We're featuring 35+ moms on our site and welcome suggestions on who to feature.
Nancy Grant, 52
MLTS: Why did you decide to become a mom later in life? What factors precipitated this decision (or dictated it)? What made you go the adoption route, and how did you find the process/experience?
NANCY: I got married late due to my career, had 4 miscarriages, and didn’t want to put my body or marriage through the strain of fertility treatments. I figured I’d end up with the babies God meant for me to have, one way or the other. I had three wonderful experiences with adoption. I used a private attorney and he matched us with three amazing birthmothers, who said they felt like surrogates. Taylor’s birthmother would call me from the pediatrician’s office and let me listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I was in the delivery room for all three births, and cut Perry’s and Taylor’s embilical cords.
Q: What do you love about your career? What is most challenging about your career? How long have you been with AARP? Given the nature of your position with AARP The Magazine, do you find that women, age 50+, often look to you to share wisdom and insight? If so, anything specific they most often inquire about?
NANCY: I’ve always been passionate about magazine journalism—meeting fascinating people, asking questions, learning about all sorts of subjects and publishing stories that change peoples’ lives. It’s challenging because I do the equivalent of about three jobs, managing the editors, coming up with covers, planning events, overseeing the story lineup, and editing. Then I go home at the end of a long day and start in on my other fulltime job, being a mommy to three young kids. I live parallel lives.
MLTS: What have you experienced through motherhood that has also helped you in your work or personal life?
NANCY: Solving problems, putting my own needs last, dealing with different personalities, giving plenty of positive reinforcement.
MLTS: What is a typical day for you like, managing both work and home life?
NANCY: Insane. Up at 5AM, on the exercise bike every morning, get ready for work and kids ready for school, read the paper on long commute in, 9-10 hour days of meetings, editing, lunches, events etc, long commute home, play with the kids, go through school forms and homework, take them for endless doctor visits, flu shots etc, change the baby and give her a bottle, snuggle and read with the kids, eat dinner and do more work on my commuter, go to bed around midnight after checking again on all three kids. On weekends, it is 100% kid time....pumpkin patch, parks, holiday fun, baking, making gingerbread houses, Chuck E Cheeses, ordering pizza, playdates, Nutcracker ballet, etc.
MLTS: How do you think being a later in life mom has affected your experiences as a parent (share both good & not so good)? Has anything about being a mom surprised you?
NANCY: I love being a mom. I have a lot of energy and am at a point in my life career wise where I have less to prove and have some flexibility to put the kids first. I’ve been Brownie co-leader, soccer team mom, class mom, fieldtrip volunteer, class reader, you name it. Also I’m financially better off than I would have been at a younger age. The downside obviously is that you worry more about staying healthy over the longterm to raise the kids. Nothing has really surprised me other than how much chaos I seem to be able to handle.
MLTS: Where do you turn to for support as a mom? Who is your support network and community outside of work? Anything online?
NANCY: I don’t really turn anywhere for support though I have a wonderful nanny who I depend on while I’m at work or on business trips—a real life Mrs. Doubtfire. I have great family but they are far away. I have great friends too. But right now mostly my life is work and kids.
MLTS: What words of wisdom would you most like to share with others contemplating becoming a mom later in life?
NANCY: You need loads of energy so get into good shape if possible. You won’t get much sleep. Make time for regular exercise and regular doctor visits for yourself. Otherwise, don’t expect to get many of your daily needs met. Try not to eat junk food when the kids do—eat healthy. Don’t make promises you can’t keep because they’ll remember. When you are with them, be with them—not on your blackberry or cell phone.
Don’t let fear hold you back—if you really want to be a mom, go for it; there is no greater joy in the world than hearing the words, “I love you, Mommy.”
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