Whether by choice or by chance, more and more women are becoming moms later in life. Robin Gorman Newman is one such mom, having had her son, Seth, when she was 42 years-old. Tired of feeling like the oldest mom on the playground, Robin decided to start a later-in-life moms group, which became Motherhood Later…Than Sooner…and an empire in the making. Here’s her story:
When did you create Motherhood Later…Than Sooner?
I launched the site about 6 years ago. At the time, it was just a local New York support group for moms 35+. We would share experiences and be there for each other. Over time it morphed into a social organization, where we would get together with our families and do family outings. From there, it became what is now a world-wide presence. Other moms have heard of us and wanted to join or launch their own chapters. We now have chapters in Toronto, Bermuda, and one is in Kent in the UK.
What is the experience like for you to be a later mom?
I’m very grateful to be a mom. I think if you’re a later mom, the choice may not have come so easily. It could have been a question of fertility, career, or maybe you didn’t meet the right person soon enough. There’s always a reason for being a later mom. And for that, there’s huge gratitude when you do become a mom.
What would you say are some pros and cons of being a later mom?
You definitely have more life experience that you’ve cultivated over the years. Things that you might have sweated in the past don’t bother you so much anymore. You have a lot to share with your child which is ultimately the most important thing in life.
On the negative side, you may or may not have a lot of patience. Some later moms are extremely patient because they have had all that time to themselves, to dedicate to career or whatever it might be. On the other hand, having done their own thing for so long and then having a child can really shake things up. It’s not an easy scenario to have your own life and then become a parent.
It’s also interesting to point out that Motherhood Later…Than Sooner also caters to moms who might have older children and then have another child.
Maybe you were a mom at 22, and then you get divorced and remarried, and you have another child. It’s not unusual for it to happen. Your experience as a mother in your 40’s with a young child is going to be very different from your experiences as a younger mom.
Do you think society is still warming up to the idea of later moms?
I do. That’s one of the reasons I launched the group and the site. I got tired of feeling like the oldest mom on the playground. There’s definitely still judgment that later moms are going to experience. I was with my son in a diner once and a woman asked me if I was his mother or his grandmother.
Wow. That’s just tacky.
I know. It was shocking to me. I didn’t know what to say.
I know what you should have said.
[laughs] I try to let it roll off my back. There’s a stigma; I guess some people feel like it’s not fair to the child to have later parents. Meanwhile, celebrities almost glamorize it. I feel so strongly that later moms should be supported and celebrated for their choice. After all, my son doesn’t care about my age. He just cares if I can play with him and swing him around. He doesn’t say, “Mom, I wish you were in your 20’s and not in your 40’s.” We all have to remember that love knows no age.
For more information on Motherhood Later..Than Sooner, please click here.