You became a mom at 42 and founded Motherhood Later…Than Sooner. What unmet needs were you trying to fill with this organization?
When I became a mom, I felt the need for support and to be in the company of mom peers, and I was not able to find any group or community for new mothers age 35 and up. I had lost my mom, so I did not have a maternal figure in my life and, as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. By launching Motherhood Later, I have been able to offer that to later-in-life mothers. No one wants to feel alone, and it’s hugely helpful and empowering to share experiences and wisdom and to connect with others where age is considered an asset, not an issue.
What advantages are there to becoming a mother in midlife? Are there any challenges?
As a “later” mother, you know yourself better. You have more life experience, so you may sweat the small stuff less. You’ve made inroads in a career, assuming you worked, that hopefully has been and, may continue to be, satisfying. Later-in-life moms are some of the most grateful women I know because chances are, their path to parenthood wasn’t an easy one…whether they experienced unexpected fertility challenges or delayed parenthood in the hopes of finding a mate or partner.
In terms of challenges, there can be some judgment. I was once asked by a stranger in the bathroom of my local diner when I was there with my young son while he was potty training if I was the mom or grandma. I didn’t have a good response, but this made it clear that while in Hollywood, celebrities make headlines at any age when they have kids, in local communities, the average midlife mom isn’t necessarily embraced. I think part of the judgment comes from others thinking that a “later” mom won’t be around as long as a younger mom in terms of life expectancy, but to that I say, illness, unfortunately, knows no age.
What is your advice to these midlife moms?
Be true to yourself. Trust your judgment. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Practice good self-care and model it for your child. Invite experiences into your life that excite you as a woman, and maintain your own identity beyond that of motherhood.
One of my passions is theatre, and I was an Associate Producer on an Off-Broadway show called Motherhood Out Loud. Because of my professional involvement in the theatre industry on the producing and marketing end, my son, age 12, has taken an interest, and it’s something we share. I urge other moms to find a commonality with their children that they can embrace together—particularly in this day and age of electronics obsession.
And, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. I’m also the author of two books, including How to Marry a Mensch: The Love Coach’s Guide to Finding Your Mate, and my goal is to see it adapted for the stage. I like that my son sees me having aspirations even though I’m in midlife.
What does Motherhood Later offer to older moms, both via its website as well as its local chapters?
I’m the head of the New York chapter of Motherhood Later, with over 900 members, and we have in-person chapters throughout the world. There is no fee to join or to launch a chapter if there isn’t one in your town. Our chapters function autonomously and offer families a wide range of get-together opportunities, including moms’ night out dinners, playgroups, workshops, etc. We also invite members to become active participants by helping to get events on our calendar. We are growing steadily, and the needs of each mom are different, so it helps individuals to suggest what works for them. Dads are welcome to attend as well.
We also have bloggers, including myself, who write regularly on Motherhood Later and share about midlife parenting and other pursuits. We welcome guest blog posts by “later” moms, experts, and authors. You don’t have to be an experienced blogger to write for us regularly, just willing to share with candor and heart.
On our site, we profile an inspiring “later” mom, and in the past have featured such celebrities as Brooke Shields and Jane Seymour. We also feature news of interest to our audience. We endeavor to be a resource for both “later” moms as well as aspiring moms who want to know what it’s like to parent later in life.
What are some favorite resources you recommend to women who are first-time moms later in life?
Besides Motherhood Later, we have both a community page and a private group page on Facebook. We invite moms and dads to join us there to connect online. Book-wise, I’m a personal fan of Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood by Elizabeth Gregory and Hot Flashes Warm Bottles : First-Time Mothers Over Forty by Nancy London. I also admire the work of author Gail Sheehy, herself a later mom via adoption, who shares candidly about her road to parenthood and more in Daring: My Passages: A Memoir, her new memoir.
Contact Robin Gorman Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and Blogger, Motherhood Later
Publisher, Baby Bloomer newsletter for 35+ moms
Associate Producer, Motherhood Out Loud
Our Community on Facebook
Our Private Group on Facebook
Blogger, Huffington Post
Public Relations/Marketing Consultant
Author, How to Meet a Mensch in NY and How to Marry a Mensch
Robin is an ardent theatre lover and freelance writer who blogs regularly about theatre and personalities including contributing to Huffington Post and served as Associate Producer of MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD that played at Primary Stages in NY and is performed regionally. To promote the show, she created the Motherhood Out Loud Award covered by BroadwayWorld.com. She was involved in the marketing efforts for the show, including the orchestration of a successful mom blogger night.
She authored the books How to Meet a Mensch in New York and How to Marry a Mensch, which may be adapted for the stage. She’s been featured in the NY Times and seen on CNN and The Today Show and has made appearances Off-Broadway as an author/Love Coach, participating in talkbacks at shows including I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Dinner with Friends.
Since becoming a mom, she launched MotherhoodLater.com, which has been featured in Time, US News & World Report, USA Today, The New York Times, New York Daily News, NPR, etc.
Before the 1994 launch of RGN Communications recently changed to RGN Marketing, Robin served for six years as Vice President at KCSA Public Relations in NYC. Robin holds an MBA in Marketing from St. John’s University and a BS in Economics/Business from Hofstra University. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Drama League, The Lilly Awards Foundation, Off-Broadway Alliance, and is featured in Who’s Who and a number of books including SOME NERVE, THE 52 WEEKS, POWER MOMS and MOM, INCORPORATED.