How Mother Hens Can Cope When Their Kids Fly the Coop

When our children are young we measure the milestones. When they are grown and far we measure the miles and the minutes we get  to see them. boy-526223_960_720 I have two older children who live very far away and miss them each day. One friend whose child just moved said:”You spend the whole time raising them desperate for a moment to yourself, and when they leave you hope for a moment together.”  So true.

I won’t be an empty nester anytime soon since I had a third child in my forties. Even so, I miss the ones who are gone.

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It’s lonely settling into a new routine without your kids.   It really hits you for the first when you drop them at college.  I’ve done this twice.  The first few weeks are really tough. You even miss their footsteps at 2:00 am in the morning – fumbling in their pockets for their cell phones to wake you up like you ever went to sleep not knowing where they were.  I sobbed when my kids left for college.

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I cried when they graduated and moved away.   I cry each time they come and go.  I’m probably personally responsible for an increase in Kleenex sales.   I do talk to parents who say: “It’s time,” when their kids leave.   I never felt this way. I’m a helicopter parent and mothers like me probably have the hardest time.  We are used to doing everything for our kids.  My husband always tells me to be happy  that the kids are developing  the skills to live on their own.

The Free Dictionary defines a basket case as  “a person who is suffering from extreme nervous strain; nervous wreck.” Here’s how to prevent the basket case blues when kids fly the coop:


  • Avoid sitting in your child’s room  unless you enjoy going to funerals
  • Wait until they dump whoever they dated before putting together their graduation photo albums  so you can get those pictures photoshopped
  •  Set a date when you know you’ll visit the child if they’ll let you
  • Resist calling and wait until they call so they don’t think you are a desperate housewife

Remember that it’s tough for children too.   They get used to living on their own.  When they come home it isn’t about rules and curfews anymore. chicks-1433003_960_720-1 They don’t want some real mother hen clipping their wings or hatching up plans and feeding them worms.starbucks-569062_960_720  They want to head to the Hen House Market  and get  a chicken panini and a caffè latte at Starbucks and call it a day.


Wax Museum Stiffs Separated:Angelina and Brad Divorce

You would think that an earthquake has hit LA as Hollywood megastars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie call it quits.  Rumors are swirling everywhere like aftershocks since the news broke that Jolie filed papers Monday to end her two-year marriage.  CNN says she cited irreconcilable differences.  So much for finding and keeping  love  in the limelight.  Brangelina is no more. It’s all come to a sorry end, the way it did with Brad’s first wife Jennifer Aniston.

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But just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, comes news from Madame Tussauds that the museum has separated the wax figures they have of Brad and Angelina.  A spokesman in the U.S. provided this statement for Over the Hill Mom:

“Following the news that has shocked celebrity watchers worldwide, we can confirm we have separated Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s figures. Both figures remain in the attraction, now at a respectful distance from each other.” – Madame Tussauds Hollywood & Las Vegas.

The announcement was confirmed on Twitter.

The Twitter announcement came from Madame Tussauds London. The wax museum founded in London has branches in a number of major cities.  I’ve been to the museums in London and Hollywood.  This certainly is crushing news.  I’m sure that many of us will wax nostalgic and regret that things aren’t what they used to be.

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The couple has six children.  We all know that divorce is tough on kids.  Some experts say that a friendly divorce is better on kids than a nasty marriage.

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Her lawyer has released a statement to Reuters asking for privacy saying Jolie will not comment at this  time.  It looks like Angelina will be taking the high road, even if Brad has been the pits.



Where to Send Your Child to College: Avoiding ‘Time Bomb’ Roommates

If  you’re biting your nails and grinding your teeth wondering where to send your child to college,  U.S. News & World Report  has just released the 2017 Best Colleges rankings.  Princeton University has the topped the list of  Best National Universities again.

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2017 U.S. News Best National Universities

  1. Princeton University (NJ)
  2. Harvard University (MA)
  3. University of Chicago (IL) (tie)
  4. Yale University (CT) (tie)
  5. Columbia University (NY) (tie)
  6. Stanford University (CA) (tie)
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  8. Duke University (NC) (tie)
  9. University of Pennsylvania (tie)
  10. Johns Hopkins University (MD)

I’m always happy to see my alma mater, Duke University,  make the list. I turned down an Ivy League to go there.  They didn’t have the U.S. News rankings then, but all of the Ivies were placed  higher at the time.  I was cleaning out a closet at my parents’ house last year after Dad died.  I found the Columbia University acceptance letter in an album along with five departmental prizes from my junior year in high school. Did I make the wrong choice?  There’s an old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Looking back, I picked the right school  for me.  Duke had the programs that I wanted.  Would I feel this way if the school wasn’t so highly ranked today?   I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now.  Some of the criteria used to rank seems bogus.  The Wall Street Journal has just come out with it’s own U.S. college rankings that  “pull back” from traditional measures like SAT scores or the accept rate and look at how engaged students feel and how well graduates do.   WSJ ranks Stanford and MIT  higher than the Ivies.  WSJ doesn’t rank some of the Ivies too well.

  1. Stanford University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Columbia University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. Yale University
  6. Harvard University
  7. Duke University
  8. Princeton University
  9. Cornell University
  10. California Institute of Technology

It all comes down to how you look at it.  There are many good schools that employers recruit from. Did you notice how my alma mater bumped up a spot?


Winnie Chen Twitter Post

Parents should worry more about what happens when their child  gets to campus.  There is a dramatic email exchange between future college roommates  that is going viral.  It’s at one of the U.S. News & World Report’s highly ranked public colleges.  In a Twitter post, incoming UCLA freshman Winnie Chen showed  screenshots from the purported email exchange.  One of her two future  roommates, only referred to as Ashly, sends an angry list of demands to Chen and refers to herself as a “ticking time bomb.”

 “I want the desk that’s near the widow.  Plain and simple…Don’t try me,” writes Ashly who admits she has “anger issues.”

 You can read more about the exchange in an interview with Chen on The Tab.

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My advice, have your freshman request a single.  If that fails, make sure your child packs a wire cutter and some running shoes.

Middle-Aged Mother Gretchen Carlson Gets Apology from Fox

A middle-aged mother of two has toppled a cable news empire’s powerful chairman. Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox Television anchor, took on her old boss and won. CNN is reporting that Fox is set to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit with Carlson who accused Roger Ailes of sexually harassing her. CNN’s Brian Stelter has more.

Legal experts have taken to the airwaves after the swift decision, saying the repercussions from this settlement will be felt across corporate America for years to come. I am a former broadcast journalist. What happened to Gretchen Carlson isn’t as unusual as you would think. For decades in broadcast news, women like myself silently suffered through this demeaning treatment at the hands of male bosses. One network producer I worked for in New York City rebuked me when I repeatedly rejected his sexual advances.  He told me that I didn’t get how the system worked. “There is no your way,” he told me, “there is only our way.” Well, Carlson certainly showed him. It’s a shame it took so long.

On Carlson’s Twitter page she describes herself as:
“Journalist, wife, mama, warrior for women, 100% believer in life motto Carpe diem, author of Getting Real.” She knows herself well.

I think a lot of women devalue themselves as they get older. Carlson’s victory against a cable news channel shows us that a mature, self-assured woman has a lot to offer. I believe that women are more confident in their 50s. This gutsy 50-year-old trailblazer has made the road ahead easier for our girls. You can see the apology from 21st Century Fox on Carlson’s website where she states that:

“I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace. I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me in their #StandWithGretchen. All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Fox News should have thought twice before they let the fox guard the hen house.  But ultimately,  it was a foxy lady, and not the fox, who killed the pig.