Empty-nest blues

When the kids go off to college, parents don’t just lose their nestlings. Often, they lose the friends made at soccer games, Scouts and PTA meetings, writes Laura Sessions Stepp in the Washington Post.

It’s all the things that aren’t there anymore,” says Anny Rosenthal, a single mom of two living in Bethesda. “It’s the Cub Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the basketball team. . . . With each stage, you say ‘We’ve gotta stay in touch’ but you don’t.”

Don’t these people make friends at work? It sounds like they need to get a life — of their own.

When my daughter went off to college, I realized that I missed her friends hanging around the house. After all, I wasn’t going to lose touch with my daughter but I wasn’t going to see much of her friends. With the help of e-mail, she’s stayed in touch with almost all of the old crowd. I see them occasionally when they’re in town, which is not that often. Nearly everyone went away to college. Only a few settled in the area after graduation.

About Joanne


  1. Mark Roulo says:

    Don’t these people make friends at work? It sounds like they need to get a life — of their own.

    Some of them may be stay-at-home (which means running around all day) moms.

    -Mark Roulo

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Who nees a life if you have Tivo?

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    The paucity of daughter’s friends settling nearby might be blamed on housing prices hereabouts.

  4. Actually, I think this shows the “kids’ activities at any cost” attitude of the current generation of parents. I have friends I ONLY see at work because they have kids and I don’t – and they’re involved 5 or 6 days a week, after school for long hours, with kid-activities. It’s crazy and it makes it kind of difficult for those of us without children to have much of a social life in a kid-centered town. (Because, if you’re childless and you show up at a kiddie activity – even if it’s just to talk with the parents – you’re automatically a suspicious creep).

    My mom was a stay-at-home mom yet she had friends outside of her kids’ friends’ moms. She made friends with the neighbors, with people at church, with people in a civic group she belonged to.

    Being a full-time parent doesn’t have to literally mean being a full-time parent without any interests but your kids. I think it’s potentially dangerous for parents to invest themselves TOO MUCH in their kids’ lives – because if they do parenting right, the kids are going to grow up and leave the nest.