From left: Rebecca, Meg, Vance, and Stephanie
Midlifer of the Month
It's Her One Time Around
by Mike Bellah
|In her 30s my friend Meg Lowry was a career
woman of career women. Executive director of an art gallery and wholesale
publishing company, she oversaw dozens of employees and traveled throughout
the U.S. with extended stopovers in interesting places like Santa Fe, New
Mexico; Scottsdale, Arizona; Chicago and Los Angeles.
Now 43, Meg is the mother of 7-year-old twin girls and an adamant champion of the midlife housewife. "I had what people thought of as this plum career job," Meg tells me in a phone conversation from her Austin home. "But my best day at work pales in comparison to the thrill of having children."
Meg is typical of a growing genre of '90s mothers, women in their 30s and 40s who are deciding to become first-time moms when some of their peers are sending children to college. "It's a trade off," Meg explains. "I have more money to provide my girls with things, but I don't have the physical energy to do the things I could have done in my 20s. Besides, I'm not the 43-year-old my mother was. I don't think 40 represents the old age it used to represent. I mean Christie Brinkley had her baby yesterday; she's 42."
Meg's midlife enthusiasm for motherhood is refreshing. So is her obvious skill in raising Rebecca and Stephanie. I want to know how she does it. Following is what I discovered.
A strong identity
Meg laughs about the time she tried to cash a check at a local grocery store. After asking for her work phone, the condescending clerk discovered she was "only a housewife" and wanted her husband's work phone. "I experienced for the first time what stay-at-home moms must experience all the time," says Meg. "I realized I once held some of these thoughts myself." Meg now handles these societal put-downs with a strong personal identity. "I don't mind saying I'm a housewife; I choose to stay home."
Outside help and adult support
When the twins were 19 months old, Meg enrolled them in a mothers' morning out program. Later she began having coffee with some of the other mothers in this group--mostly midlife professionals like Meg--to "talk about anything adult." Meg also receives consistent help from husband Vance whose involvement in his daughters' lives ranges from putting them to bed at night to coaching their soccer team.
An important perspective
Meg remembers an Erma Bombeck article that reminds mothers that one day they will put up their children's toys for the last time. They will clean the room, and it will stay clean. So now Meg tries to keep this perspective in all she does. "It's my one time around," she says. Meg's prayer is both simple and daily: "Dear God, let me realize that today is the only day that they're 7 and one-half-years-old, and this is the one day they want to watch cartoons for 30 minutes and then play Barbie, and then want me to play 'Go Fish' with them."
Not all midlifers have small children, and not all mothers can afford to stay home, but we all can profit from Meg Lowry's outlook. Living is not something we will do someday. Today is no dress rehearsal; it's our one time around.
My Articles about Hidden Falls Ranch (and its people)
It's Her One Time Around
Happy 30th Anniversary
Lost in the Palo Duro
Memories of Summer Camp
My Sister, My Advocate
To Uncle John and Aunt Betty: A Tribute
Hidden Falls Ranch: A 40th Anniversary Tribute