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Far from “decrepit,” “freakish,” or “bizarre”—as new mothers over fifty were recently characterized in a New York Magazine article—Lynn Laszewski is the healthy face of the latest maternal trend.

A child of “The Quiet Revolution,” which has seen women gradually take charge of half of our workforce since the 1970’s, she has several degrees in Environmental Science and now works in management as a Resource Conservation Analyst for Pepsico.

But it wasn’t until she was fifty-one that Laszewski became a mother. And, while her story is unique, it is also a harbinger of motherhood to come.

When she was growing up, Laszewski was no stranger to later life motherhood. She had cousins whose grandmother gave birth to the last of eight children at fifty. In middle school, she also had five girlfriends who had grown up siblings and parents well into middle age.

“Those were the best houses to hang out at, because there were always fresh baked cookies, the best snacks, and plenty of clothes and spending money,” says Laszewski.

As an adult, she focused on education, and then quickly became engrossed in climbing the corporate ladder, like a significant portion of her ground-breaking generation of women.

It wasn’t until age forty-one that she met “Mr. Right”.

However, it was a long distance relationship and it wasn’t until she was forty-four that they “lived under the same roof”.  Once she realized she had the right guy, Laszewski began to explore the possibility of becoming a mom.

Given her age, the doctor suggested donor eggs which raised some real concerns for Laszewski. She wondered how many donor siblings her son might end up with and was uncomfortable that another woman should have to undergo invasive medical procedures on her behalf.

For the next two years, the couple tried to conceive naturally, without success. They explored adoption, but found their options limited because they were “old.”

Finally, they went back to the clinic and started the process to conceive via donor eggs.

Pregnant at fifty-one, Laszewski was in for a few surprises from the medical establishment.

She soon discovered that obstetricians were chary of taking her as a patient due to her age. It took “three tries” for her to find a doctor “brave enough to take on a fifty-one year old pregnant lady”.

“My doctor admitted that her clinic had never taken a mom my age”, says Laszewski.

After giving birth at the hospital, she found her treatment nothing short of patronizing, as the nurses pushed her to take more pain meds than she wanted or needed.

“Don’t try to be a hero!” or “older moms often try too hard to be supermoms” were some of the statements they made to her.

“What the heck did I need those for?” says Laszewski.

“I’m thinking ‘wow’, I’ve had two myomectomies (removal of uterine fibroids) with surgeries lasting more than four hours each time—this c-section is a piece of cake!”

With her son, Kyle, now fifteen months old, Lynn Laszewski has learned much about midlife motherhood.

“I certainly feel that I can be more dedicated to raising him than I would have been at a younger age,” she says.

“[Back] then, we were busy building our careers, living hectic schedules, and travelling a lot for work.”

“Now we are financially secure and really committed to raising our son.”

Coming from an athletic background, she also feels more than ready to handle the rough and tumble of a boy toddler.

“He wants to wrestle and goes at top speed all day!”

The couple takes part in regular swimming lessons and bike rides with Kyle on the weekends.

“I don’t mind getting in the pool with all the twenty-something moms—I’m slimmer than most due to pure luck of genetics,” she adds.

These days, having hit the stereotypical “glass ceiling” in her career journey, Laszewski doesn’t mind spending time with her son that she would normally spend trying to break into the next tier of management.

“It is nice not to have to strive for the next level every waking moment,” she says.

“Being a mommy makes me better at my job—those patience, understanding and open-mindedness skills are always needed in the corporate world,” she adds wryly.

Ultimately, becoming a mother over fifty has made her an advocate for women and later motherhood in the workforce.

Laszewski actively encourages women to stay in the workforce, even after becoming a mom if they’re motivated to do so.

She admits that—despite all the talk of family-friendly businesses—the real key to succeeding is finding the best manager you can to report to.

“Direct managers have the power to make decisions, enhance your chances of promotion, grant flexible work schedules and trim your travel schedule.”

More working mothers means better career conditions for women in the future, according to Laszewski.

“The more moms in the workplace, the more ‘normal’ it will be to have moms as CEO’s, VP’s and managers,” she says.

“I’m glad that my company has a woman and a mom as CEO.”

“I know that other women I work with think that, somehow, it makes a difference for the rest of us.”

Notes for this blog:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom.com—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (www.flowerpowermom.com), a regular blog featuring commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. She regularly campaigns for more supportive attitudes towards women having children in midlife and more awareness on the realities (social and physical) of being a later life mother.

Angel also hosts “A Child After 40”, an online community to empower all women on the journey of motherhood after 40. She gave birth to her children at 41 and 44 after conceiving naturally.

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10 Responses to Why She’s A New Mom At 52

  1. Michelle says:

    What a wonderful story of success, so encouraging! Having some interactions with Linda already, this just makes me appreciate her all the more. And, her son is a handsome little guy!

  2. InSeason Mom Cynthia (http://www NULL.inseasonmom NULL.org) says:

    I agree, this is a positive story. Thanks for showing the “real face” of first time moms over 50!

  3. Shell (http://Swanofdreamers NULL.blogspot NULL.com) says:

    Cheers for Linda. No one has to right to say to women that being a first time mom at a certain age is strange.
    I feel it’s beautiful and being blessed to be a mom over 50 is to me kissed by the divine.

  4. Anne says:

    Hats off to Linda!!!!!!

    An inspiring story, heartwarming and thank you for sharing. To quote the title of a book I was given years ago…. “Age Only Matters If You Are a Cheese”. Being a parent is one of the most joyful experiences at ANY age.

  5. Donna says:

    Lynn – Thank you for sharing your story. How brave and determined you must have been to keep pursuing motherhood in spite of all those obstacles. We all have our own individual road blocks to overcome but becoming a first time mom at 51 is really something to brag about. I greatly admire your courage and determination. I wish you and your family the best.

  6. giana says:

    thanks so much for this story. I gave birth at 48 and my son is almost 6. I keep up with all the younger moms and make sure my son, who is very busy, has a full and active life. Teachers have told me he is the best kid in the class. Was totally disgusted by the judgemental article in New York Magazine, whose writer was 40 when she had her child, no spring chicken, either.

  7. Bob Gomez says:

    This is wonderful. It is so clear that mom loves her son very much, and that he is very active and healthy. Sometimes we don’t see this love in younger parents because they are dealing with other things, e.g., getting a job, paying the rent. Good for you Lynn and your family!

  8. Merewynne says:

    At 38 years old and having spent more than 10 years of my life with a dead-end relationship, I was told by most of my family and friends that my “wasted” years were such a pity and that I have missed all chances at starting a family of my own.

    I finally met Mr. Right and, at nearly 40 years old, I fell accidentally pregnant for the first time with an ectopic pregnancy and had a laparoscopy to remove it. While painful and unfortunate, this scare really woke me up to the reality that I can still be a mother! I wasn’t emotionally prepared before, but I am now.

    And as if the trauma wasn’t hard enough, I am berated by those “friends” around me: “what were you thinking?? trying to have kids at your age?!”…. “you have no idea what you are asking for. you are too old and you don’t even know the first thing about being a mother!”

    Is a 25-year-old body nourished on Marlboro, Jack Daniels and McDonalds in better shape for bearing children than my former swimmer’s body?

    And are all potential mothers required to get a master’s degree in Maternal Administrative Sciences before bearing children?

    What, now do I have to turn in a resume and application to the Mother Licensing Board and wait for a bunch of old poops to turn me down based on my “old” age and lack of experience??

    Now I am mourning my loss, but have a renewed hope thanks to people like Lynn. Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the courage to face these jerks!

  9. Maxi says:

    I am proud of these women who come forward and don’t apologize for their life choices. It is no one’s business if someone chooses to have a child in later life. It wouldn’t be our 1st choice to have a child at 50 but better then than not at all. We may have less energy in later life, but our experience is invaluable and we have more patience with things that rattled us when we were younger. I am 48 and getting 24 year old donor eggs next month. My 36 year old husband has no children. We wasted our money on 2 IVF cycles with unscrupulous clinics when I was 44 and 45. I could of had almost school aged kids by now if I had been told my chances were 1% with my own eggs :S But that’s life, it is a rollercoaster ride 🙂 So any of you feeling broodie still, I say ignore the rude insensitive comments of others and push ahead with your dream. xo

  10. Linda (http://www NULL.plumfund NULL.com/pf/LindaandTodd) says:

    We too have tried adoption, fostering with the intent to adopt, and even IVF with my eggs. Like Maxi, I wish someone had told me about the 1% chance. So now, I ask you to Please read our VERY SHORT story. Thank You.

    http://www.plumfund.com/pf/LindaandTodd (http://www NULL.plumfund NULL.com/pf/LindaandTodd)

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