The End of Motherhood

End of Motherhood

Society lied to us. What will we do now? This book speaks directly to women in the present pain of the end of active motherhood.

Shattered dreams remain unhappy lives until, and unless, we make sense of the lost dreams. And are able to pick up the pieces. Make new and better choices.

This is a woman’s guide to independence. A woman’s guide to living to her full potential – however she wishes to exercise that freedom.

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The End of Motherhood

© 1990, 2008 by Jo Ann Lordahl. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of the brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews or blogs.

Jo Ann Lordahl 2363 Pu’u Road #3C Kalaheo, HI 96741

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lordahl, Jo Ann The End of Motherhood / Jo Ann Lordahl Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-55874-109-7

1. Middle-aged women – United States, 2. Empty nesters – United States – Psychology. 3. Mothers – United States – Psychology. 4. Self-actualization (Psychology) 5. Empty nesters – United States – Religious life. I. Title

HQ1059.5.U5167 1990

306.874’3de20 ISBN 1-55874-109-7

FIRST PRINTING 1990 by Health Communications, Inc. 3201 S.W. 15th Street Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190

The End of Motherhood, ebook, printed 2008 by Jo Ann Lordahl

Dedication

To three lovely women who died too early: Thelma, P.J. and Patricia

To my Mother and Grandmother Lela and to Aunt Ruth and Aunt Peggy

And to my daughter and her two daughters

Credits

The author would like to thank the following authors and organizations for their permission to reprint:

Reprinted by permission of The Putnam Publishing Group from Enough is Enough Exploding the Myth of having It All by Carol Osborn.  Copyright © by Carol Osborn.

Excerpts from WomanChrist by Christin Lore Weber.  Copyright © 1988 by Christin Lore Weber.  Reprinted by permission of Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.

From If You Really Loved Me… © 1987 Jordan Paul, Ph.D and Margaret Paul, Ph.D. CompCare Publsihers, Minneapolis, MN Used by permission.

From Black Women Writers at Work edited by Claudia Tate Copyright © 1983 by Claudia Tate. Reprinted by permission of The Continuum Publishing Company.

Reprinted from The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health ©1986 by Rodale Press.  Permission granted by Rodale Press, Inc; Emaus, PA 18098.

Excerpts from The Warrior Athlete by Dan Millman printed with permission by Stillpoint Publishing, Walpole, NH.

From Ordinary People As Monks And Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-discovery by Marsha Sinetar © 1986 by Paulist Press.  Used by permission.

Reprinted from Writing A Woman’s Life, by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.  Copyright (c) 1988 by Carolyn G. Heilburn.

From The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship by Linda Schierse Leonard (Swallow Press, 1982 and later reprints.  Reprinted with the permission of The Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, Athens.

From The Invisible Drams: Women And The Anxiety Of Change by Carol Becker.  Copyright © 1987 Carol Becker, Ph.D.  Reprinted with permission of Macmillan Publishing Company.

From Life After Youth by Ruth Harriet Jacobs Copyright © 1979 by Ruth Harriet Jacobs  Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press

From Letters From Women Who Love Too Much copyright © 1988 by Robin Norwood  Reprinted by permission of Pocket Books, A division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From When Smart People Fail copyright © 1987 by Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From The Sex Of The Dollar copyright © 1988 by Anne Kohn Blau with Ellen Thro Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From Lifelines: Learning To Be Alone Without Being Lonely copyright ©  1978 by Lynn Caine Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates.

Dear Abby Reprinted by permission of Universal Press Syndicate.

From Women & Self-Esteem: Understanding And Improving The Way We Think And Feel About Ourselves copyright ©  1984 by Linda Tschirhart Sanford and Mary Ellen Donovan  Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books

From Boomerang Kids copyright © 1987 by Jean Davies Okimoto & Phyllis Jackson Stegall Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown & Company

From Through The Flower; My Struggle As A Woman Artist copyright © 1977 by Judy Chicago Reprinted by permission of Judy Chicago.

Acknowledgments

I want to thank friends who loaned houses, encouraging words and suggestions, and shoulders to cry on: Joanna Cruse, Elinor Elfner, Marye Lee Ferrari, Sybil Gordon, Ann Jordan, Joyce Kennedy, Trudy Meehan, Maureen Martin, Diane Moore, Linnea Pearson, Gayle Russell, Bobbie Smith, Marlene Strader and Vicky Sullivan.

I want to thank my UU Group who struggled through draft copy with never a discouraging word: Suzanne Autumn, Barbara Child, Donna Forest, Ruth Lewis, Patsy McCarty, Amy Jo Smith and Carol Willis.

I want to thank clients and groups; you know who you are.

I want to thank the people at Health Communications, especially Peter Vegso, Marie Stilkind and Edith Conner.

I want to thank Dorland Writing Colony and Florida Studio Theater for fellowships and blesed time to write.

And I want to thank my terrific computer husband Allen, without whom I’d still be lost in references and endnotes.

Contents

Part I:  The End Of Motherhood In Perspective

1.  The End of Motherhood: What Is It

And Who Gets There? …………………………………………..   11

2.  Understading What Happened And

Beginning To Deal With Effects …………………………….   25

3.  Guilt, Self-Forgivineness, Anger And New Life Plans .  40

4.  Society, Victims And Some Women

Who Wrote Themselves Free ………………………………..   59

 

Part II:  Growing The Self

5. Self-Esteem And Two Looks At Diet ………………………   75

6. Mind As Helper, Statistics And Your Mother …………     95

7.  Time And Addictions, Money And Love ……………….  115

Part III: Gaining Spiritual Power

8. The Spiritual Path Of Intuition And

Women’s Journals ………………………………………………  136

9. Spirituality: Meditation And Power ………………………   151

10.  Motherhood As A Spiritual Path —

Female/Male Differences …………………………………….. 169

11.  Other Methods To Gain Spiritual Power ………………..  182

 

Part IV: Taking Spiritual Power To The World

12.  The Roles of Women and Intuition ……………………….. 196

13.  Reinvention, Luck and Outrageousness …………….. …. 218

14.  The Power Of Spirituality And Five Types

Of Women’s Groups ………………………………………….. 236

Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………..  261

Chapter Notes ………………………………………………………………….  272

 

INTRODUCTION TO EBOOK

The End of Motherhood: Still Bearing Fruit (original title) is written from my heart. From the bottom of my heart I wanted to spare other women the pain I felt and saw all around me. An angry sense of injustice was part of it—our society had lied to us. And curiosity. How did I get here? And so many of the women I knew? But more importantly—what could we do now (me, friends, the women I was writing for)? What was possible for the remainder of our lives? What had other women done? What were our choices? And tactics for achieving those choices?

We’re better now at finding answers. And additional helpful resources may appear. But shattered dreams remain unhappy lives until, and unless, we make sense of the lost dreams. And are able to pick up the pieces. Make new and better choices.

Although I didn’t know it then, I was actually writing a woman’s guide to independence. A woman’s guide to living to her full potential—however she wishes to exercise that freedom.

Read, enjoy, find yourself. I’d love to hear from you. I will always read your letters and emails and will reply as my schedule permits. www.joannlordahl.com.

CHAPTER ONE

  The End of Motherhood:

What Is It And

Who Gets There?

Caught in the eddy of a pool of sadness,[i] a woman writer of 42 describes her mother at the same age, 42.  Outwardly fulfilled by the standards of those times: successful husband and children, the daughter now going away to college (while the family moves to Germany to take a promotion in the husband’s career), her mother talked of how she had given up medical school for marriage and a family.

“I could still work in a doctor’s office,” she said on the eve of her daughter’s leaving.  “I could even be a receptionist.  I know I could help people.”

Soon afterwards there was a note for the family.  “I love you all, but I have nothing left to give.”  She shot herself.

“My son is dead,” a friend tells me.[ii]

I know he is alive and well.

“He used to care but now he’s totally involved in his wife’s family.  The only time we talk is when I call.  I never thought this would happen.  We were so close when he was little.  Now it’s better if I think of him as dead.”

My daughter’s marriage was relatively late.  After a divorce and a career change, I was again a single parent, of an only child, even if she was grown.  I was quite poor and emotionally bankrupt.  But this was her marriage and I would do everything I could to make it perfect.  I did do everything I could.

Except a peculiar thing grabbed my attention: after the wedding when I asked her for something as simple as borrowing a large pan, I received a brusque refusal.  While I had received no thanks, and no invitation to visit, my daughter said she had to entertain the sister of a past boy-friend.  “Come to a garage sale,” she was cold on the phone the night before the sale, and even colder to learn I had other plans.  At a celebrating luncheon, she was rude to my friend who had located a special champagne she wanted at the wedding reception; he, expecting thanks, was livid after she left our luncheon early and pouty.

My hurt, silent seething and incomprehension boiled into anger.  While I didn’t speak of my hurt, I did speak of my anger.  I pulled back, looked at my dreams of perfect motherhood — at what they had bought, and were likely to buy.  I looked at my choices.  Was I prepared to be “the wronged mother” from now on?  My mother played this role.  The very thought of my doing the same made me more than ill.

So began my long journey into the end of motherhood.  Instead of my usual responses of blaming myself, trying harder, repressing and/or denying how I felt, I looked beyond our mother-daughter squabbles, and love, into society.

How Do You Know You’re There?

A first thing I found was other women voicing my feelings:

Who Is She?[iii]

Who’s the most displaced member of the family?

The mother whose children are grown.

She’s not only out of work, her job has vanished.

And even worse her best years on the job can’t be recalled

by her former employers since they were too young

to remember her daily achievements.

She’s frustrated …

And not a little hurt.  Her retirement wasn’t by choice …

Where days were never long enough, today they’re endless.

Where she had the last word,

she’s not even asked an opinion….

Where she helped now she’s a hindrance.

Where there was a bond, the ties are broken.

Where they laughed, she cries a lot.

Where there was security, there is doubt.

Where she shared, there’s nobody home.

Where she remembers, they forget.

Where there was a mother, there’s a middle-aged woman.

The years of sacrifices mean little to anyone except to the women who made them.  Too late many find they didn’t adequately plan for this time.  A woman of 65 says: “I wish I’d thought about being old when I was younger.  I had at least a half dozen friends I’d have enjoyed sharing a house with.  We could have banded together and bought a house, fixed it up, maybe rented it out until we needed it.  Four of them are dead now, but at least two might have lived if we were together.”[iv]

The usual fate of women in this society is to end poor and living alone.[v] “… though women do two-thirds of the world’s work, we make only one-tenth of the world’s money and own only one-hundredth of the world’s property.”[vi]

Our children, our husbands, and our society do not take care of us as we took care of them.

Dear Abby:

Please print this message:

Dear Children: Enjoy your large homes, horses, fine furniture, designer clothes, foreign travel, pools and sports cars.  I am pleased and proud you have it all.

If I failed to train you to remember me on my birthday, Mother’s Day and Christmas, that’s my fault, but please remember I gave years of sacrifice for your education, health protection and training.

Of course, it hurts when you ignore me, but I can handle it.

But won’t you please try to repay some of the several thousands of dollars you have owed me for years?  Since I am still working long hours at age 57, have diabetes and other complications and no medical insurance, I certainly could use the money …

I do have one heaven-sent daughter-in-law who puts you all to shame.  When I leave her all my worldly goods, you won’t need to ask why, because I have just told you.

Florida Mother[vii]

Currently no one plans our futures, not even ourselves.  Use this book to help you change these facts; or allowing, through inaction, that possible unhappy tomorrow to become real.  And if a future you don’t want is real, let’s change it!

The Right Pespective 

Now, to put motherhood itself into more perspective.  There are various ways to handle the end of active motherhood.  Some women are lucky and supported enough to come through this time as friends with their children and fulfilled in other aspects of their lives.  These lucky ones are not our present concern, which is instead for those in the pain of lives which have not yet worked through to such splendid conclusions.

No woman truly escapes motherhood.  A necessary part of letting go of my child in my end of motherhood crisis involved yet another stage in coming to terms with my own mother!

Just when does active motherhood end?  Increasing numbers of us find that children leave for college, work or marriage and then come home; many women, not confident of when motherhood ends, do not know how to handle these grown-up children.  Or  develop (if they want it) a different relationship.  Other women find that while they struggle with the end of active motherhood, they’re also becoming the parents of their own aging parents.  What is their responsibility to others, what to themselves?

Crisis Point

As we focus on the crisis of the end of active motherhood (what do we want to do with the rest of our lives?), women who deal with returning children and with care-giving to their parents can find here thoughts and ideas to help them.  But just as the questions of motherhood are not simple, neither are the answers and no one size fits all; you will have to try on this information to gather solutions to your unique situation.

This book speaks directly to women in the present pain of the end of active motherhood.  Having a child changes you forever.  The end of active motherhood is just as big a change.  This change, however, carries an emotional weight for the mother that is disproportionate.  To some extent we are all the Florida mother who expected rewards for her sacrifices, and who did not receive them.  This impact of the end of our myth rocks the very foundations of ourselves, not just as mothers, but in every aspect of our lives.

Choices And Opportunities 

Something new is happening.  Not hundreds but thousands of us are living longer and healthier lives.  My mother, alive and well, has a thirty-five year old granddaughter.  In my fifties, with active motherhood over, I could myself well live for another forty years.  “Today a new born girl can expect to live to 79.5 years, and a woman who has reached 50 in good health may live a lot longer than that.  Her life expectancy is about 92.”[viii]

How will we millions choose to live these days and decades?         In previous societies the few who lived beyond active motherhood were revered as the wise old women, the matriarchs of their tribe.  Today demarcations are blurred: some women of forty are grandmothers while others of forty are having their first child, and perhaps deciding to raise it alone.  Any woman charting an independent course can receive help here.

Increasing numbers, in perfect health and energy, have half our lives left.  I, for one, cannot call myself an old woman; I’m not.  Nor am I happy with “crone”; it has too many negative connotations.  Midlife is used by Cardoza and Sutton[ix] who say that “it is difficult and unnecessary to pin age parameters on the term “midlife,” and define it as when you realize that “circumstances and relationships around you are changing and that you are moving into a new role.”  These changing circumstances may be the result “of children leaving, widowhood, divorce, becoming a mother-in-law, or your husband losing his job.”

Just as end of motherhood women are not old, neither are we “former” mothers.  Many (including me now that I’ve progressed through my stages!) are quite happy to be, and remain mothers.

Like Eskimos with their twenty-something names for different kinds of snow, we need better names for our new categories.  I propose we mitigate personal pain, and profit as a society, by bringing this large group of end of motherhood women out of obscurity.  What do we call the woman who’s reared her children and who now (statistically speaking) has half her life to live?

The Elderling Woman 

Let’s give ourselves a precise name!  Elderling woman is the name I devised; the youthful process of becoming (ing) is married to the idea of wisdom (elder).  “Elderling woman” extends an invitation both to be wise and to use that wisdom.

The elderling woman stage, no matter what their actual age, is what women are moving into who are ending the stage of active motherhood.  “It is,” as Cardoza and Sutton say about midlife, “a period similar in many ways to adolescence, a period of turbulence, of clarification and re-definition of your personhood.”

But it is still more.  We woman caught in the end of motherhood get a double whammy: a “midlife” crisis plus another attached to the shocks of ending active parenting and the jolt of realizing that motherhood’s expected pot of appreciation probably won’t materialize.  Most probably without realizing it, we also experience a spiritual crisis.  “Gaining spiritual power,” another name for “self-growth,” will be discussed in Part Three.  However, hints of spiritual knowledge may make easier our present pain and our first task of dealing with that pain.  Ancient Chinese knowledge in the I Ching says that the inferior woman seeks to put the blame for her troubles on others while the superior woman looks inside and retreats “for the time being, not in order to give up the struggle but to await the right moment for action”[x]

Here is our opportunity to make the spiritual choice of transformation and of reinventing ourselves.  We take our pain and make of it an avenue of growth.  We use this opportunity to withdraw, to retreat, to ponder our new position in life.  We slow our blind rush into anger (I wish I’d been able to read this earlier!) and our descent into despair.  We discover the blessed joy of not having to do anything.  While the rest of ourself is working through the stages of the end of motherhood, a quiet part of us simply waits.  This aspect, usually buried in doing for others and in activity, has been silent for a long time; we will now let it speak.

As a poet, psychologist and woman searching to live her life to its fullest, I increasingly believe in the clan of womanhood.  Women, speaking from their hearts and lives, give me the courage to re-forge my life, and to tell my story.  Adrienne Rich comments “that only with the willingness to share private and sometimes painful experiences will we, as women, create a collective description of the world which will be truly ours.”[xi]

The true stories of elderling women’s lives are only now being written.  These are not pretty bedtime stories.  Husbands (if any), children and others have profited from women’s labor and sacrifices, even it they didn’t set out deliberately to do so.  “She did it because she wanted to” is no longer reason enough for many woman, and will become less so as the bottom-line costs of motherhood become clearer.   By telling our true stories to ourselves, to each other and to our children we can change ourselves, each other, our children, and our world.

We must accept the bitterness that the end of a myth brings and accept too that society rolls on in ways we didn’t expect and wouldn’t choose. We need to learn to use creatively that bitterness and anger to fuel our own growth and to effect positive changes.

“Motherhood is a season, or more, in the life of a person.”[xii] I had not written that line of poetry when I was becoming a mother.   Nor was I, like the woman who wrote Who Is She? even warned by society that my reward for being a mother might not be there when I was ready to claim it.

A Generation Of Change

… ours has been the generation of Change.  Raised to devote our lives to others, we are the ones who have had to re-group and re-design our lifestyles as society’s emphasis has changed…. We are now told that we should … be both holding our own in today’s competitive job market and preparing to underwrite our generally pensionless future.  For thousands of women this has meant finding ourselves with little or no appropriate training or experience with which to achieve such worthy results…. On top of this, we face the stress of competing for jobs, promotions, dollars, and respect with younger women, as well as men of all ages — not a position with which we feel comfortable, having been socialized to nurture all these people, rather than compete with them![xiii]

I married at eighteen, to get away from an unhappy home and because nothing else seemed to make sense.  Two months later I knew I’d made a horrible mistake, but was by then one month pregnant at a time and place when abortion was not an option.  Besides, once resigned to the inevitable, I was glad to be having a baby.  This would be the first thing to belong to me.  I would love and do everything for my child — be a perfect mother.

Reality was living with a possessive mother-in-law and an immature husband who drank.  Reality was an immature nineteen year old caught in a speciously grown-up space with incompatible people who were, quite literally, driving her crazy.  Reality was also trying to live up to my myths of perfect motherhood.

The Myth Of Perfect Motherhood

A perfect mother was perfectly giving, as is illustrated in the story of the Chinese mother who gave everything to her son.  She even tore her bleeding heart from her bosom when her son’s sweetheart demanded this proof of his love.  This gruesome tale concludes when the son, carrying his terrible burden, falls and the loving mother’s heart cries, “Did you hurt yourself, my son?”

Perfect love.  Perfect unselfishness.  How tender and romantic.  I would be the Chinese mother.  And of course I would be so perfect (so loving) that I could never be devastated as she was.  The Chinese mother had obviously done something wrong.

For further description of my role-model mother there is that now ironic children’s story, The Giving Tree, in which the “mother” tree gives her apples to the little boy, her branches and her trunk to a more grown-up little boy, and finally, when she is left only a stump, the former tree is described as happy that she can give him a place to sit!  “Well,” said the stump, drawing herself up as proudly as she could, “well an old stump is good for something.” (A friend[xiv] suggests it would be interesting to imagine this story with a father tree and masculine pronouns!)

Again — a giving unto death.  And more to the point, a joyous martyrdom.  Yet here was the perfect expression of my growing-up fantasies.  How fabulous, how loving I would be.  Now I was grown up and soon to learn there are many forms of death.

False Bargains

A problem with the self-sacrificing mother, which most of us were, is that we made unspoken, inarticulate, one-sided bargains.  The entire self-sacrificing edifice is built on a bargain.  I teased one out of myself and it hurt as badly as any pain I’ve ever known: I made sacrifices.  I gave my child things I wanted myself and arranged my insecure life so she had the best security I was capable of giving her.  I was as true a version of the perfect mother as I could manage and kept my pain quiet.  I also kept inside my fears that I was never quite good enough.  My system seemed to work and over the years I was reasonably satisfied that my child and I got along as well as most people.

Later, in a bitter discussion with my adult daughter, it came out that, in her view, I had been a lousy mother: hadn’t done enough, had done too much in the wrong areas, demanded too much, been insensitive, not loved enough.  To her, at that time, my contribution was negligible.  She seemed to feel she had brought herself up while I had sat idly about.

The Dark Side And The Myth

The dark side of my pretty picture was revealed.  Slowly out of my hurt came a recognition of my bargain: I would sacrifice  and some bright day, my successful child would say, “Mother, I owe you everything; you’re a wonderful parent.”  Here was the day and where was my reward?  Not only was I not getting a reward; I wasn’t even getting acknowledgment: it was as if what I had done did not exist.

Understanding crept into my heart.  My sacrifices didn’t exist to her because I had not shared my pain.  She didn’t know of my expenditures of time and energy.  How could I hold her responsible for what, in my ignorance and pride, I’d kept from her; what she’d been too young to see; what no one around us had cared enough to point out to her? I also began to realize that each of us must take care of ourselves, love ourselves, before we can truly give to another.

I saw the built-in marvelous/horrible result of doing for someone else: if you truly do a good job of your giving — manage it with no strings attached — then what you have done becomes the possession of the other.  They own it.  They did it themselves.  They struggled through algebra; they overcame a 14-year-old’s shyness.  Your contribution is mostly lost in the shuffle, eaten up in ordinary psychological maneuverings.

My fantasized reward was a myth.  My bargain a false one: that I would give now to get later.  The unasked-for bargain had also put blinders on both of us and did much toward keeping us strangers.  I know now my reward was there all along, if I had known how to take it — the inward satisfaction of seeing a beautiful child grow to become a charming and competent adult — but it took me a while to get over my resentment and realize it.

By far the biggest hurdle most women over forty face is the refocusing of energies from Other to Self.  We have been taught, subtly and overtly, that we exist in order to make someone else happy, comfortable and secure.  There is, of course, no real fault to be found in this philosophy.  Women are nurturers by nature and we want to live in such a manner that we improve the quality of life … either by example or by direct contact.  However, for many women, something has happened on the road to fulfillment.  Instead of simply complementing others’ lives, we have instead … made their lives the fulfillment of our ambition and have become dependent upon their success at the expense of our own.[xv]

In reclaiming our personhood we set ourselves four tasks:

  • Putting The End of Motherhood into Perspective.
  • Growing the Self.
  • Gaining Spiritual Power.
  • Taking our Spiritual Power to the World.

We’ve already started Putting the End of Motherhood into Perspective, by seeing that society and our socialization by it cause most of our problems.  We accept that if we want better lives, we have to build them — and in a hostile world.

A further delineation of our overall task (how to rebuild our lives) is an arbitrary restriction to the practical.  As a woman living now in this society, I have learned to distinguish two major problems (1) raising my woman-consciousness, a theoretical form of helping all women and (2) raising my individual awareness, a practical form of helping myself.  Emphasis for me in this chicken and egg situation has shifted back and forth.  Woman-consciousness gives me pride in womankind, necessary motivation and goals outside myself.  Raising my individual awareness gives me concrete methods, thought changes and actual behavior changes.  In short, both “theoretical” and “practical” are necessary for in reality, the theoretical can be more practical than the practical.

In our second task Growing the Self, we will reclaim our pre-motherhood self, then delve into survival tactics (mental and action), before choosing winning techniques.  In Gaining Spiritual Power, we look at what spirituality is and discover how we can have this potent force.  Our fourth major task, Taking Our Spiritual Power to the World, asks us to be effective outside our homes and offices (the end of motherhood doesn’t happen only to women who stay at home) and looks at how badly we are needed in the world.  We comprehend how easily steps we took to ensure our happiness can now also lead us beyond ourselves, and our family-contained environment.

Just as these four major tasks are intertwined in our lives, so are they intertwined in this book, not always appearing in order, but rather following an internal urgency of need as I felt it develop.  You may feel some points are not relevant to you and your situation.  Skip those sections if you must, remembering we sometimes tend to ignore what we most need.  Some themes appear more than once.  Don’t hesitate to discard what doesn’t fit, or skim what you already know.  This book doesn’t care if you read it in order, mark it, turn down pages, share it, or lend it!

Chapter Notes

Chapter 1

[i] Chun, Diane.  Relationships, The Gainesville Sun, April 19, 1988.

[ii] Patricia Wilkerson

[iii] Anonymous.  Parents Without Partners.

[iv] Carlin, Vivian E & Mansberg, Ruth.  Where Can Mom Live?       Lexington, Mass: D.C. Health & Company, 1987.

[v] Jacobs, Ruth Harriet.  Life After Youth.  Boston: Beacon Press,    1979.

[vi] Johnson, Sonia.  From Housewife to Heretic.  New York:             Doubleday, 1981.

[vii] The Gainesville sun, Saturday, June 18, 1988.

[viii] Nachtigall, Lila.  Estrogen:  The Facts Change.  Tucson: Body Press, 1987.

[ix] Cardoza, Anne DeSola & Sutton, Mavis B.  Winning Tactics for             Women Over Forty.  Bedford, Massachusetts, Mills &      Sanderson, 1988.

[x] The I Ching or Book of Changes.  The Richard Wilhelm   Translation.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967. p   152 [masculine nouns and pronouns changed to feminine.] [xi] Rich, Adrienne.  Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and          Institution.  New York: Bantam, 1976 p xviii.

[xii] Lordahl, Jo Ann.  The I who Speaks is not I.

[xiii] Cardoza, Anne DeSola & Sutton, Mavis B.  Winning Tactics for            Women Over Forty.  Bedford, Massachusetts, Mills &      Sanderson, 1988. p 6.

[xiv] Patsy McCarty, who also suggests that the negative connotations I        squirm under about women aging and what to call them are          caused by patriarchy, not by women themselves!

[xv]  Cardoza, Anne DeSola & Sutton, Mavis B.  Winning Tactics for           Women Over Forty.  Bedford, Massachusetts, Mills &      Sanderson, 1988.

Good info for anyone By Gregory J. Sedbrook on March 23, 2013

Even good change will upset us in certain ways, and all of our roles are rapidly changing nowdays. Highly recommend this book & good material for helping partners understand each other amidst change. Greg Sedbrook (backgrounds in Creativity & Future Studies, Anthropology of Play, etc)