nothing—to become mothers, when our time is right.
Notes for this blog:
Cyma Shapiro, 55, is the writer and executive director of NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers, and the creator of MotheringintheMiddle.com. NURTURE, the traveling art gallery show, features a collection of stories (25 out of 58), told through words and photos, of women from across the country who chose motherhood over 40. For more info, visit her website: www.MotheringintheMiddle.com (http://www NULL.MotheringintheMiddle NULL.com)
- (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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