We continue our interview series with Madge Woods, Marketing Director for The Next Family and a huge support to the site and our community of writers.
TNF: How has it been blogging for TNF?
I love my work with TNF. I met Brandy a couple of years ago when we were doing a live storytelling show. We immediately liked each other and within the week she asked if I would enjoy finding writers and then it branched into Marketing Director. It changed my entire focus for my life. I have always written but never for anyone but myself. Now I blog and tell stories and have met so many amazing writers. I have started a third phase of life. Being the elder here (63) I enjoy all the stories and love to comment as you all know. I have friends all over the world through this little job.
TNF: How is your family like every other family and how is it different?
I was married at 19 for 20 years. I have two grown sons (ages 40 and 38) who are married and have given me the best 4 grandchildren in the world. I have been single for 24 years and love my life. I have been in a few long term relationships but have kept my mantra the same. I don’t want to live with anyone or marry again. I own my home outright after buying it twice (once as a married woman and then again when I divorced). I was a single parent from the time of my divorce. My grown sons have no relationship with their dad to speak of. When we divorced I would have said that would never have happened but it has and my ex is the loser in this deal. My kids are fabulous and he has missed knowing them as adults with their own families.
TNF: Did your family accept you and your lifestyle? If yes, explain and if not explain what you have done to help them to accept your decisions and your lifestyle.
When I first got divorced my mom wrote me the best letter of support and she was so happy I was doing what I wanted and wanted me to know it. My dad, being old school, was worried how I would fare without a man. He learned I was a wonder at it. He encouraged me in all my endeavors and was a wonderful father and terrific grandfather to my kids. He never lived long enough to meet the great-grandkids but he would have loved them. He would have gone to all their events just as he did for my two sons.
TNF: How do you juggle the work at home with your jobs?
I am fortunate to work from home. I own real estate and have enough income to live well. I also have lots of free time to explore writing and my art.
TNF: What lessons do you feel are the most important to teach children in this day and age? Are there any lessons they, or perhaps we as parents, should unlearn?
As a grandparent I have learned to keep my mouth shut (mostly). Now that my older son and DIL live 5 houses away and across the street, keeping my mouth shut has become my newest quote to myself. I can’t wait until my grandkids can just come across the street by themselves and visit.
TNF: Any words of wisdom to pass on to our readers?
Take time out of your busy day to relax and breathe. Enjoy those kids, put away your cellphones and computers and play family games, read a book, and most importantly really listen. Your family has amazing things to say and it is true that kids say the darndest things. I regale my grandchildren with stories of their fathers. They laugh and can’t believe all the things their dads did when they were growing up. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly.
TNF: Anything you want our readers to know about you or your family?
I am very close to my sons and their families. I still remain close to all my ex brothers-in-law and their wives. I have been divorced for over 25 years and I love my life, my age, and I value all my amazing friendships from new to over 40 years old in lots of cases. I am honest, trusting (to a fault sometimes), and I speak my truth and try and empathize with our writers and readers. We have an amazing website and my goal is to travel the country to personally meet all of you sooner than later. I feel like I know you all so well. We truly are a unique family here in TNF.
Thank you, Madge, for all your hard work with and for TNF and its writers!