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By Cyma Shapiro, founder, MotheringintheMiddle.com.

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)

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6 Responses to Why Women Over 40 Will Stop At Nothing To Be Moms

  1. Valerie says:


  2. I like the analogy to not being like “soccer moms”! 🙂 I hadn’t quite seen how individual we are in our choices–and therefore less likely to be part of large groups or cliques–due to our age, experience and the uniqueness of our journey. Nicely written article!

  3. Christina says:

    Great article. I am anxious to read your blog! I adopted my first daughter from Vietnam when I was 48 (and my husband 57). However, when I turned 50, it (mortality) hit me like a ton of bricks and I started doing the “math” (over and over and over) in my head. I became extremely depressed with the reality that I might not see my daughter (and now her sister) turn 30. I cried for days. Now some 5 years later, I am finally coming to terms with this reality and accepting it for what it is. My girls are the loves of my life – and yes, my life began also with the adoption of my first. Our family lives each day to the fullest.

  4. Christina, I’m so sorry to hear about what you went through. Thanks for sharing it with us because I’m sure most women who either give birth or adopt after 40 or 50 often experience the same worry and sadness. I try to focus daily on my health (as I have failed to do in the past) and “pay myself first”, as my husband says. Staying as healthy as we can is the best gift we can give them. Also, looking ahead and providing for them in the event of your not being there is another issue that we are now working on.
    You are a great mom to feel such deep concern for your daughters!

  5. Theresa Zawodny-Walkup (http://achildafter40) says:

    It’s wonderful to know that we’re not alone and we can share the experiences of the middle-aged mother. I think we’re more focused and can handle problems that come our way with more wisdom and maturity. I have more backbone than I did in the earlier years.

  6. Laurie says:

    I had my first at 36 and the second at 43. I love being an older mother. It helps that there are many moms my age in my new town. In our old town (Religiousville, AZ) I was very old indeed, even at 36.
    I am thankful that I waited for the right person with whom to have kids. And that I can leave a blog comment with correctly spelled words and proper grammar. Usually.

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