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Motherhood later

One NYC support group targets moms older than 35.

When Hackensack’s 60 year-old Frieda Birnbaum gave birth to twin boys in May, the definition of a “late” arrival to parenthood was stretched to new limits. But for Robin Gorman Newman, who founded mom-support group Motherhood Later…Than Sooner, the entry point into the field of “older” parenting is still clear: those over 35 who have toddlers, not tweens, at home. Gorman, 46, started the organization in 2003 after participating in a host of mommy and me classes with her newborn son Seth, now 4. Having attempted and failed to forge friendships, she concluded that connecting with her classmates—most of whom were still in their twenties—was a nearly impossible feat.

“Having motherhood in common isn’t enough,” she says matter-of-factly. “I wanted to feel like I could comfortably share my life experiences, concerns and challenges with others who would understand given the phase of life that I’m in.”

Counting more than 200 New York moms and moms-to-be from all five boroughs (plus Long Island and New Jersey) among its ranks, the group provides the kind of bonding Gorman once missed. In addition to weekend family outings and bring-the-kids lunches, the women attend monthly “Mom’s Night Out” dinners. Meeting up at restaurants around New York, the moms dish about daily challenges, from hormones to career hiatuses to learning how to be parents after many of their own moms and dads have passed away.

“It’s like a union, I guess, because we’re all in this motherhood thing together,” explains Rachel Lehrer, 42, who has found a morning power-walk partner and a babysitter through her involvement at events and on the group’s message boards at meetup.com.

For now, joining the group is free of charge and can be done online. The only downside? Revealing your age.

—Julia Israel

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