Family

What Becoming A Mom At 60 Taught Me About The Gift Of Motherhood

Photo: Dr. Cindy Trimm
photo of author

When I was young, I took so much for granted; like, what it really takes to be a mother. It wasn’t until I matured that I really saw how blessed I was because of my mother.

When most people think about motherhood and marriage, they think about young couples starting their lives together. However, more and more women are choosing to become mothers later in life. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of births to women over the age of 40 has increased by more than 40 percent in the last two decades.

As it relates to CDC’s observation on motherhood, I am the personification of the phrase “late-bloomer."

From my first “cycle” to my first kiss to my first marriage and experiencing motherhood at sixty, everything about my life happened later than my peers.

So, many people were curious as to why I waited so late to marry. 

The answer is simple: I was not going to settle. However, marrying late in life has its perks. Firstly, you pretty much know who you are. Secondly, nine times out of ten, the marriage comes with a package deal: children. When I got married, my husband was exactly the person I envisioned marrying, and I was blessed to assume the role of mother to some amazing human beings. 

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Marrying a lot later in life, I knew that having children who were birthed by me was out of the question. But there was a silver lining. My marriage came as a beautiful package deal: grown children whom I adore and who adore me. 

Most of what I know of motherhood and marriage comes from observing others, especially the motherhood component. 

I look back at my first superhero mom to answer the question, “What does motherhood really mean?” 

Since I have never physically birthed children, beyond the typical dictionary definition, I asked myself, what is my personal definition of motherhood. These questions are as challenging to answer because motherhood means different things to different people. Yes, essentially motherhood is about giving birth, adopting a child or children, having a family, and assuming a role of cultivating the destiny of someone younger than you; like being a godmother or grandmother.

But being a mother is so much more than that.

Motherhood is truly a priceless and remarkable gift to humanity. It is a privilege that we are given, and the opportunity afforded to us to contribute to the shaping of an individual’s destiny as well as the trajectory of humanity.

 It’s about giving them the tools they need to live happy and meaningful lives as contributors to the health, progress, and prosperity of a nation in general and humanity.

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A mother is the first real-life superhero a child is introduced to; I know this personally, having grown up in a single-parent home. Motherhood summons abilities and capabilities one may never know they had. My mother singlehandedly raised seven children and, amongst the myriad of roles she played, she had to, by necessity, play the role of a father, electrician, plumber, nurse, doctor, etc… literally. 

She fixed what was broken, including our broken hearts and sometimes our broken lives. She repaired what was ripped, tattered, and torn including ceilings, flooring, and clothing.

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Motherhood is the platform given to someone who expresses courage because motherhood requires fearlessness, resolution, and a strong sense of “enoughness”. 

A mother is a child’s first role model. Her core values are passed down intergenerationally and are usually, caught and not formally taught. The embodiment of feminine energy needed to nurture, and nourish, she is the personification of sacrifice, generosity, kindness, and unconditional love.

Motherhood is the first educational institution a child engages in. For me, motherhood is seeing the profound value in learning about whom these awesome human beings are and have the potential to become, and then modeling for them what authenticity, integrity, kindness, and good citizenship look like. 

It is encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves. By loving herself and letting that love overflows into her family, it is conceivable that this acceptance and unconditional love will empower and strengthen her children as well as foster self-confidence and kindness.

Motherhood is not only a personal journey of self-discovery it is also a destiny-adventure, where children discover themselves as well. 

As a tour guide, a mother guides her children on their unique hero’s journey. Motherhood is not just a daily adventure; it is a lifetime commitment for her personally. After she raises her children, she turns to her role as a tour guide for her grandchildren, Godchildren, nieces, nephews, and her children’s friends.

Motherhood is one of the greatest professions in the world. We get to shape lives and mold humanity in the process.

It’s about being that shoulder to cry on and steading your shoulders so that they can stand on them as you encourage them to not only reach for the stars but be one. It’s about giving them a standing ovation when they succeed and a helping hand to get back on their feet when they fall.

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Motherhood is the joy that brings color to our lives that would otherwise be black and white. 

Motherhood brings new meaning to being overwhelmed because being completely and totally overwhelmed in the best possible sense of the word is what motherhood is all about.

From the first coo to the first step, and the first day at school, motherhood means being overwhelmed with joy by little things, like that deep belly laugh from a tickle, tears that were drawn from the joy of watching your child graduate from high school, and hugs that are received when they finally get the revelation that all your “no’s” would empower them to say “yes” to win big and to succeed in life.

Though motherhood is about sacrifice, it is also about becoming a lifetime advocate, cheerleader, and consultant for your grown child because, at every milestone, we get to demonstrate the abundance of unconditional love that has no end, wisdom that has no limits, and faith in our children, who will cherish the beautiful memories we created together even beyond the lifetime of us as their mother — for truly, this is a gift that keeps on giving.

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Trained in Strategic Leadership at the prestigious Oxford University Saïd Business School and Corporate Governance at Harvard, Dr. Cindy Trimm is a former senator, sought-after thought leader, and widely respected business and life strategist. 

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