In anticipation of Mother’s Day, the Embassy of Austria hosted an event on May 8, 2019, dedicated to the ever-changing faces of motherhood, which has evolved significantly in the 21st century: One of the biggest contemporary shifts in society is the fact that women between 35 and 44 are bearing more and more children, while the overall fertility rate in the U.S. has dropped to a historic low.
Austrian-born journalist Bettina Gordon-Wayne introduced surprising findings about why women truly become mothers later in life. At age 44, she herself became the third generation of women in her family to have healthy children at an age the mainstream deems "dangerous." In her book The Joy of Later Motherhood (released by Morgan James Publishing in 2018), she shares the stories and advice of 40 women over 40 who all had natural pregnancies and healthy babies to prove to other women of "advanced maternal age" (which is 35+) that late motherhood is perfectly natural.
Laurie Fields DeRose Ph.D., who teaches in the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, but is also Research Assistant Professor for the Maryland Population Research Center and Director of Research for the World Family Map Project, corroborated the trend of “later motherhood” with her newest study titled Gender Equity, Faith, and Fertility in the 21st Century.
Neil Ghosh, the Chief Executive Officer of SOS Children’s Villages USA, attested to the strength, heart, and impact of SOS mothers, who dedicate their lives to raising children in need around the world. Founded by Austrian Hermann Gmeiner shortly after WWII, SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children in 135 countries.
The event was followed by a networking reception with Austrian wine as well as bread from the Austrian-style bakery Roggenart, which uses imported rye from Lower Austria.