Endings: The Children Leave Home

Now I want so much to be understood by my kids. I wonder, “Do you get it? Do you see why I made these choices? Do I ever get to grow up, or do I always stay that limited ‘mom’?”

I was a very tired young parent because I did my thing with the kids all day, put them to bed, and then I tried to have my own seven- to eight-hour (work) day. I didn’t go to bed until three or four every morning. My husband got up with the kids, so I’d have […]

[As a behavioral neuroscientist, I know that] The problem-solving associated with having children enriches your brain. You’re doing things you would not have been doing before. You’re active. You’re engaged. This is what we’re all about. This is why we’re here.

Before kids, I was hard working, focused and goal-oriented, but I still found time to enjoy my relationships with family and friends. I’ve also always been curious about life and, even after I completed my formal education, valued being a  lifelong learner. I never considered not having children. It seemed to be a part of […]

You have to give up control. You may never know what the arc of their lives will look like. They may peak long after you’re gone.

I believe that we all suffer from this sense of not having done enough, been present enough, loved enough. Of having failed in some way. It’s not a healthy way to be in the world and yet so many of us – especially mothers – do it. All we can do is bring our best […]

In the end, on my death bed, who cares if I built five more buildings? It’s really my experiences, my relationships and my family that will mean the most to me.

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I just didn’t know how I was going to marry it with my career. I had gone to an Ivy League graduate school, and worked in Boston at a large firm and then moved to Japan to work in another firm. I loved practicing architecture, but […]

The other morning I was thinking to myself I have literally lived half my life in fear. I think that that’s what you open yourself up to when you have children. You never really sleep that well again.

My son was not a planned pregnancy. I was 24 and a recent college graduate when I discovered, after a very short relationship, that I was pregnant. It never entered my mind not to have him. He was very, very, very wanted, from the beginning. From the very first moment, I knew I was in […]

I mean, nobody hands you a baby and says, “Get ready, because in 15 years, he’s going to start using drugs and you’re going to have to handle it.”

When you have a sick child, people bring food. They arrange sitters for your other kids. They have your house cleaned for you. When you have a kid who is abusing substances, nobody’s bringing food. Nobody’s cleaning your house for you. No one is offering you a break. So you’ve got to find somebody who […]

My foster daughter experienced a lot of challenges, but I see how she has met these with resilience and courage.

There are different foster systems. I am part of a program that provides support to minors of different ages, who come from refuge camps from around the world or come into this country undocumented from Latin American countries. What they all have in common is that they’re underage and they’re alone. To become a foster […]

Asking for help is hard, especially when it’s for your child. You need a community of people to help. It was really humbling.

I’m Courtney. I’m 53 years old and I’m an arts administrator. I have two children. Hunter, my son, is now 26 and Iona Pearl, my daughter, is now 17. In truth, I don’t know what I thought having a child was going to be like. I had an idea that somehow a child is an […]