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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

It Is Not My Job to Make My Kids Happy

(22) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 7:46 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 | 12:16 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 | 12:07 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 | 6:22 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 | 5:08 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 | 12:46 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 | 9:02 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 | 5:49 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 | 12:21 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 | 7:29 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 | 7:51 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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This Isn't My Childhood

(10) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 7:15 AM

I have survived two decades of parenting by talking to myself. My incantations are my alter ego reminding me to put things in perspective, step back and take a breath and that things will probably be okay. So while the mom voice in my head is shrieking, at myself or...

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Parenthood: It Doesn't Get Easier

(3) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 2:52 PM

In the world of blogging about parenthood, there are few writers who make us laugh at our mom selves with more genuine skill than Jill Smokler, aka "Scary Mommy." A mother of three and a mega-successful blogger, Jill's first book was on the New York Times bestseller list. Her second...

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The Day Women Took Over Harvard Business School

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 2:49 PM

Dear Harvard Business School,

Celebrating 50 years of women MBA graduates is a major milestone and you pulled it off beautifully. Please accept my sincere thanks for inviting me to the big bash.

Here is what I loved about last week's "W50 Summit:"

* I spent time with 850 women,...

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World Autism Awareness Day 2013: A Conversation With Bob And Suzanne Wright, Co-Founders Of Autism Speaks

(8) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 7:11 AM


You will have many, many chances to make contributions of time or money to different worthy causes. In some special cases, you, too, will have to ask the question, "If not me, then who?"

-- Bob Wright, 2007 commencement speaker at Holy Cross...

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Relaunching Your Career

(13) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 6:50 PM

You used to be so confident, successful in your career, juggling life responsibilities and bringing home a paycheck. But then came a career break, an extended period of time where, for family or other reasons, you left the full-time workforce. Now there is a gap in your resume and a sense...

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I Should Know Better

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 7:22 AM

I am over 50 and I should know better. I should know that life isn't always what it seems, that everyone is just doing their best and that perfect is a dangerous fantasy. But somehow, deep, deep into adulthood, I still hold on to childish dreams.

It is much...

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Empty Nest Cooking

(30) Comments | Posted March 17, 2013 | 7:10 AM

cooking class, new recipes, pretty dining room table

What's for dinner? is our kids way of saying hello to us as they walk into the door from school. Akin to the movie Groundhog Day, we...
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Torn Apart: Immigration and the American Family

(51) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 12:09 PM

I am the first person to complain about my kids and the trials of parenting. I am more than happy to indulge in over-analyzing my over-parenting. But, just for a moment, I want to give thanks for the opportunity to nag, to break-up sibling fights, to worry, to cuddle, to...

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Good Parenting Gone Bad

(12) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 10:42 AM

I have a confession to make. I have gone to one of my sons' dorms and done his laundry. I have scraped every dirty sock and jersey off of his bedroom floor, carefully separating his debris from that of his two roommates, which was all commingled in one large, reeking...

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