A Hand-Holding Guide

By: Joy Cagil

About thirty-seven years ago when a friend of mine gave birth to a baby boy, she called herself Grandma Moses. That sounded far from the truth, because she was only forty-two and her baby and her family came along just fine through the child-raising process. It has been quite a few years now since her very brilliant son has become a successful medical doctor.

When I came across this astute and practical book, "So Glad We Waited: A Hand-Holding Guide for Over-35 Parents," I remembered my friend and smiled. So much has changed over the last few decades and for the better. Luckily, educators like Lois Nachamie have come along with books on the subject and have founded classes and therapy groups for older parents. This book makes parenthood in later ages something to aim for, because during the more mature ages, the babies are created by design and desire.

In the author's words: "As with every other family issue, we older moms have the same concerns as everyone, but our age intensifies the experience. We have more options--yet more at stake."

"So Glad We Waited" is divided into three parts.

In the first part, "Who We Are and How We Got Here," the first chapter addresses who the older parents might be, and the second chapter lets the mature mothers speak their minds on the subject with their own words.

In the second part, "Rearranging Our Lives," are the chapters three to ten as the true meat of the book or its how-to resources, dealing with domestic duties, reconnecting as a couple, one adult families, mothers coming to an understanding with their own mothers, working, careers, nannies, aging bodies, hormones, relationships, and sex. The author gives down-to-earth advice to parents of advanced age with conviction and persuasion. Her interviews with the contented mothers prove the thesis that being an older parent is just as blissful and may not be as difficult as surmised by most.

The third part of the book, "Raising Our Children: Tailor-Made Parenting Tips," has three chapters, bringing the book to thirteen chapters in total. In the last chapters, the author alerts the parents to possible pitfalls of child raising during the advanced ages like overindulgence and dealing effectively with discipline problems.

The final chapter, "Assuming the Mantle of Parenthood," is my favorite chapter. Feeling a slight envy, I wish this book had existed--in addition to Dr. Spock's--and I had read this chapter thirty some years ago when I was raising my children, although I was barely thirty at the time. This goes to show that, while this book may be addressing mature mothers, any parent of any age can benefit from it because of its very sound parenting advice.

The author's writing style is direct, warm, and convincing throughout the book's 272 pages. A reading list and selected web sites are recommended at the end of the book. "So Glad We Waited" is in paperback with ISBN: 0609803468.

The author, Lois Nachamie, MFA, CSW, LMSW, is a psychotherapist in Manhattan, specializing in family and parenting issues, and also, the founder and director of the So-Glad-We-Waited Network. Aside from her contributions to newspapers and magazines, her other book is "Big Lessons for Little People: Teaching Our Kids Right from Wrong While Keeping Them Healthy, Safe and Happy."

In my opinion, most parents and parents-to-be will find this book very helpful. "So Glad We Waited: A Hand-Holding Guide for Over-35 Parents" may make a valuable addition to any library.

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