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  • Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

Prepping for the Empty Nest
March 13, 2011 - 5:21pm

Both of Ben’s bands are taking off. His school jazz band is literally taking off in a little over a week; they have been accepted as performers at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

Currently, they are rehearsing nonstop, except when his other band is preparing for one of several upcoming gigs. “It was nice when we used to have a son,” my husband mused, only half jokingly, the other day.

I had lunch today with a friend whose daughter is taking her junior year abroad, and loving it. “It’s good for kids to travel,” my friend, herself a native of another country, said. “It gives them a better perspective. They understand that there are many different ways of doing things, and that the one they’ve been brought up with isn’t the only possible one, or even the best one.”

“Yes, it’s great,” I agreed. But how do you handle it with her so far away?”

“Not always very well,” she admitted. “The trick is to develop your other interests while they’re still at home, so your life isn’t all about work and mothering. Otherwise, once they leave, it’s all about work.”

I’m trying. I’m taking two voice classes and two dance classes a week, and I’ve performed (singing—nobody in their right mind would pay to see me dance!) a few times, and loved it. I’m thinking that after he goes to college, I will go back to acting classes as well, and even start auditioning for plays again. Why not?

But it continues to amaze me: Less than seventeen years ago, he didn’t exist. And before he didn’t exist, I got along just fine for 42 years. And now I spend half my waking hours trying to figure out how I’m going to manage when he’s gone.’


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