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Dear Readers

January 7, 2015

Dear Readers:

Nearly six years after starting my work, five years after launching my art gallery show, NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers (the first and only show dedicated to presenting women choosing motherhood over 40) and creating the blogsite, I have decided it is time to move on.

During this time, NURTURE has visited 13 venues throughout North America to accolades and much press. has garnered more than 140 writers – midlife mothers and fathers from seven countries, and experts working with this genre – representing nearly 800 essays. We’ve also published The Zen of Midlife Mothering – the first anthology by and for this group.

Originally, I created these projects determined to provide women choosing motherhood over 40 with a voice, face and forum.  However, the work became so much more: an opportunity to create our community, a method for providing information, support, inspiration and guidance, and a place where midlife mothers (and then, fathers) could find that “aha” moment – that breath which followed the thought, “I am home,” and “these are my peeps.”

While I initially interviewed 60 women from Alaska to Maine (eager to find their how, where, what, when and whys), and even more subjects after the art gallery show launched, my intent – to only work with women over 40 (as first-time, last-time or repeat-mothers) –  slowly changed to include those women in their mid to late 30s who already felt “midlife,” women in midlife whose children were now grown and, finally, to add fathers over 40 who were late bloomers, “Mr. Moms,” or in same-sex partnerships.

Exploring the seven ways to midlife parenting – natural childbirth, IVF, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship, adoption and blending stepfamilies – provided even more opportunities for delving into the many other “spokes of the midlife mothering wheel” – issues relating to adoption and adopted children, hormonal changes, the Sandwich generation, living in blended stepfamilies, trying to stay healthy at an older age, dealing with the shame/fear/ambivalence of living outside traditional norms, etc.

The burgeoning “phenomenon” of midlife mothering represents what I’ve most written about: the “newest chapter in the women’s movement” and a redefinition of the family model moving into the 21st century.  We are living in a new world order: midlife mothers now total more than 1 million and going strong. In truth, this phenomenon is here to stay, spurred by the Zeitgeist of it all – (continued) breakthroughs in medical technologies, socio-economic freedoms for women and a restructuring of the “traditional” family unit.

So, there you have it.

Eleven and, again, nine years ago during our many trips to Russia (which resulted in claiming my two children), I could not have imagined that at age 46 and 48 I would be considered a (brave!) pioneer paving the way for others to follow. In truth, I only followed my heart and my desire to love and have a family.

In truth, I only strove to be a mother.  And, I did so during midlife.

I hope we have made even a small difference in perception and reality. Thank you for sharing in my journey.

Warmly –
Cyma Shapiro

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