Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Please Don't Let Me Be The Oldest Mom In The PTA: Guest Post by Sharon O'Donnell

   Good news! There's a brand new book out for mid-life moms who still have school-age children. I'm so excited to introduce you to humor writer Sharon O'Donnell, who is on the blog today to share a few excerpts from her wonderful new book, Please Don't Let Me Be the Oldest Mom in the PTA. Please welcome Sharon to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love! 

A brand new humor book
for mid-life moms!
Please Don’t Let Me Be
the Oldest Mom in the PTA
by Sharon O’Donnell

                                                              Available now!

Sometimes breastfeeding & menopause aren’t that far apart! In this new humor book, award-winning columnist Sharon O’Donnell shares funny & poignant stories of being an ‘older’ mom. Nothing like buying diaper rash cream and age spot cream at the same time or having hot flashes on a college tour with your teen. She includes that awful moment when someone mistakes you for your child’s grandmother and that moment when you realize you might be the oldest mom in the PTA. Sharon is also the author of humor book House of Testosterone. More info at www.sharonodonnellauthor.com

                                                                    "The PTA Meeting"

So there I was finally, walking into a PTA meeting filled with parents who probably couldn’t even vaguely remember the Nixon administration and first watched The Brady Bunch in syndication, rather than the original run of the show on Friday nights on ABC.  I was from another generation there amidst the cute, bubbly women in form-fitting jeans and capris with tans and no age spots. Moms with no spider veins.  Moms who didn’t need to hold the meeting agenda at arm’s length to be able to read it. Moms with genuine enthusiasm for the upcoming magazine fundraiser. Before the meeting started, I hung around near the back of the room, trying not to draw attention to myself.  
I enjoyed the performance, although I realized, as all the younger moms aimed their state-of-the-art mini VCRs at their little American Idols, that I had forgotten my own clunky video camera at home. That’s another thing about being an older mom with age-gap kids:  with my older boys, I was so prepared for things like school concerts— battery charged, extra tape, the whole works. Yet, with the third child, I’d had other things on my mind like helping my middle son study for a science test or picking up my oldest son from basketball practice; remembering a video camera on the way out the door is sometimes simply too much to ask. In the future, I will have to explain to Jason why there is a lot more video of his brothers’ school programs than his. 
After the school concert at the PTA meeting, there were some brief business topics discussed and something about new playground equipment was voted on. Afterwards, everyone was invited to have cookies and punch and to mingle. I didn’t want to be anti-social, but I really didn’t feel much like mingling that night, particularly with other moms who might not even have been born the year I graduated from high school. 
And then I saw her across the crowded room, sitting near the stage. (Cue violin music). A kindred spirit. She was an attractive brunette, but it was obvious from some wrinkles and bit of turkey neck sag that she was at least as old as I was. Maybe—dare I say it—older??  My heart started beating fast like it used to when I’d see a cute guy taller than me out at the nightclubs. I had to meet her. 

                                                       "School Days"  

Having my youngest son, Jason, nine and six years after my two other boys meant that the school years would seem to drag on indefinitely and that we’d have sons at multiple schools at one time. There were several years when Jason was in elementary school, our middle boy David was in middle school, and Billy, our oldest was in a new high school that he had been reassigned to when it opened. When Billy was 15, he rode the bus, but it didn’t always come at the same time each morning and was unreliable. So a few times I’d have to take him to school, which meant I’d have to wake up Jason and have him ride with us. 
  To get to Billy’s high school, we had to drive through back roads; although the traffic is heavy due to the proximity of a Research Triangle Park, Billy’s high school was located in the middle of nowhere with no fast food places or gas stations along the way. On one particular morning during the first few weeks of school, Billy’s bus was late, so I pulled kindergartner Jason out of bed and put him in the van so we could drive Billy. We were about five minutes away and running late, when Jason yelled that he had to poop. It wasn’t like I could pull into a Shell station and let him run in because nothing was nearby. Nothing. And I’d taken the portable potty chair out of the SUV the previous year. 
  I was racing to try to get Billy to school on time, so I shouted to Jason the only advice I could think of at the moment:  “Squeeze your butt cheeks together!” Every time Jason would protest, I’d shout again, “Squeeze your butt cheeks together!” as I drove like a mad woman through the stretches of two lane, winding roads. By the time we arrived at the school, Jason had fallen asleep, poor little guy. With squeezed butt checks.

When we got back home, he woke up and went immediately into the bathroom. Later that day when Billy got home he said, “Mom, I was sitting in class and I started thinking about you yelling at Jason for him to squeeze his butt cheeks together, and I almost laughed out loud.”  Yes, I live only to make my children smile. At the time, though, it was a very serious situation. Actually, “Squeeze your butt cheeks together” isn’t bad advice if you think about. It always makes you look skinnier in jeans. 

Author Bio:  Sharon O’Donnell is a writer from Cary, NC and is the author of two humor books: Please Don’t Let Me Be the Oldest Mom in the PTA (released in July/2018) and House of Testosterone: One Mom’s Survival in a Household of MalesShe has written articles for Good Housekeeping and Better Homes & Gardens, and was an award-winning columnist for The Cary News for 12 years. She lives in Cary with her husband of 30 years and their youngest son, 17-year-old Jason, with frequent visits from sons Billy, 27, and David, 24. And of course their male long-haired dachshund, Fenway. You can find her at sharondonnellauthor.comwww.uplit.org , momsofboys.com, or @4boysanddog 


  1. I'm laughing at the line about moms being genuinely excited about the magazine fundraiser. In my house, it was wrapping paper. I have finally used up all that wrapping paper I bought over the years. I keep expecting another child to come knocking and selling, but so far, hasn't happened. What a beautifully humorous tone Sharon has. Best of luck with the book!

  2. With ten years between my two sets of kids, I can so relate to this :-)

    1. Wow--big age gap. You definitely need to read this book!

  3. "And I'd taken the portable potty out of the SUV the previous year." LOL. Dang it. Just when it would've been extremely handy. Love this whole excerpt. Sounds like a really fun read! Thanks for sharing this wonderful author here, Marcia. Nice to meet you, Sharon!



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