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Posted: September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Yesterday I took my lovely girls to the hair salon so they could look even more beautiful for the first day of school tomorrow. My eldest is 12 and going into 7th grade and my youngest is 10 and going into 5th. Our lovely hairdressers Marcie, who works at Salon Dante in SLC is great with my girls (which is why we drive so far to see her) and really listens to what they want and tactfully steers them to safer waters if they want something too outrageous.

I am very proud that my girls have their own sense of style and I’ve always tried to encourage their self expression. We’ve always had an extensive dressing up box, for example. I have never, despite being an older mum, expected my kids to ‘act like they are 40’ as the person who started this discussion on Pregnancy and Parenting suggested older mums do; and which inspired my blog post On Being An Older Mum. So, I thought I’d let you see a few photos of our trip to the hair salon.

Gone are the days that I can get away with a dry trim – it’s the full wash and style now. They love being pampered! My eldest, Molly, chose a style from a book and Marcie did a great job of replicating it. My youngest, Alice is at the stage where she likes to be a bit crazy – hence the mismatched shoes. They were a great deal so I bought two pairs – she loves to wear the different colors at the same time. In my opinion the end results are gorgeous but then I’m heavily biased.

How do you encourage your kids creativity? Do you let them pick their own style, within reason? Or do you, like some of my friends, pick your kids clothes for them and feel they have to look matched and ‘put together?

After I wrote my a blog post on managing cultural differences I received a comment from Candace C. Davenport who I met through Blogger Monday with Ann Evanston. Candace said

‘I’d also love for you to do another post on the connection between culture shock and ‘the ugly American’ syndrome. When I came back from a year of traveling all over South America, I experienced cultural shock just being in the airplane with all the tourists returning from S. America and all they were doing was complaining about the problems they had on their trips because it was so different than the US.’

I have been mulling this post over as I have grown to like my adopted country and I, as an outsider, don’t want to offend my new found friends. However, I do have to agree that the ‘ugly american’ does exist and can be quite a shock. Though  have to say that you see this phenomenon more when the ugly American is traveling outside of the US..

There is no doubt that some Americans are loud, boorish and nationalistic and that some Americans abroad remain ignorant of local culture and judge everything by American standards. Such people can be very unpleasant and give Americans a bad rap but now, having lived here for two years, this post is going to be a defense of my adopted country.

Have you ever heard of lager louts and chavs? Not exactly the best of British.

And how about the stereotypical German tourist. Pushy, rude and arrogant with a habit of putting their towels on pool chairs before dawn at holiday resorts.

According to an Expedia survey French travelers are the biggest skinflints, the worst tippers and the least able or inclined to speak foreign languages. They also finished next to last in terms of their politeness and behavior.

My point is that there are ugly people the world over and their worst traits seem to come out whilst traveling or living amongst a culture that is not their own. Sure, I think some Americans are very loud but I have made friends with many perfectly nice Americans who are most definitely not loud and obnoxious.

What has been your experience of ugly tourists/travelers? Are you embarrassed by some traits of people from your country? Do you think all these stereotypes exist for a reason or that they are wrong?

I talked in my last vlog, Social Networking Coaching Club about how Ann Evanston’s bootcamp has changed everything for me including getting me blogging. I am very honored this week to have been asked to be a contributor/writer/reviewer for a blogger friend of mine. She has a Book Review Website called Katie’s Bookcase and I am very excited that, on that blog, I get to talk about one of my greatest passions – reading. I hope you’ll all have a listen, a look at Katie’s Bookcase and also leave comments. You can also follow my blogger friend at her other blog Sluiter Nation or on twitter @ksluiter or you might just spot both of us at #wineparty on Twitter at 7pm EST as we both like to drink wine🙂

I am talking today about what got me into blogging and more into doing something I love – using social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.

I have been lucky enough that my company, Cultural Care AuPair, offered me the opportunity to take Ann Evanston’s Social Networking Coaching Club bootcamp. This course has changed my life and has enabled me to break free of the constraints of living in a fairly remote area and of a dislike of ‘sales’.

The course has taught me how I can build relationships online and that that can eventually grow my business and also find some great friends along the way. Through this I hope I know I will  find many families for whom hosting an AuPair is a great option for childcare.

I hope that some of you will be inspired to take a a look at Ann’s bootcamp and not miss out on this great opportunity to get a lifetime membership for half the price it normally costs. I know I plan on becoming a lifetime member and I have also become an affiliate because I believe in Ann’s coaching so deeply.

Are you inspired to take a look? What do you think? Have you already taken Ann’s bootcamp and if so would you like to  share your experiences to add to mine?

There’s no denying it, I’m an older mum.  I had my daughters at 37 and 40 and I’m now 50 with a 12 and 10 year old. However,  have never really seen it as an issue or problem. Sure, as I talked about in the post ‘Older Mum? Or Just Plain Old?’I got a certain amount of attitude about my age during pregnancy but I know I was fit and healthy and fairly very young at heart. I knew there are people who think being an older mum is not a good thing but have never paid too much attention to it.

However, now I am blogging, I have set up google alerts about the topics I wish to blog about and yesterday I came upon this discussion on Pregnancy and Parenting which asks the question ‘what do you think about first time mothers who are in their 40s?’. Whilst it’s a fairly balanced discussion I was quite stunned by some of the criticisms of older mums.

  • Older mums are selfish because they are not thinking of the child, their own health or the higher risk of birth defects.
  • Older Mums don’t have enough energy for young children
  • Kids of older mums are too ‘mature’ because their mums don’t/can’t get down on the floor and play
  • Older mums are selfish because they have a greater chance of not being there for their kids as adults or – even worse – the kids might have to take care of the aging parent
  • Older mums are selfish because they put their career first and then give in to this ‘sudden need’ to have a child.

Wow! Some people really feel this way about older mums! I would say that they clearly don’t know many.

Women that become mums when they are older seldom plan it that way. Some, like me, just don’t meet and settle down with the right partner until they are older. Some try to get pregnant but do not have a successful pregnancy until they are older. And, yes, some chose to wait until they are older and more secure financially and I’m sure there are the few that just feel that biological clock ticking and go for it. I would say each and every one of them DOES think about what they are doing – very carefully – as they have lost much of the impulsiveness of youth.

On the subject of energy. I have days where I have little energy and days where I’m full of energy. I remember feeling that way when I was younger too. I would say that 50 sounds really OLD until you get there. I personally do not feel OLD – I work out, I play with my kids, we have fun. I certainly got down on the floor and played with my kids when they were younger. I’m sure there are some older mums that don’t but I’ve also know younger mums who just sit around watching their kids play.

As for the subject of not being around for your kids as adults. Well I say pooey to you! None of us know when illness and death may strike. In general people live longer healthier lives these days so there’s a good chance I’ll be around for 30/40 more years for my kids. On the other hand my Dad died from brain cancer at the age of 61 having been very fit and healthy up until that point. You just never know what’s in the stars for you.

I guess the point of my post is not really to put the case for older mums. I say whatever works best for each person is okay by me. But to those that see us as wrong for being older mums PLEASE don’t tar us all with the same brush and see that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mums of all ages.

Have you ever felt affected by some people’s view of you? Or have you faced the stigma of a different stereotype at all? Do you think it’s okay to be an older mum or are some mums just pushing it too far nowadays?