Saturday, May 01, 2010

GUEST BLOG POST: Fitting In and Making Friends as a "Later" Mom - by Melissa Stanton, author, The Stay-At-Home Survival Guide

I never thought I was a particularly old new mom. At least I didn’t before my husband's job relocated us from the New York tri-state area, where I had lived and worked for most of my life, to a rural suburb in a state some 200 miles away.

At age 38 I suddenly found myself in an oversized McMansion-style home in a newly-developed golf course community. Having left my career in Manhattan and a valued circle of friends in my New Jersey town, I was now spending my days alone with three children, including a five-old-boy and seven-month-old twin girls. It was a tough transition.

For one of my first outings to the neighborhood's kiddie pool, I enlisted the aid of a teenager who lived next door. When we arrived, three toddlers were in the pool under the care of three high school-age girls. Many families in the community had au pairs or regular sitters, and to my dismay I had already discovered that most of the women my age were done changing swim diapers; their children were school-age and some were the mothers of actual adults. For instance, my immediate neighbor and I were the exact same age. As we became friends and shared our life stories, we realized that when I was starting college as a 17-year-old freshman she was newly married and eight-months pregnant.

While the neighborhood's stay-at-home moms my age did their housework, shopped, lunched and exercised during the day, I was juggling diapers, bottles, naps, feedings, mommy-and-me classes and half-day Kindergarten. Most of the women who had babies the same age as mine were both younger than me and at a different stage of life. They were starting their families, while I was finished, way finished. They had gladly left the workforce while I still struggled with mixed feelings about having done so. We didn't have a lot in common.

As I sat in the kiddie pool with my kids and Christina, my 18-year-old mother's helper, I overheard one of the nearby teenagers refer to herself as "Mommy" while she spoke to a boy who looked to be about two years old. "Is that girl that boy's mom?" I whispered to Christina. Yes, she confirmed, that "girl" was the mom—and the other two "girls" were the moms of the other children. The young women were about a year older than Christina and had been a year ahead of her in school.

It was horrifying to realize that, at age 38, I could not only be the mother of the four teens in my presence, I could be the grandmother of their children, who were older than two of my children!

Within three years of that kiddie pool outing, my aforementioned friend became a grandmother herself, as did a few other neighborhood women in their early 40s. In my new community, teenage and young parenthood seemed to be a family tradition. Previously, the only teenage mother I had ever known was a relative who got pregnant during her freshman year at college. That unintended pregnancy, which caused my cousin to drop out of school and live with her parents as a single mom, was a big deal and, for a then-14-year-old me, a big lesson: Don't become a teenage mom!

As soon as we could, my husband and I packed up and moved again, to a very different area less than 10 miles away. There were lots of things we didn't like about the house and neighborhood we had chosen under the duress of house-hunting long distance with newborns. (We did not high-tail it out of dodge because of the young moms, and grandmoms.) But what the experience reinforced to me is that, as a "later" mom, it's helpful to have the companionship and support of other "later" moms. As a mom of any age, it's important to have within your friendship circles women who can relate to your experience and daily reality.

When I surveyed women for my book, The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide, one of the respondents described how she had been part of a playgroup that consisted of moms who nursed exclusively and made their own baby food. She didn't do either (in large part due to exhaustion) and felt out-of-place among those women. So she made a concerted effort to establish connections and friendships elsewhere. I did the same, and it worked.

Prior to becoming a mother of three, Melissa Stanton was an editor at LIFE and People magazines. She is the author of The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids (Seal Press/Perseus Books) and a contributor to the book Courageous Parents, Confident Kids: Letting go so you both can grow, published this month by Spark Press.  For info., visit


Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Unknown said...

Omega has been crafting beautiful watches accustomed that 1882. They are a Swiss firm, alms cautiously complete and anguish watches with exact time captivation and breitling replica contemporary look. In 1972, they began aftermath of their “Royal Oak” band of watches. The Omega Royal Oak watches afire the bazaar central the stainless animate affluence watches. Featuring stainless-steel bands and faces, with bright windows?asome styles even accept a amount of omega replica time tracking fingers. They’re a abundant best for time aggravating to keep, authoritative assertive the buyer is accustomed as an alone of chic and elegance. Prior to 1972, watches mostly accent covering wrist bands, the beneath cher kinds had been rubber. The faces were all hublot replica assumption and glass. The Royal Oak band afflicted that, breeding Swiss Watches stainless animate with bright faces a approved of luxurious. The about-face appear affluence created these watches awfully highly-priced. In the aged economy, this affectionate of cartier replica amount readily prohibits fashion, course, and accuracy. Replicas action you the actual best band-aid to this challenge. Cheap watches advance the identical forms of abstracts in building. The metal, leather, rubber, and assumption because the raw aliment are abode calm central the exact aforementioned adjustment and into the actual aforementioned gears, levers, and switches. Through store, it is accessible to rolex replica attain Cheap Omega Royal Oak watches. The watches, missing the registered brand of Audemars Piguet, advertise for appreciably less, but nonetheless accord the absolute agnate attention and fashion. The Swiss-based Omega utilizes its claimed suppliers, a ample amount of of whom accept been providers of louis vuitton replica Omega for abounding years and commonly acknowledge costs prearranged a continued time ago.

5:36 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home