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Grown And Flown
Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Endlich Heffernan are the voices behind Grown and Flown: Parenting from the Empty Nest. Between them they have five children for a total of 93 years of parenting experience as they hurtle towards their empty nests. Mary Dell has a MBA from Harvard Business School and worked at NBC, Discovery, and Lifetime. Lisa has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and worked as a Wall Street trader before becoming an author of three books including New York Times Business Bestseller, "Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success." You can follow them on twitter or join in the conversation on Facebook at

Entries by Grown And Flown

Learning To Be A Grandparent As Soon As I Became A Mom

(6) Comments | Posted September 12, 2015 | 7:22 AM

The first time I left my eldest child was to go to a wedding, overnight. The celebration was obligatory and I was a wreck. I was worried beyond all reason that something would happen to my year-old baby and truly did not want to abandon him for an hour let...

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13 Things I Will Never Have To Do Again In My Empty Nest

(11) Comments | Posted June 7, 2015 | 7:50 AM

My youngest son heads off to college in August. When he finally slams the screen door, he will be emptying the nest my husband and I began to fill 22 years ago. With his departure, I reflect on a few things that, frankly, I am more than a...

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Mom Bloggers Are Brave

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 1:00 PM

Being a mom blogger is frightening. First, there is the question of whether one should even admit to being a "mommy blogger" or if that is simply trampling on one's own writing credentials and throwing all the gains of feminism onto the trash heap. I, for one, think...

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The Parent's 'Last Call' List for Senior Year

(23) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 4:26 PM

It is the beginning of senior year. 365 days out from the empty nest. The temptation is to spend the year more than a little sad about all of those "lasts." The last first day of school, the last birthday at home (trust me, this one is the real killer)...

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Top 12 Dorm Shopping Mistakes

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 7:44 AM

With high school graduation behind us, we are turning our focus to the day we will drop our youngest kids off at their freshmen dorms. Though we prefer to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the inevitable, it is time to get them ready for the tiny living...

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11 Ways to Reclaim a Relaxing Summer for Your Family

(2) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 11:09 AM

Summers start with the best intentions. We fantasize about long, peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with our toddlers or playing tennis with our teens. Casting off a busy school year, we're excited to finally relax the rules. Yes to the ice cream cones with insanely sugary toppings...

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Knowing My Sons a Little Less

(24) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 11:52 AM

Written by Lisa Endlich Heffernan

So this is it. The third and final time. Next week, I will sit through my youngest son's high school graduation. Like every parent in that audience, and in every high school auditorium and football field, I will...

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A 30 Second Guide to the World Cup for Parents

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 6:37 PM

In English they call it "The Beautiful Game," in Portuguese "La Joga Bonito" and, for the rest of the world, it is simply known as "Football." This week in Brazil, the quadrennial global madness known as The World Cup, begins again. It is a sporting event so large that it...

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The Great Graduation Gift List

(2) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 3:51 PM

This year, our families are celebrating three graduations in all. Yet, we were stumped for ideas of gifts and reached out to our band of experienced moms for some wonderful suggestions. We have included gifts for both high school and college and have covered a broad array of price points....

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It Is Not My Job to Make My Kids Happy

(22) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 8:46 AM

Written by Lisa Endlich Heffernan

Being a parent is a really tough job. Many argue that it is the toughest job. Yet, speaking only for myself, I made parenthood far harder than it needed to be by taking on jobs that were not mine. My job is to love and...

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The Tyranny of the Mirror: Is Looking Young Making Us Feel Worse?

(2) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:16 PM

The photo below was up on the HuffPost50 Facebook page last week (see below.) It is a picture of Dyan Cannon, the well-known actress, at age 77. Cannon looks great at this age, but she looked great at every age. Yet, there was another message here, it seems, the...

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Oversharing: Why Do We Do It and How Do We Stop?

(5) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 1:07 PM

I entered the world of social media much like I enter my kitchen at night, in total darkness with my hands stretched out in front of me. I forged ahead in this global orgy of oversharing with the certain knowledge that I knew nothing and would soon be stubbing my...

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The Day Our Homes Went Silent

(10) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 7:22 AM

At last week's ceremony for the new Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard, honoree rap artist Nas remarked "Hip-hop is important like computer science. The world is changing. If you want to understand the youth, listen to the music. This is what's happening right underneath your nose." Though the...

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6 Ways Stay-at-Home Moms Can Keep the Pilot Light on Under Their Careers

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:08 PM

There are many things I could have foreseen about my life, but what I never could have imagined was that I would be one of the one in three moms who opts out of the workforce after their children are born.

I am a cliché, the stay-at-home mom...

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Why Don't Women Change This?

(3) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 1:46 PM

Growing up in the 1970s in a swirl of social change, it was easy to see that the world we would inhabit as adults would be radically altered from that of our childhood. So far, this has proven to be true. But humans only change so fast, and there are things...

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10 Changes in Parenting in 10 Years

(140) Comments | Posted September 21, 2013 | 10:02 AM

Written by Lisa Heffernan

I always thought that you needed to be very old and very cranky to begin a sentence, "When my kids were young...." It turns out, the urge to look backwards can overwhelm us even before our kids have left home. If you see a crazy middle-aged...

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Why We Don't Need Family Dinners

(19) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 6:49 PM

I moved heaven and earth to get my family to the dinner table all together on an almost nightly basis, believing that in parenting terms, this was the Holy Grail. Turns out, I was wrong.

Google "Family Dinner" and you will find a raft of articles claiming that if you...

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Why I Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

(813) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 1:21 PM

lisa heffernan not for reuse

Written by Lisa Endlich Heffernan

The most expensive decision of my life I made alone. There was no realtor, no car dealer and no travel agent when I chose to leave the paid workforce. There was just me looking at...

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My 4 Big Parenting Mistakes And Why It Is Not Too Late

(51) Comments | Posted May 27, 2013 | 8:29 AM

What was I thinking?

I have just about finished raising my kids. My youngest has one foot out the door and only senior year in high school stands in the way of his liberation. I know exactly how he feels. During my senior year, I put a huge...

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Caught In My Own Crossfire: The Mommy War Within

(32) Comments | Posted April 27, 2013 | 8:51 AM

Much has been written about the "mommy wars" and almost all of it speculates on the costs to mothers and children of the decision to stay at home or stay in the paid workforce. In this "war," women who have continued to work full-time while having children look down at...

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