Because I'm the Mom

How mothering pervades all relationships in life.

The Best Midlife Dating Coach? 6th Grade Girls

Divorced Mom Gets Midlife Makeover from Middle School Girls

My midlife dating coach is a 6th grade girl

My midlife makeover, dating coaches are 6th grade girls

Best Midlife Makeover Advice Comes from Middle School Girls

Say you’re a post-divorce, midlife gal who has not been on a date in 17 years. Just say that’s your deal. And say you made the courageous choice to accept the offer of a date in the near future.

And say this post-divorce midlife gal is self-aware enough to realize she may require assistance in updating herself in general to prepare for this 17-years-in-coming date.

Who’s she gonna call?

If you want the brutal, whole truth nothing but the truth, it’s a no brainer. Ask a gaggle of middle-school girls. Highly fashion, hair, makeup-conscious middle school girls. Who else is going to tell you The Whole Truth?

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Since my daughter (mercifully) runs with a group of girls who tolerate their embarrassing mothers, I gathered her posse of lovelies and – against all advice from every friend, colleague, co-worker and family member I asked – gave the group an assignment: Emergency Maternal Midlife Makeover

First, of course, we had to establish rules of conduct:

Be honest, but not cruel. Focus only on things I can remake before Saturday night: behavior, clothing, hair, makeup, accessories, general comportment.

Remember my feelings. Do not hurt them. Do not judge me. Your suggestions must be made with empathy and understanding, you 6th Grade girls. Don’t treat me like you treat each other. Or other people. Or yourselves. Be kind.

My daughter made a general announcement that made my chest heave with pride and love, my eyes well up with tears.

Remember, she’s still my mom, even though this is a total, massive fashion - and everything- emergency.

Read more of the three-part Midlife Makeover Series

Read more tales from The Divorce Diaries:

Dating Over 40: Midlife Dating…How Bad Can it Really Be?

Getting a Divorce? Expert Says Ask Your Children How to Parent

A Bill of 33 Rights for Children of Divorce

Divorce Diaries: A Bill of Rights for Ex Wives

Parenting After Divorce? Expert Taught You Must Listen to Your Children's Pain

Nobody Told Me Sharing Custody Meant Sharing My Daughter!

Divorce Diaries: 7 Life Lessons on Midlife Break-ups

Facebook now a divorce lawyer's best weapon

Sex with your Ex? Why Divorce Sex is so Good and so Bad

15 Tough Truths about Divorce

Can Divorce be the Best Part of Your Marriage? 10 Tips on remaining sane and humane

Who Gets Custody of the Friends after Divorce

 

Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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