Rachel had her daughter when she was 38 years old. She thought since she was older and wiser that motherhood would be a breeze. She realized pretty quickly, though, that nothing about it was going to be easy and that age has nothing to do with it!
Along with being a mom to her beautiful one year old, she is also an author of 2 children’s books and a dental hygienist. Even with all of her commitments she was nice enough to answer our questions. She talks about why she didn’t really take much advice from other moms, how motherhood was much different than she imagined, and how her life changed (mostly for the better) when she had her daughter.
Help us welcome Rachel, another deserving mom, into our Mom of Fame and be sure to check out her two wonderful books, Animal Isle and If the Dentist Were an Animal!
Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Jim and I are first time parents who started our family, each at the age of 38. Prior to having our daughter Maggie, I worked full time as a Dental Hygienist and Children’s Author and Jim was, and still is a tax partner with a large firm. After the birth of our daughter, I made the decision to go back to work part time as Jim’s schedule demands a fair amount of travel.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
I’d say, the best piece of advice I received was to not get hung up on all the advice mothers were going to throw at me. Ultimately, every child and family are different and those variables are why what is “best” is not always black and white. I found this advice to be very true and valuable and have definitely passed it along.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
It’s SO MUCH HARDER! I thought having a child at 38 meant I would know more, be more prepared and it would mean the transition into motherhood would be, well, seamless. Feel free to LOL…I am. It was anything but seamless. Between a somewhat rough recovery from labor, sleep deprivation and dreaded colic taking over our new arrival, the beginning was all about surviving. Keeping it real, I thought I’d be the “cute” mom-did I even shower today? I thought staying at home would be amazing-is it time to go to work yet? I thought being with my daughter during the week equaled fun-just going to say it…lonely. But somehow, despite all of the above… I never knew I could feel such happiness, feel so full of love and find so much joy in such tiny feats. It makes no sense! Our daughter has blessed our lives in so many ways and she has made me find a whole new level of appreciation for my own mom.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
Growing up the oldest, I’ve always been motherly. My patience and my ability to relate to children have been pretty helpful too.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
I committed to completing my most recent children’s book, If The Dentist Were An Animal while I was on maternity leave. I thought I would have so much time on my hands…LOL, another lesson learned but I got the job done!
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Physically and emotionally, I at times felt like I lost parts of myself. Whether it was missing writing , working out, being social…a lot changed. But as I got In the groove of my new life, I realized it’s a balancing act and it’s important to make “ME” time; I’m a better mother for it. As far as what I’ve gained…I could go on and on. Being a mother has been the greatest gift. My family is my priority and gaining a new perspective on life and what matters has taught me to, as they say “not sweat the small stuff”.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
Kindness, compassion and service are what I hope to teach my daughter. Find ways to use your gifts to give back to others, never judge what you haven’t experienced and no matter what, ALWAYS be kind.