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What a fantastic thing to find this community of Fabulous 40-something co-horts.  A group who knows who Flock of Seagulls is, who can remember Live Aid and Family Ties.  A group in the blogshere that can speak my language!  Hello!

[Link Removed] for a few months now and while it sounds cliche, it has been a time of reflection and assessment.  I began my career in television and radio, mapping out a multi-year plan and its attendant goals.  Fast forward a bit and you'll find a portrait of me that still somewhat surprises me when I wake up in the morning; eight children surrounding  my breakfast table, ranging in ages from almost 18 years old down to the 14 month old twins.  Homeschool lessons to get completed.  Hearing aids to stick in the ears of one child.  Physical therapy appointments for the twin still overcoming the effects of neo-natal stroke.  Laughter, bickering, plates and cups banging, dogs yipping.  It's a noisy, boisterous, lively place.

It seems to me that our peer group possibly struggled the most with where our careers and families might take us. As a majority, our mothers were home with us.  The interim generation between our mothers and ourselves fought for more equality, more opportunity, more footing.  By my high school graduation in the mid-‘80’s, it was almost a shameful thing to aspire to home and family.  I even went to a conservative university in the South—and it was dating suicide to let a guy know that one might want to get married and have kids one day.  

The women in my life who are just a handful of years younger seem to have navigated the duality better.  My younger sister-in-laws established some career experience, then transitioned nicely into the ‘mommy’ season.  While I wanted to focus on my children, a sense of needing to prove myself as ‘more than just a mom’ haunted me for many years.  I would freelance and take on big media projects, then grind my teeth at the time away from my kids.

That’s part of the celebration to me of this thing called ‘Turning 40‘.  I seem to fit better in my own skin. Maybe that’s the philosopical lesson of the stretch marks I sport.  I’m delighted to find myself in the unexpected role of Large Family Matriarch.  I struggled for a season with thinking others might skip over any individuality I might bring to the table and simply lump me in a  “Big Family, Homeschooling, Stay-at-Home Mom” pile.  Now I’ve learned to be selective in whose input I count as important.  I applaud the women in my life who are enjoying the fruits of two decades invested in their careers.  I applaud the women in my life who are now transitioning from being home to going back into the business world.  I cheer the women who are just now in their 40’s beginning their journeys as mothers, welcoming their first children.  What an amazing decade this is, our fourth one.  This fourth decade that allows us to have a foot in career, in family, in youth and at the same time in experience.  Viva la 40!
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