• Making Friends

Friendship by the Book: “From Mom to Me Again”

Published: July 15, 2016 | Last Updated: August 17, 2016 By | 25 Replies Continue Reading
Mom to Me Again by Melissa Schultz

Cover of From Mom to Me Again by Melissa T. Schultz

Melissa T. Shultz’ new book, “From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty-Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life,” is as inspiring as it is informative.

Congratulations to Laura Levsky, winner of this wonderful book!

After you’ve outgrown reading the parenting books (first, the ones about babies and toddlers– and then, the ones about adolescents), you’ll want to read this one. It’s aimed at women who are about to embark on the next challenging phase of their lives, adjusting to an empty nest.

The book covers not only the changes that take place in a mom’s relationship to her children but also explores how being an empty-nester affects marriage, sex, individual goals—and friendships.

Shultz, a journalist, editor, and blogger, wrote the book after her own two sons left home for college. Until then, much of her time, effort and emotions were spent on the responsibilities of parenting, with little thought or preparation for what would come next.

From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty-Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life (Sourcebooks, 2016) not only describes the directions the author’s life took that year but also distills her experiences, offering practical advice to others approaching this life juncture. She cautions moms to plan ahead to best take advantage of all the fulfilling opportunities that lie ahead.

The book is very personal: Shultz details with candor many of her feelings before, during and post-kids. In addition, she interviews other empty-nesters (including women in the mid-life blogging community) as well as professionals (in mental health, counseling and media). (I was honored to provide some advice about empty-nest friendships.)

From Mom to Me Again is sensitive, insightful and sprinkled with humor throughout. In fact, it was so engaging and well-written that I read it in one sitting.

Shultz succinctly sums up its message in its last sentence: The empty nest really isn’t empty unless you let it be.

The book is now available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

‘”Friendship by the Book” is an occasional series of posts on this blog about books that offer friendship lessons. To read other posts in the series, use the search function on the right side of the page. 


Melissa Shultz has graciously agreed to offer copies of her new book, From Mom to Me Again, to three readers of The Friendship Blog.


To enter, simply leave a comment below about why you might want to read this book on or before midnight, July 31, 2016. Sorry but limited to U.S. and Canadian addresses only.

Three winners will be randomly chosen.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Finding friends at different ages and stages, MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (25)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Book: From Mom to Me Again Giveaway | Just Sweep | August 29, 2016
  1. Joanne says:

    I too have been wondering how my friends and I went in different directions for college. After my children left home and my husband retired in our 50 s I tried to get the two of us get closer and do all we did before we had children. He got wrapped up in his hobby and rejoined our sons in the work force. The dreams of reinventing our time and life’s together he went in his own direction and said he has no patience for golf or travel unless it is something he really wants to do. I volunteered meeting people but no friendships developed where I could ask some for coffee or lunch and branch out from there. My weekly coffee friends we gather to chat but not one has time for doing things. It’s a catch up but no activity Time. I would like to have a friend who wants to pop out now and then doing things or day travels. It’s been hard finding one on one or a couple friends to participate in activities and laughter. I have done night classes….volunteer…but have yet developed someone to ask to do things with now and then. Feel lonely most times and wondering once again how to achieve who I am now and once was and how to get me back. Obviously I have failed trying on my own. I am not a Debbie downer….I am happy with what I have achieved…but lonly.

  2. Joanne says:

    I too did here wondering how my friends and I went in different directions for college. After my children left home and my husband retired in our 50 s I tried to get the two of a get closer snd do all we did before we had children. He got wrapped up in his hobby and rejoined our sons in the work force. The dreams of reinventing our time and life’s together he went in his own direction and said he has no patience for golf or travel unless it is something he really wants to do. I volunteered meeting people but no friendships developed where I could ask

  3. Lady says:

    “My husband and I”, “my friends…” can start practicing gratitude for having those people in their lives!
    Those who are single parents without friends and living in isolated places or those lacking community or shunned for IMO immaterial differences that are the result of making unkind judgements are the ones who are in real pain.
    Frankly, put others before the self pity party: go volunteer in a soup kitchen, be part of a squad giving out condoms and warnings to spare prostitutes from the Sociopaths that prey on them and befriend them, become a volunteer befriender to victims of domestic abuse (it’s not just violence) and learn about the signs of abusive personalities, give a home to a refugee child who has seen their mum butchered in front of them, start a group which makes clothes for premature babies, set up a pop up cafe for lonely people (just don’t advertise it like that ), learn beekeeping and about garden friendly bees and how to keep them safe, enlist people to make local info available about small group activities.
    That way you can avoid the shallow, immature “girls wanna have fun” types and meet some genuinely interesting people with shared values which is I believe the true cement in friendship. Then you can go have fun with them!
    Get your bucket list together and get on with it so you inspire your adult children to soar into their dreams too.
    Find out interesting things… Like read the University study about what Mother Theresa was really like. Learn that depression is excess dreaming and not a chemical imbalance. Whatever interests you and then give a talk on your “project.”
    There’s a whole world out there . it won’t come to you, you get to create it.

  4. Kat says:

    After several career moves for my husband, two kids grown and out of the house, one still in high school, spending so many years supporting kids ,husband and dealing with crazy neighbors, athletic teams, loss of both parents and no brothers or sisters, it has been an ongoing experience. I have filteried through to find real friendship that doesnt require buying, paying, giving away something along with a lot of other strange superficial personalities I know I have experienced yhtough out the years. . Merely looking for fun healthy, reciprocating freindship is difficult to find. Dont need a best friend, just fun friends that want to go do things with. Without a mother, sister and frequent moves the idea of finding quality friendship is so much more difficult.

  5. susan smoaks says:

    i would love to win this for myself. i will need it before too long.

  6. Kate says:

    Yes-that first year when all the kids went off to college was tough-every time I passed a picture of them as youngsters i’d cry!! But time does eventually make it easier to deal with. The hard part now is figuring out what to do with myself and how to reconnect with the world-unfortunately I’m spending way too much time on the couch!

    • sandra says:

      Kate, I hope you read this!! I love you!!!! That’s exactly what I’ve been doing…lol

      That’s okay, Kate. We’re not watching TV, we are staring at the screen in deep thought…

  7. Martha C. says:

    I would love to read you book because I feel I need to reinvent myself as I in a way a reversed “empty nester” in a new city.

    I moved to a new city to be closer to my son and grandbabies, not an easy decision when you are older. We have not lived this close to each other since he was 18…and I knew we were going to have to build “new boundaries” with each other, but now as adults. I need to reinvent myself as a “family” yet also make sure I keep my own identity as I figure out how to build a new community/roots and a new life in a new town. .

    We already had a couple of instances where feathers were ruffled….he and I are quite different, but there is lots of love there.

    I have not found a community and/or friend yet but I am getting out there and meeting people every week. I know these things take time, maybe your book will give me some suggestions.

    Martha (The New Kid on the Block)

  8. Lisa says:

    I am a mother of five wonderful children. All three of my girls have moved out and my oldest son is in the military. I am dreading my youngest son leaving next year and have anxiety when the last of my children will be gone. How does one prepare for the lonely echo of the house and no one to care for anymore. Anxiety is creeping in slowly as I count down the time I have left with my youngest child.

  9. Maureen says:

    I thought I was prepared for my daughter going away to college, but I was so wrong. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my body when we left her at college the first year. Each year got a little easier. My husband and I rediscovered each other. Our marriage is better now and because of that I am able to stand back and allow my daughter to be independent. I’m still searching for a BFF though.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Maureen, boy do I feel your pain. My last baby is leaving next year and I am stressing already. I am so used to cooking for 7 people and making sure all their needs are met and now it will be just my husband and the two fur babies left. I am in school for my business degree but nothing says love like having your children around you daily. I too am searching for a true BFF. I want one that is as good to me as I am to her.

  10. LauraSL says:

    Empty Nester here that would love to read this book ! I’m in the process of reinventing myself, and I can use all the help I can get!

  11. K. D. says:

    I’ve watched two my girlfriends suffer since their kids have gone away to college. I’d like to reinvent my life now while mine is close to graduating high school as opposed having the ground just drop out after graduation day. I have been a widow and single parenting has brought me very close to my child as a result of it. The other byproduct of single parenting is that since you do it all, on your own, you’re not as able to do things to for own self progress.

    • Pam says:

      K.D. you are so correct. It’s not easy when we single moms, in my case a ten year divorcee, have been drained of energy just surviving. No w that kids are mostly gone not so easy to make new friends even when we attend events, groups, activities. I find most people are in couples or busy with their own families and grandchildren. My kids don’t want to hang out with me and that’s understandable even if it hurts.I am not 20 any more, so don’t want to run around every night but on the other hand am really alone and don’t always have motivation to get out there if it means being alone. My head is stuffed with concerns about how I will care for myself and what if I need help if I remain alone or will I ever have a new relationship? I work and have a mortgage. Not a big margin for fancy holidays or luxury lifestyle. I live modestly but most of my peers have done better financially and have a spouse to join them and share the increasingly empty hours. I am not inclined to volunteer I need more work if anything.So not a rosy tiem, mostly just adjusting and trying to accept.

  12. Sharon says:

    Being an empty nester takes adjustment and a departure from the old routine. A difficult and new road to follow.

  13. Catherine Miller says:

    My first is off to college this year and her sister will follow shortly. As a single Mom I need to find ways to reinvent myself and see how I can productively use my time to help others and enjoy myself more. Who was I before all this planning for college took over?

  14. Christie Ritter says:

    I’m the Mom of a rising senior and I need some been there done that advice. Thanks!

    • Melissa Shultz says:

      Hi there Christie, hope this books helps you on your journey. There are lots of great tips from experts along with stories from the trenches. Happy to say, I’m coming out on the other side! Melissa T. Shultz author of From Mom to Me Again

  15. Denise S says:

    I want to read this, because I want to reinvent the rest of my life too!

  16. Anne says:

    This invaluable book would provide me with the help and information I would appreciate. My life has changed drastically and I want to evolve into a new, healthy stage for the future.

  17. Gail Stroinski says:

    I know I am living this now. You are really an empty nester when your last one moves in to his own apartment. when they are in college is the start of it….but they are often home for vacations and summer… This new phase – an apartment, a girlfriend, a job….really tells me…I’m not involved as I once was, nor should I be and I need to figure it out!

    • Melissa Shultz says:

      It will happen for you, Gail. You are already ahead of the game if you recognize your new stage of parenting. Best, Melissa T. Shultz author of From Mom to Me Again

      • LauraSL says:

        Great point, Gail. I have trouble shifting gears between when the kids are away at school and when they come home. When they are home I am in total mom mode, meal planning, always dinner on the table. When they’re back at school I don’t worry if the fridge gets a little empty or plan what’s for dinner. I am happy to sit on the couch watching some DVR shows and have popcorn or cereal.

Leave a Reply