Sunday, February 20, 2011

Midlife Mothering And Learning by the Bell Curve By Cyma Shapiro

A funny thing has happened to me during the past few weeks. I’ve made awarenesses that I know are designed to teach me fundamental truths about my life. They look like this:

I’m a very driven person. I know what I like and I go after it; in most cases I get it. Mothering after 45 is one example; and in that case, I was certain I knew what life would be like after that. I was wrong. In fact, I was dead wrong. It has been like this for many other things that have followed: the advent of my next child at age 48; my belief that our friends and social circles would stay the same after children; the belief that it’s possible to become a mother and maintain the same friends, job, house, husband and, most importantly, the rhythm of your previous life.  Let’s see…I believed that my women’s project – examining the underlying beliefs and reasons for choosing motherhood over 40 – would flourish in a particular manner, in a particular timeframe.  It has been successful, but not in the manner I expected.  In reflecting on this all, I now also remember some of my previous beliefs - that the biological clock was mere hyperbole – that one was, perhaps, a tad bit unrealistic. My most recent belief?  That menopause would somehow overlook me.  And, now this - that my launching another blog site for midlife mothers would also allow me to continue writing for MotherhoodLater.  It will not.

While many of you might have seen some of these changes coming, no one is more surprised than me. And, I keep being surprised. I also keep thinking that I have it all in check; that life will turn out the way I expect it to, but, in fact, it doesn’t. Nearly ever. “Expectations,” my husband always says to me, “You have too many expectations.” But in the moment, nothing seems out of my grasp and everything seems doable and easily attainable for my life.  How very wrong I often am.

So here I am at a really sad juncture. MotherhoodLater Founder, Robin, allowed me my voice again; gave me latitude for pursuing my thoughts, goals and dreams. And I took the bull by the horn and went for it all. And, in getting most of it, I now need to let go – of Robin, and of MotherhoodLater. 

This is tough.  Despite the corniness of this, it really does feel like the child leaving her mother; the school-girl going to high school; the young adult getting married. For everything that moves forward, something (or someone) nearly always gets left behind. And, now it’s my dear friend, Robin.

Oh, I’ve no doubt we’ll remain good friends, but that mentoring relationship; that nurturing under the wing so-to-speak is gone. Now, I’m on a ledge alone, much like I imagine she already is.

So, here I go into the unknown. Two more weeks on this site, but I’ve already started saying my “good-byes.” Growing up is SO hard to do…

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