Starting motherhood at age 40 and beyond is becoming more common. The current rate of GenX moms parenting young kids is estimated at 20 percent. But trying to find that 20 percent is difficult. As your child grows, so do the issues. As a GenX mom, you need to make taking care of you a top priority so you'll be around to enjoy it all. You also need to stay healthy so you're able to stay awake when your teenager tries sneaking in the house and you're 60. 

Whether you waited to start a family due to choice, struggled with infertility, or you were blessed with a "surprise" later in life; beginning the parenting journey at age 40 and beyond brings a unique set of challenges. Some you may not even recognize till you're going through menopause as your child starts puberty.....

I became a mama at age 40 through the gift of newborn adoption. Let me tell ya, newborn adoption makes you prepared to become a parent. However, nothing truly prepares you to be a mom until you're in it. And when your 40.... dangit (as my son would say)!

My  high school best friend and I Circa 1980

Burnout didn't even enter my mind because I loved my career and I loved being a mom. Despite the challenges, there was never any regret. I didn't realize you could love your life and still experience burnout. Burnout is tricky like that, you often don't realize it till you start to come out of it and by that time, the damage is done.

Plus I was raised by a single mom and great grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, burnout was not part of my vocabulary. I prided myself on being a perfectionistic, resilient, hardworking, overachiever. After all, I had been through way worse in life and survived. So I still kept pushing on....

I turned to my parentless or almost empty nester friends, who were supportive and loving, but they had no idea what it was like to parent two little boys at my age. Trying to find a mom friend who understood what I was going through left me feeling lonely, old, depleted, and overwhelmed. The only person I had was my high school BFF living on the West Coast doing the parenting in your 40's thing too (see Two Old Moms) and one local mama friend I met at age 44 (thank you universe for bringing me Alice).

I was surrounded by millennial moms, who parented differently, were much younger, seemed to prioritize self-care, and I just couldn't relate. I'm not trying to hate on Millennials. I have millennial mom friends (and clients). It's just different being a GENX mom. (click here to see how). If you're a GEN-Xer, the millennials just don't get it!

So in 2014, I did what any overachieving, perfectionistic, Type A, career driven mom would do. I started a second business! I had discovered this whole new world called "online business" (thank you Cheryl Richardson, Kris Carr and Marie Forleo) and I devoured the content while driving back and forth to my new Integrative Lyme Doctor in upstate New York. If I needed a group for moms over 40, I would create it.....

When I first decided to become a mom, I didn't think about burnout (us GenX moms were raised to push through). I just figured you add a baby to your life, how hard can it be? I had amazing friends to lean on, a supportive husband, a career I loved that I worked my butt off to achieve, and was soaking up the joy of being a first-time-mom after years of infertility.

Adopting our first baby was a very challenging process due to a previous failed adoption. So when Thomas arrived and officially became ours it felt like a miracle and I couldn't get enough of finally becoming a mama. After a year of lovin on Thomas, I felt the clock ticking (even for adoption) to decide if we wanted to go through the adoption process again. So when Thomas turned 18 months we decided it was time to give little T a sibling. One was going well, how hard can two be? Plus, it can take a long time to get matched and we weren't  getting any younger. Baby number two came fast! And twenty-three months later, on New Years Eve 2013 (just after buying a new home we hadn't moved into yet), little Lucas came into our lives to complete our family.

I was 42, my husband was 45, and Thomas hadn't even turned two yet. As is usually the case with domestic newborn adoption, we were living in a hotel for awhile, but now we were a family of 4. After 10 days of Lucas' nightly screaming and a trip to our pediatrician upon arriving home, we found out that sweet little Lucas had Colic.

Any mom reading this whose dealt with Colic understands this pain. We were told it would ease up and lessen over time, it didn't! Lucas screamed every night, 8pm till 4am, for a full year. After trying everything to alleviate it and nothing worked, I felt like a failure as a mom. I was a psychologist and felt like a mental mess. My husband took over the night shifts with Lucas because I just couldn't do it and see clients the next day. I was the breadwinner and taking time off was not an option. But secretly I was relieved to be the one going to work everyday because I was so physically and emotionally depleted. It was during this time I also found out I had undiagnosed Lyme Disease (click here to read that journey) that was wreaking havoc on my already depleted mental, physical, and spiritual state. But I did what most GenX moms do, kept on pushing on..... FIRST DEGREE BURNOUT!

Here's My Story
Even as a psychologist, I had no idea how debilitating BURNOUT could be!





I was on a roll with my online business while still running my brick and mortar psychology practice. Then came COVID.... In a matter of weeks my life was in chaos, just like everyone else on this planet in March of 2020. Remember what it was like in March 2020?

What felt like overnight, My husband and I turned my psychology practice virtual, started running the business from home, and figured out how to homeschool two little boys in Kindergarten and Second Grade, trying not to kill each other. And we were "hard core" Covid people, we didn't go anywhere except outside, and saw no one indoors until we were fully vaccinated. With a compromised immune system and a child with asthma, I was terrified. Now looking back, I believe Covid offered me a respite to the chaos I was creating.

Let's just say that I wish I could have kept creating content for moms during the pandemic, when moms needed it most, but the universe had other plans for me. In July 2020, we lost our 21 year old rescue dog, Sophie. In September, we braced for a year of virtual school and continual work from home. And in December 2020, my mom (only 70) died suddenly right before my son's 6th birthday, Christmas, and my other son's birthday. A month later, my stepfather's lykemia became acute and I became his caregiver. Five months later, he was gone. When people were coming out of the pandemic in June 2021, I held a joint funeral. I tried to keep it all together for my boys, keep my psychology practice running, and do my best to help my clients through the pandemic. I had reached THIRD DEGREE BURNOUT!

Enter: MAMA shrink 


Me and my Mama

I was so excited to create Mama Shrink, which focused on all things mama for 40+ moms (click here to listen). It was also something fun to do with my boys. I took my knowledge of psychology, coaching, and parenting and to create content that I needed to hear as a mom over 40. There was only one problem that I did not see at the time: SECOND DEGREE BURNOUT!

I just expanded my private practice, was dealing with ongoing complications from Chronic Lyme Disease, parenting two young boys, and now I added an online business to the mix. My tough GenX mentality told me, you got this! I was teaching content that I was desperately trying to implement but looking back I was out of integrity. I didn't know I was out of integrity because that is was burnout does. The wound was bubbling but the skin wasn't quite pealing off, yet......

My boys and I making FB Lives

When I turned 51, I decided enough was enough and put my psychology practice up for sale.
It took my mom dying and going through the most severe burnout one can endure to finally wake me up.


"If mama ain't happy, no one is happy!"

I don't want you to miss out on this limited time of having your children at home with you, especially when you waited so long to become a mom.

And as a fellow Gen-Xer maybe you can relate to being raised by a Baby Boomer mama where self-care consisted of baking in the burning sun (with oil), diet coke in one hand and a Virginia Slim 120's (because they lasted longer) in the other. A nap? What? Did the Millennials invent napping? There was no napping in my house. You got yourself another diet coke and Virginia Slim (I later preferred Marlboro Light 100's) and kept pushing through...

I had years of education, knowledge, experience, and created a mama self-care business but, when my mom died, I went down with the ship. That's because I did not take burnout seriously. It was a fluffy term being thrown around (perhaps the millennials were on to something) that even as a psychologist I was not taking seriously. I woke up at 51 and realized that if I kept up what I was doing, I was going to be dead at 70 just like my mom. Third Degree Burnout doesn't have to happen to you, I'm here to help you find a better way. 

As GenX mamas we have to take care of ourselves. Our Gen Alpha kids need us now more than ever. We have wisdom that other generations don't have.  And we must take care of ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually to not only still be alive for our kids, but to fully participate in their lives while enjoying our own. And as GenX moms we need to support each other because we are likely losing our own parents as we are trying to parent our own kids.

Remember: our children are going to be going through their teenage years when we're in our late 50's and 60.....and our Gen Alpha kids are going to be exposed to things we never dreamed about in the 80's, we need to be on the top of our game when they need us most!

These  Gen Alpha children of ours are dealing with a really complex and frankly scary world. They need you to be at your best. When you are burnout, I don't care if it's 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Degree Burnout....if mama ain't happy, no one's happy!

All my clients will tell you, I am lovingly honest. And you my beautiful mama are not going to live forever.  You may keep hoping that if someone else just did something different, your life would be less stressful. This my lovely fellow mama is never going to happen. Change comes from action (I will teach you the skills), accountability, community, and support. Knowledge is awesome but knowledge alone is not enough!

Let me help you enjoy your parenting years without burnout

Let me help you Avoid The mistakes I made

To let you know that your GEnx mentality is supported but pushing through burnout doesn't work

So Why Am I Sharing All This? 

My FancyBio

Dr. Cynthia Edwards-Hawver is a graduate of Cornell University (with distinction), Wright State University, and completed her doctoral internship at The Pennsylvania State University. She has been working in the field of psychology for over 25 years and has a thriving private practice in Northeast PA helping hundreds of clients a year live their best lives. She provides coaching to GEN-X moms from around the world, parenting GEN-Alpha kids. 

Dr. Cynthia comes from "the school of real life." She grew up in a lower-working class home with a single mom. Her parents were divorced when she was eight years old and had an absent father. In her teenage years she lived with her great grandmother and great uncle, who were like second parents to her. She prides herself on being instilled the values of The Great Generation and The Silent Generation, Dr. Hawver has survived trauma, anorexia, heart surgery, and pre-cervical cancer all before the age of 21. Giving her the drive and motivation to put herself through college (still paying the student loans) and become a psychologist. 

Dr. Cynthia's Coaching expertise is working with burnout GEN-X Moms parenting GEN-Alpha kids. She gets to what's causing the burnout. Specifically focusing on setting boundaries, letting go of guilt, overcoming perfectionism, assertiveness, self-care, finding happiness, wellness, and becoming a well-rounded, awesome mom that you were meant to be. 

Dr. Cynthia is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified Coach, and Gen-X Mama of two amazing boys!

"Every obstacle we encounter in life can be a danger or opportunity-take the opportunity and use it to help others"

-Dr.Cynthia Hawveer

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What She's Doing Now

Dr. Hawver is currently working on:
Her forthcoming book
Winding down her psychology practice,
 and is immersed in coaching GenX mamas parenting Gen-Alpha kids.
She lives in Northeast, PA with her husband of 25 years, two beautiful boys, rescue puppy, and Bearded Dragon.