You’re the mom of a college-aged child. You have just dropped your child off at school to begin their new adventure. You know you’ll be going home to an empty house. What on earth are you going to do?
I’ve been there.
I remember the day I dropped my daughter off at college in LA, experiencing a strange mix of feelings. How could you feel such pride and sadness at the same time?
I cried all the way back on the plane back to Philly. When I stopped sniffling, I looked back and saw another mom holding tissues, dabbing tears. I thought I recognized her from a campus tour.
“I just dropped my kid off at college. You?”
“I don’t know why I’m so sad. I should be happy.”
“Yeah, I feel exactly the same way.”
Empty nester. It’s just one of many ways we can get stuck.
Jodi Silverman knows the feeling well. She felt lost without her kids needing things, her time, and energy.
Feeling sad, but motivated, she picked herself up and started rediscovering herself. She went on her own journey of first time experiences, including starting a business. Then she heard me speak about my I Dare Me journey at a conference.
She says it struck her like a bolt of lightning. She understood she’d been on a similar path and she wanted to do something big.
With I Dare Me as extra fuel and inspiration, she decided to help Moms who felt a little stuck and lost after their kids left home.
She now runs an organization called Moms Who Dare. It’s over 500 women strong.
Which brings me to this week.
Last night, Jodi organized a Moms Who Dare book club discussion of I Dare Me online.
It was thrilling to hear April is heading to South Africa, a trip she planned on her own and part of the time she will be traveling alone.
Kathy is heading to Ireland by herself and immersing herself in the language and culture, something in the past, she’d never dare to try.
Harriet dared herself to take improv classes. That dare gave her the confidence to perform and go to a meetup and do all sorts of things she’d never tried.
Cindy announced she is now part of a startup. She wrote a business plan for the first time and was so proud, she has her first investor.
Amy had always been terrified of going into a big city, but this year she’s joined Jodi on three New York City adventures and feels braver and more confident.
Mary Beth was asked to give a commencement speech at a graduation for nurses. She started to say no. Then she dared herself to say YES. (We applauded)
We talked about how proud our children are of us and how important it is that they know we are okay, off on our own adventures, while they are off on their own journey of self-discovery.
Each woman talked about laughing, feeling proud, connecting to others. But, also, the confidence they now have to do things on their own. Each is learning, evolving and changing…just like their kids in college.
Over the last few years, Jodi and I have become friends and I’m just so amazed and proud of what she’s built, and how many people she’s helped get life unstuck.
To you Jodi, and Moms Who Dare. I’m in awe of all of you. Dare on!
See jodisilverman.com for more information about Moms Who Dare.
Join us over on Facebook to continue the conversation: Lu Ann Cahn