My Turn

Women's Search for Self after the Children Leave

Everyone knows that for children to mature and become independent they must leave home and separate from their parents. But the reverse is seldom recognized: that this separation is necessary for a womanÕs growth and development as well.

In the past, children leaving home has been associated with depression in women. Despite studies to the contrary, labeling women with the empty-nest syndrome persists to the present day. My Turn challenges that stereotype by exploring how and why children's departure can become a catalyst for change.

Based on interviews with 45 women, most of whom work outside the home, and the authorÕs own experiences, My Turn focuses on what this new freedom means to women and how they can use this opportunity for personal growth and discovery. The book gives women the encouragement and inspiration they need to search for the self they may have lost or neglected during their years of active mothering. Among the issues explored are how women struggle to balance loving and letting go, how and why fathers respond differently to their childrenÕs leaving home, whether work makes a difference in a womanÕs adjustment to her childrenÕs leave-taking, how relationships with spouse, family, and friends shift during this time, and how women answer two recurring questions: Who am I now? and What am I going to do with the rest of my life?


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