Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Guest Post -- By Terry Starr

Odd Oldie Out

Being the oldest mom in pre-school could at times feel a little like "odd oldie out" and only got tougher entering kindergarten/elementary. This was not something I realized at the time, but there were definitely some pre-conceived notions. Couple this with the fact that I worked full-time and let's just say it took me 5 solid years to find a group of women that I adore and respect. Even today, I am the oldest mom in my wonderful circle of friends and still take a bit of a ribbing at every 'girl's night out birthday celebration'...but, I truly believe in the adage, "You're as young as you feel" because ironically today people constantly mistake me for at least a decade younger.

Having kids later in life certainly has its advantages. My hubby and I were in a pretty stable (financial) position when we had our kids (I was 37 with the first and 41 with the second). Ahh, of course, these days I can't claim anything stable [given our economic climate]. It was a little tougher physically to have our kids this late, but for me, focusing on first establishing my career and then having a family has worked out well. My only word to the wise is that it can be difficult for women to have children as late as I did. And that's a scary thought. In my case, I didn't meet the right man until I was 35 years old...and so the story goes.

Terry Starr, 50, is Co-Founder, www.MYWorkButterfly.com, a site/community whose mission is to provide advice, support and solutions for mothers contemplating a comeback career. She is pictured here with her 13 year old daughter Danielle.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Vermont Vacation

We just got back last night from our Vermont vacation, and had both a lovely and tiring time.

It was the longest car ride we have taken with Seth, and while at times he grew restless, for the most part, he was surprisingly pretty tolerant. Of course, we made many a bathroom stop, but that was the least of it.

Vermont is lovely. Marc & I used to go there prior to Seth. Our favorite B&B was the Village Country Inn, which has since sadly closed.

Vermont felt very different this time around. While being there brought back memories of our time as a couple, it was the first time we experienced the state as a family. And, it lent itself to an entirely new perspective.

We were away four nights, and for two of the nights, we were joined by another family. Seth is friends with their son, so it was a fun get together for all of us.

We visited places like the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory. What could be bad with either? Seth made himself a "friend for life" red teddy bear. He hand-picked it and helped to stuff it. Of course, he chose red, because it's a "fire" bear. He's since named him Joe and dressed him in fireman attire.

At Ben & Jerry's, we learned how they make their amazing ice cream and the whole back story of how the company came to be. Quite inspiring, really. Very cool entrepreneurial thinkers....turned millionaires, no doubt...but they also give back, which I respect.

Our first stop was Stowe where we stayed at the Green Mountain Inn (www.greenmountaininn.com). With a prime location, right on the main street in town, it's a good choice for families and others. Our spacious room had a king canopy bed, with a separate sleep area for Seth, who also got his own tv, so we were all happy. And, he loved that they have a game room. There's also a heated outdoor pool, but we didn't take advantage of that this time 'round.

After leaving Stowe, we made our way down Vermont, and stayed at the Manchester View (www.manchesterview.com). We wound up in two adjoining rooms, and Seth adored having his own old-fashioned key to let himself into his room. The view was beautiful, and the staff was very accomodating and helpful.

Seth loved climbing the rock fountain at the Orvis store in Manchester. We visited a farm and got rained on as we checked out the baby lambs. We attempted to take Seth horseback riding, but the weather didn't permit.

We perused bottles of maple syrup, sampled fudge, tasted apple cider, visited a glass blowing factory, kept an eye out for moose and deer on the road, etc.

Seth had a great time. But, ultimately, he yearned to get back home to his lego's and fire trucks.

It's always good to get away...but there's no place like home.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009


In ample time for Mother's Day, I am excited to announce that www.Motherhoodlater.com has launched a Shop featuring cool, exclusive stuff for 35+ moms and others. I’d like to personally invite you to check it out, and tell friends and family.

Proceeds going toward helping support the efforts of MotherhoodLater.com, including our website, free monthly email newsletter, communities, event planning....etc.

On another note...if you're in NY, starting April 22nd, running for 8 consecutive weeks, we're hosting a workshop series featuring Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. addressing the subject of Enlightened Parenting.

LIParentSource.com is a supporter of the event, and we're happy to have them on board. The site is your free online guide to Long Island family resources from pregnancy through the teen years. You may visit to register for the weekly e-newsletter, find coupons & discounts, events and more!

You may attend the entire workshop series, or pay as you go. There will be door prizes, light refreshments, and freebie samples for all.

We are also on the verge of lauching a tele-class series...so stay tuned for details.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

School Break Crunch

Today was so sweet.

I went to Seth's Kindergarten class and read two books to the students. Seth was totally excited to have me there. He sat on my lap while I read and helped turn the pages of the books. I chose one book re: conserving energy, in keeping with Earth Day. And, the other was a title after Seth's own heart re: firetrucks and other vehicles doing their job and then turning in at the end of a busy work day. It was truly a tender moment that I'd love to capture. I did capture it in my heart and hope to preserve it there.

I find moments like this especially heartfelt and vital to my mom sanity because starting tomorrow, Seth will be off for the next week and a half from school, and I'm already feeling parenting pressure. What a difference a day can make. One day school, the next day, fulltime mommyhood. Keeping him busy and content 24/7 is no easy feat.

We are going away for part of the time to Vermont, but until then, my husband is still working late at present due to tax season, which has proven so taxing for all of us.

And, later this week is Passover, and we're having my dad and Marc's mom here for dinner. We weren't up to major entertaining. Just too much work, and it's never been my style, though I do appreciate being invited to someone else's home, and I enjoy being with other people, and not just family, for holidays.

I've been anticipating this school break for weeks now. Being Seth's official social coordinator, I've taken care to book playdates and explore local activities we might pursue. I'm even trying to schedule a gym workout for him...he loves going to my gym where he's learning boxing and martial arts. And, it's great for him. He's in his element there.

As a result...I find myself particularly conscious of my time today since I know I won't be able to get much done in the next week and a half workwise...and we also have to pack at some point.

I wish it felt like a vacation to me too this school break.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful to be able to sleep later and not rush to put Seth on the school bus in the morning. And, I do value my time with him, but it can get tiring, depending on his mood and willingness to chill a bit...which rarely happens. I'm not keen on plopping him in front of the tv for hours. Luckily the weather is getting a bit better here, though it's a rainy week this week. If we can get to the park one day, that would be nice. I like being outdoors and see it as a chance to clear my own head.

I adore Seth, and he's truly a little gem, but I'm being honest....these rather long school breaks make me feel like I need a vacation afterwards. Hmmmm.....perhaps it's time to schedule a foot massage when Seth resumes school? (Something to look forward to.)

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Gal Pals Day Out

Had such a fun and relaxing day yesterday....just have to share.

A friend of mine bought a new house in the country, and she was excited to have me come visit. So, she, I and a mutual friend of ours, drove upstate after Seth left for school, and we spent a leisurely afternoon and evening at her home.

It was a lovely day on many levels.

I feel like I'm racing the clock on a daily basis, so to allow myself the opportunity for a day away from my computer (though I did have my Blackberry), was a treat. Since she is spending only sporadic time at the house right now, it's not fully furnished, and there was something to be said for the sparseness of it. The energy felt free-flowing. And, the views from her oversized windows were impressive. Corn fields. A pond. Mountains. Canadian geese. Ok.....the geese pooped all over her deck on the pond, so the serene picture wasn't perfect, but then, what in life is?!

One of my friends who came is adept at decorating, planning out home spaces, etc., so she went to work immediately offering advice on what might be done. It was cool to hear the ideas she was coming up with and to watch her mind at work. She is an artist, so I'm in awe of her talent as is.

My other friend composes music, and she proudly showed us her new Yamaha keyboard, and I thought how amazing it must be to write music in the country and hear it played in this woodsy home with expansive ceilings, etc. I'm sure it sounds wonderful.

I was content just laying back, though I did help my artist friend work on a proposal for an art exhibition she'd like to submit to. It felt good to put on my thinking cap for someone else. Sometimes I feel so caught up in my own projects and endeavors, that it's helpful to step outside my own arena and brainstorm on another person's behalf. It reminded of my pre-motherhood days when I used to work in Manhattan for a PR firm and was constantly producing for clients looking to make headlines re: their products or services. I loved seeing what I could come up with and how the press would respond.

Yesterday, each of us also did our own thing for part of the time in the house, and I liked the vibe of being with other creatve entrepreneurs all working toward our respective goals. It's so isolating, I find, working from my house on Long Island. I'm a big people person, yet I'm a sole practitioner who is home-based.

As the afternoon progressed, we took a ping pong break. It felt like a trip down memory lane. I can't remember the last time I played ping pong or where I played, but I remembered that I always liked it. And, my skill came back. I played pretty well, especially considering it's been years since I picked up a paddle. And, as leisurely as we all tried to take the game, alternating playing singles, the competitive streak came out in each of it, and the game took on zealous speed. It somehow reminded me of my life...bouncing back 'n forth between various pursuits.

I now want to get a ping pong table, if we can fit it in our basement.

We left her house late, and it was raining and so very dark, but still peaceful. We stopped at a Mexican place and had an after hours dinner, and I returned home around midnight. I was yawning away in her car, yet when my head hit the pillow, I was wired and couldn't sleep. It had been both an exhilarating and calming day.

I felt like a free woman for the day. Not a mom. Not a wife. Not a daughter. Just Robin. The Robin who is more capable that she might think of laying back.

I need to tap into that Robin more often. I think all us busy multi-tasking "later" moms need to take the time to soothe our inner spirit, rejuvenate, and remind ourselves of who we were before motherhood.

Our children, mates, etc. will probably like us all the better for it, because we will ultimately be happier if we recapture any joy from yesteryear that feels lost. Or, even if it doesn't feel lost, but has taken on a different shape, it still feels good to rediscover activities we loved and the joy of both play and doing nothing.

I look forward to teaching my son the rules of ping pong one day.

PS -- Check out the April giveaway on MotherhoodLater.com, courtesy of www.MamaMio.com. They feature anti-aging body care and gifts for yourself or other supermamas in your life.

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