Christmas felt a little lonelier this year. It was the second holiday season without our daughters and although we had just spent Thanksgiving week with them in Hilton Head, we missed them terribly.
There was a me, before there was a mom. I was my parent's first child, and I was loved and very special to them. I had adventures and experiences as a child and teenager that helped mold me. As a young woman I went out and explored the world, like you are now.
So maybe the dogs have moved up in my affections. Maybe I spend a little more time pampering them than I used to. Perhaps they fill a hole, now that I'm not needed as a mother, the way I was for the past 24 years.
Why Are We So Afraid? Keyon and Carly get together and talk about some huge topics and show their vulnerable side. Last time Carly asked for some ...
A lot of women are familiar with that empty nest feeling. Author Lesley Kagen used that feeling to start a whole new career as a writer. Her first book, New York Times bestseller, Whistling in the Dark (NAL/Penguin) was published when she was 57.
It's a sad moment when the last of your kids leaves home. While it can be emotional, you should also remember that you no longer have to pay for braces or broken arms or feeding growing kids, which means your finances will be freed up a bit.
I came home from the airport to quiet house with an empty laundry hamper, the sink devoid of dirty dishes and a bathroom counter I could actually see. And I thought to myself, there are two things that are keeping me from sobbing from loneliness.
In the early 1990s Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. was a New York Times bestseller and a perfect graduation present. With its unassuming red plaid cover, the book consolidated more than 500 suggestions, observations and reminders that Brown shared with his son who was going off to college.
While baby boomers are making choices about downsizing and many others -- what the forecasters are missing is what so many pundits have missed repeatedly in the past about the baby boomers since reporting on their lives became a national past time.
I've noticed that a side effect of dating in midlife, particularly post-kids, far too often involves shining a flashlight on all of my perceived personality deficits and physical flaws.
The shocking and painful reality hit me as my last child drove away to college: I will live without my children longer than I will live with them. I stood alone in the empty house and howled like a wounded beast. Then I blew my nose, grabbed my work gloves, and proceeded to convert my son's bedroom into a writing studio. Finally, Mama created her own space!
My daughter, our oldest, is now away at college. Her younger brother, a high school sophomore, is more interested in taking his girlfriend to the homecoming dance than in Halloween festivities. Shouldn't I be wistful about the end of this particular childhood ritual? Had Halloween costumes been such a burden?
I am not much of a housekeeper. I often tell the story of the time my mother-in-law and my mother got to talking about my housekeeping skills. I don't remember exactly how it came up but their discussion ended with my mother saying, "Well she didn't get that from me."
Although walking back into a silent, kid-free home is sobering, the empty nesting years are far from "empty." As a matter of fact they can be the best years of a marriage.
Years of shared experiences, and the comfort of complete compatibility, more than make up for any lost youth, no matter what marketers splash across our screens
At night before I go to bed, I walk over to that kitchen door and I turn the lock. It's a not-so-subtle reminder that no one is coming home tonight, that life has changed, permanently, and that we no longer have children living with us.