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How It Started vs. How It’s Going

Momservation: You may be looking for their receipts to send them back now, but just wait. You’re going to turn into June Cleaver, begging to do their laundry for them.

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There’s this funny trend on Twitter right now where people post pictures representing How It Started vs. How It’s Going/How It Ended. Example:

So with the release of my new book, DON’T FORGET YOUR LUNCH, DIAPERS TO DIPLOMA PARENTING WISDOM, that is a “greatest hits” collection of my Momservations® columns and blog spanning 16 years, I realized there has definitely been a How It Started vs. How It’s Going shift to the Empty Nest years.

That’s because in those years when “the days are long,” I used to daydream about running away from home where I wouldn’t have to hear Bob the Builder ask me again for the 100th time “Can we build it?” or hear that bratty Caillou teaching my kids to whine “But I don’t want to do it, Mommy!”. (For today’s parents it would be escaping from “Baby Shark.”)

I used to dream of a world where kids actually picked up their stuff, washed their own stinky PE clothes before Sunday night, and unloaded the dishwasher without asking— imaging it must just be a mythical time and place.

I used to escape to the movies (oh, how I miss you Regal cinemas and your buttery popcorn, reclining seats, and over-priced root beer and Junior Mints) when I just needed a break from Momming So Hard.

But now that I’m in the “years are short” era, when I hope my college kids will find time to come home and visit me, I don’t even recognize this woman tripping all over herself to take care of her young adult children—telling them “don’t worry I got it” about picking up their stuff that I miss seeing strewn all over the house, begging them to let me make them some food, do their laundry.

Oh how the years teach what the days never knew.

So here’s my contribution to the How It Started vs. How It’s Going—Empty Nest Edition. I thought this graphic might help all you parents struggling with kids being constantly underfoot during the pandemic to see that one day, in the not too distant future, you will be wanting to coddle these little pain-in-the-a**es rather than ship them off to that mythical land where they listen.


How It Started

How It’s Going


Mom: Locks self in bathroom with People magazine to try and steal a few moments of quiet away from demanding children


Mom: “Want to play a game? Want to watch a movie together? Want to go shopping—I’ll buy!”


Tripping over toys: “God bless America and all the stars above! How many times am I going to have to ask you to pick up this stuff?”


Tripping over stuff: “Oh it’s okay sweetie, don’t worry about it. I didn’t need that pinky toe anyway. Let me put it away for you.”


Growling, “Would it kill you to put in a load of your own laundry now and again?”


“Oh honey, can I do some laundry for you?” already sorting it out of their suitcase



Yelling, “I’m not a short order cook!” or “Fine. Then starve. You’ll eat when you’re hungry.”


“What do you want for breakfast—eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon?”

“Here, let me make you lunch.”

“I’m going to make you a 5-course dinner!”


Waking them at noon: “What—are you going to sleep the whole day away? That’s what you get for staying up so late!”


Stopping your husband before he wakes them: “Oh, don’t wake the baby! They’re so tired after staying up all night!”


#EmptyNesting  #HowItStartedvsHowItsGoing  #DaysAreLongYearsAreShort

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