Moms Ages 30's, 40's, 50's & 60's Share Their Experience!

Embracing Motherhood @ Every Age & Stage!

By Courtney Daly-Pavone November 16, 2023

*This article is a 6 minute read

Is parenting in your thirties different from parenting in your forties or fifties?

This question popped in my head after meeting first time parents, and their ages would range from twenties to fifties! Some worked, some were full-time parents, some were stay at home dads, or they worked remotely. 

There was no one way to do the job, and just for the record it's a job whether you do it yourself or outsource it! So I decided to interview mother's representing every decade, an informal study on motherhood at every age and stage in life!

Can Women Have it all? 

What is the Biggest Challenge Facing Parents Today? 

Thirty Something Moms Weigh In!

Meet Azin, a manager at a logistics company with a five year old son. She describes her parenting style as "authoritative," and says it's working!

Raquel is a mom of five and an entrepreneur. Her Jiu Jitsu gym The Stronghold has been a fixture in Point Loma for over a decade. On the outside she makes parenting look easy peasy. She says her parenting style is "a mix of attachment, gentle parenting and a little bit of traditional."


Ana is an office manager and mom to two daughters ages four and seven. She describes her parenting style as "gentle parenting with an authoritative mix."

According to Ana, "Most adults need guidance limits and rules and want to be heard so children should have the same opportunity. I’m not perfect, and I have my hard days where patience is a challenge, but I always try to communicate my feelings and opinions to my children so they understand communication, self-advocating and awareness is important even at the age of four and seven."

Can Women Have it all?  

Ana, "I think it depends on the person and what goals they are wanting to achieve. For me personally, no, I want to be able to work to help provide and contribute to my household how and when I want to and not HAVE to work. In today’s world almost all families have to be dual income in order to survive. There seems to be no balance anymore between family and work."

Raquel, "I would say this depends on the woman! But I’d like to say so, or at least grateful for what they have in all circumstances." 

Azin states "No, I think this answer is coming more from my culture."

What Is The Biggest Challenge Facing Parents These Days?

According to Azin, "Media maybe and all challenges that comes around it." 

Raquel, "Battling the negative influence of social media."

Ana feels the pressure of time constraints, "For me personally the balance between working full time, family time, time with my partner and personal time. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day, I constantly feel rushed and feel like I can’t ever catch up. I don’t understand the rush in life not just for me but in today’s world in general." 

Meet 40 Something Mom Kathryn Cloward

Kathryn is a parent to a seventeen year old son Landon. She is also the author of the award winning series of children's books and music CDs Kathryn the Grape featuring an “everyday girl” who helps children. Kathryn describes her parenting style as "Being a driver’s training instructor, who sits in the passenger seat and can intervene by hitting the brakes or accelerator if necessary. While sitting in the passenger seat, I am joyfully observing Landon’s journey alongside him."

Can Women Have it all?

Kathryn, "Yes, women can certainly have it all. Yet, the most important piece of that statement is that women must be able to determine what their “all” is. They need to know that they already have it, or are in the process of manifesting that reality for themselves. In the absence of external influences, ideas, or societal expectations of what womanhood looks like, being able to know what it is that helps us feel personally fulfilled is essential." 

What Is The Biggest Challenge Facing Parents These Days?

Kathryn, "Many parents are working just to keep a roof over their heads and the electricity turned on – let alone figuring out how to pay for the extras. We see the shiny side of life on social media while countless households are hanging on by a thread. This is a truth many people don’t discuss because struggle is usually perceived as a weakness, when in reality it is so much more layered than that."

50 Something Mom Stephanie Watson

Stephanie is an executive assistant working in healthcare. She has a thirteen year old daughter, and has a yin/yang parenting approach that she describes as "soft and stern." "I nurture my daughter's needs as she develops. I've adjusted to being more soft instead of stern. I get the sternness from my mom. My daughter is more sensitive than I was growing up."

Can Women Have it all?  

Stephanie says, "Yes, you just need a tribe for support."

What Is The Biggest Challenge Facing Parents These Days?

According to Stephanie, "Social media and the need for my daughter to have her phone on her at all times. Keeping her on task and motivated to do things other than texting with her friends all day." 

60 Something Mom Gregoriann Rollins

Greggoriann has two mature kids ages thirty-one and thirty-six. She's actually my sister, and her answers surprised me. I see her as a woman who has it all, an impressive career in education (now retired), an advanced degree, a son and a daughter both successful and living independently. She describes her parenting style as "Positive and Engaging."  According to Greg, "I supported my children to actively engage with their peers and within their community." 

So without further ado here are her responses...

Can Women Have it all?  

According to Greg, "No, because in life there is always something that you have to give up in order to balance out something else. Whether it is in your marriage or with your children." 

FYI, this response shocked me, because from my perspective she has it all.

What Is The Biggest Challenge Facing Parents These Days?

Greg, "Protecting their children from the negative impacts of social media.  Social media is now bigger than life and young people believe everything that they hear and see by using a variety of apps to communicate.  The problem is technology is outpacing our own ability to see the truth and think for ourselves.  When my children were at an impressionable age, we did not have as many online distractions. Parents of younger children have to continue to be there for their kids and that starts with setting boundaries and teaching them right from wrong especially when it comes to respecting their peers and others.  As you know it all begins in the home."   

What About Self-Care? Does Anyone Have Time For Themselves?

Stephanie does. "I have my daughter 50/50 of the time, so I have plenty of opportunity for self care. I travel a lot for pleasure and enjoy time with my friends. I get enough alone time to focus on me. Back to having a tribe to have this time "off".

Azin manages to squeeze in some "Me" time. "Yes, limited though. I go to gym, getting manicure and girls night out once in a while."

Ana, "Not as often as I’d like, but I do like  to go to the nail salon, or try to get with my girlfriends once a month or every other."

Raquel, "I’d like to say I wish I had more, but I tend to take care of others first before myself. I do love spending time with my family and friends and pouring into others does make me feel great. I do need to take more time to fill my own cup by doing things I love."

Kathryn, "Self-care is an important daily ritual for me. About 15 years ago, I developed a morning routine that helps me to be prepared for my day energetically through journaling, meditating, and going for long walks. I also am extremely aware of how I spend my time. I don’t crowd my life with social engagements or groups of people. I am intent on making our home a sanctuary space that’s quiet and comfortable. As a creative person, I need quiet space to write at home. My son enjoys our quiet home and also likes it when our life isn’t busy with people or commitments. We are aligned in those ways for self-care."

Greg, "When I was younger not so much.  Today, yes now that my children are thriving adults."

What About Support? Sitters/Nannies/Grandparents?

Azin admitted to not having help or extra support and ditto for Ana. 

According to Ana, "This is probably number two on challenges as a parent especially as a working parent, and you have a sick child at home or school age sick child. (PSA Consider this a warning your school age child will be sick at least once a month from school germs!) We both work full-time and don’t have a whole lot of family that can help with watching the girls, so finding a job that is accommodating or understanding to these kinds of scenarios is tough."

Raquel, "I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family. My mom often takes all five kids during long work days and special events along with my brother and sister in-law. My kids constantly have other family members come in from out of town to spend time with them and they’re definitely loved from family from different parts of the world!"

Stephanie, "Luckily, I have the support of my ex-husband and my daughter's bonus mom. We work with each other to keep our daughter on track with school and life. We also support each other with keeping her when the other family needs time off for work, travel, special events sans our daughter." 

Kathryn, "Landon started daycare preschool at the age of three for a few half days each week. Having gotten divorced and engaged in co-parenting, we established a routine of Landon having time in the afternoon with each set of grandparents once per week which lasted through his elementary years. Landon has a great relationship with his grandparents and I attribute that to their regular involvement in his life."

I Asked The Mom Squad To Give Advice To New Moms

Stephanie, "Don't subscribe to every parenting trend. Until they can be on their own you are their best advocate. Also, don't project your "stuff" onto your child. We don't own our kids. They are unique - support and encourage them in THEIR  journey." 

Raquel, "Just enjoy the current season of life with their kids. It really does fly too fast! My oldest is fifteen and youngest is about to turn three. There’s three daughters in between those two and I just so so miss them all being babies."

Ana, "With social media outlets you can get so wrapped up on what the “perfect mom” is supposed to be like, but don’t let it suck you in to comparing yourself to others. Just like they say every child is different, every mom will be different too. Don’t be so hard on yourself and if you have the support remember it’s okay to ask for help. You’ll be amazed at the amount of love you share with your children, I never knew I could love so much the way I do my girls."

Greg recommends, "Don't bite off more than you can handle."  Trial and error is not the end of the world.  Keep learning about yourself and your children and never give up!"

Azin advises new moms,"Ask for help! Either from a friend or family."

Kathryn, "A piece of advice someone gave to me many years ago that has applied to many aspects of my parenthood journey and for Landon’s well being is this: Stand up and fight for the big things and let all the little things go."

I have found a common denominator in women who appear to have it all. They tend to have supportive partners, extended family and friends on hand to help out, or great childcare. The late Madeline Albright once stated, "There's no one formula for being a woman." I grew up in an era of Women's Liberation. We were told women could have it all. Later when this promise fell short, many felt like utter failures. Women can have it all has been revised to, "Women can have it all just not all at once!" They can have a tribe as we learned from Stephanie, or having it all can mean different things to different people according to Kathryn and Raquel! 

Thanks to this diverse group of extraordinary moms for sharing their stories. Each story is unique, but there is common ground whether it be social media's negative impact on our kids, or its false projection of "The perfect mom." A lack of childcare, financial limitations, or time constraints were also top concerns. 

It is my goal to share experiences that connect us as a community so that we can be empowered as a community. 

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