About Nancy L. Wolf

Hitting the reset button after 33+ years as a wash dc lawyer.
Mom of two young adults, happily empty nesting with my very tolerant husband.
He and our friends kept telling me, start writing this stuff down, you tell good stories.
Humor has powered me through our family’s journey – somehow I am able to find the hilarity in heart attacks, chronic illness and job loss.
Reluctantly retired but hardly retiring.
Starting over at 60 – how hard can this be?
Just wait.

29 responses to “About Nancy L. Wolf

  1. Eileen

    Just happened upon your blog, it made me laugh, to see myself written down by someone else!! Mothers fall into the same traps, suffer the same anxieties all around the world. It’s just that often we are not honest enough to express them to each other or even sometimes ourselves, keep on writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I got to your post through a link in the NYT where reporters talk about and point readers in the firection of what they are reading. They liked your blog post about bragging when your kids are not on the fast track! As a Bethesda mom of a son who we are trying to get back on track and home from residential treatment boarding school – it can be hard when all your friends are making it their family’s team sport to get the latest kid into the best college. It’s hard for my son too, and hard for us both to help him be excited about is own dreams, but also be realistic as he makes plans believing he is on the same track as his peers….I look forward to following your blog

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  3. Jules

    Hi Nancy, I think I have just fallen in love! I stumbled across your blog on a redirect regarding your post about kvelling mothers. It resonated so much I was drawn to read others and now I am totally hooked! I share your life situation and perspective. It is refreshing to find a blog not written by the parent of very young children or one lavishly detailing every detail of their older children’s lives. I love my kids to bits but also love that my husband and I are back where we started – just the two of us. I guess if you married to have children your point of view is different to mine where I married to be with my husband and children were an add-on to that. I feel the same way about my grandson, he is lovely but not mine! Sorry for the essay, I am a tad over excited. Thank you for writing, I look forward to reading more.

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  4. I did 60 a while back. and now I am just hovering here at 65 . I tell everyone 65 is the new 64.

    Rock on,
    Jill

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  5. Hello there Nancy! I find your writings amazing and I hope that you’ll continue to inspire others ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! More infos at http://sfnmht.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/liebster-award/

    Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

  6. Bonnie Rubin

    I wish you lived in Chicago…I have a feeling we’d be very good friends.

    Like

    • thank you, Bonnie! What a nice thing to say, I bet you are right! Our son was at UChicago for his first 1 and 1/2 years of college before this mental health struggles hit and I loved visiting Chicago (not the university so much, too gray and depressing for me.) But the river, the art museums, the food, the walking, I liked everything about Chicago but the weather!
      Let me know if you visit DC – not as windy here!
      Nancy

      Like

  7. Bev

    Hi Nancy – loving your blog. I am writing from Australia and just wanted to say hello. Discovered you via a link on Facebook to your piece on kvelling mothers, and love your perspective.

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    • Thank you, Bev! That was my Mom’s name. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog from Australia, a place I’d very much like to visit. My husband (see my latest post on “Dancing like a tree”) has relatives in Melbourne. Happy to find you too.

      Nancy

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  8. I just found your blog after reading your article on the WP about the mom who isn’t bragging. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Dealing with my daughter’s breakdown and issues has sent me spiraling down too and it never occurred to me that there would be other people dealing with the same things.

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  9. Gail

    Your blog on regarding kvelling really hit home. I’m a widow engaged to a widower who kvells about his kids non-stop. My son has a learning disability and struggles to make ends meet. His wife is on disability as she suffers from MS. They have five children between them (second marriage). I support them financially. My fiancรฉ keeps me posted about the huge raises and bonuses his son receives as a lawyer. He constantly kvells about his daughter’s interior design business and how talented she is. All I want is to hear that my son is happy and can provide for his family. Thanking you in advance for giving me an opportunity to sound off!

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  10. colorado mom

    I found your blog after reading your article on kvelling. I didn’t need the definition since I also grew up with Yiddish words. Your blog is wonderful and I plan to visit often. Just started the journey of “struggle” with my oldest daughter who was recently diagnosed with bipolar. Still trying figure all this out and be a mom to my other 2 girls, a wife, a friend, a daughter, etc. Thanks for providing laughter and insight.

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  11. Ellen

    Just had ” Birthday dinner’ with my adult son with the diagnosis. It was so crazy with him leaving the table to go take walks. Cancelling his order, because he didnt want it (grabbing pizza afterward of course) and then both of us going nuts for 30 minutes after he left his 150 dollar gift (computer ram from me) in a public bathroom by accident. (we got it back some dear person
    gave it to lost and found) and then sitting through half a movie with my son
    mumbling aloud and then saying he was done before the movie ended.
    I had to pry out of him, that he was getiing his monthly med shot the next day….so probably no meds in his system.
    Such simple things can cause the perfect shit storm.
    I still have gratitude that this is as bad as it gets nowadays. Mass chaos but no need for hospital intervention. On good days he is an online student of computer programming which he loves. and has lived in his apartment for almost a year! He’s twenty nine. He keeps up (most of the time) with hygeine because he wants to. His sister still communicates with her brother, because he is her brother, certainly not because its easy. These are my joys as a parent.
    So excited to share. Ive been looking for a place to share online for years.
    and have someone identify. When N. was 17 and getting ready for college
    I never imagined this would be his life. He had SO much going for him.
    Ellen

    Like

  12. Susan

    I read your article in the Washington Post about your alternative to typical kvelling support group and was interested in checking out the Facebook page – can you share that?
    BTW – also a DC lawyer (soon to be recovering) ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Like

    • Hi, Susan –

      Sadly, our Facebook group page for our DC-based “Parents of Young Adults Who Struggle” group no longer exists. Our local parents group “in real life” decided it had grown too large and too unwieldy.

      But our group still meets in person, 1x a month at Temple Sinai in nw DC. If you’d be interested, let me know.

      Thanks, Nancy (happy to have you as a reader of my Blog!)

      Like

      • Nancy So we shouldnt share about our struggling adult child now? Im confused I would love to hear from anyone who ,like me is struggling to love life despite the horrifying loss of achilds personality to mental illness.
        My email is ellenstudio51@verizon.net. I am not a lawyer but a teacher and Professional studio Artist. and I thank Nancy Wolfe so much for having this blog!!!!!!!

        Like

  13. Deb

    Just found your blog and instantly feel like I’ve met someone who could become one of my CFFs. Reading your posts felt like I was sitting down and having a witty and warm conversation with a trusted friend.
    I especially related to your story “A caterpillar becomes a butterfly…” I remember when I first stopped practicing law. Okay, to be totally honest, I was not enjoying my career. I was thrilled to be able to start my maternity leave immediately upon conception of my first child (my hubby and I were shortly going to be moving to another city so I had no interest in prolonging my days slaving away at a firm when I knew that I had no real future there). Without ever really planning it out, that leave segued into a very early retirement as I choose to be a stay at home mom. This choice made me feel invisible in some social contexts, notwithstanding the interesting things I was doing in my life. I was always questioned about it, hearing more times than I care to recall “after all that school, and with all that potential, what a waste” and “with all your earning power, relying entirely on your husband for your support is so antiquated”. Reading how that man’s eyes glazed over when you said you were not working indicates that things have not changed that much in the 25 years that have elapsed since I stopped lawyering. What has changed is that I no longer care as much when others judge me based on what I am no longer doing rather than who I am and what I actually do.
    I loved reading all your posts as well as the interesting comments, your community of readers are all so engaged and fascinating. It would be such fun to meet you all and share some laughs and stories together. Maybe a virtual coffee meet up for us can be arranged. I’d be so down for that. In the meantime I look forward to reading your posts and getting to know you better.

    Like

    • Hi, Deb –

      and thank you for finding my Blog! I’m so happy to have you as a reader. We recovering lawyers have to stick together. I was going to write a post about the things I still miss about my law firm days but I couldn’t think of any to write about!

      Nancy

      Like

  14. So glad to find you! LOVE the piece on semi-retirement, that is ME too! I spent 1986-2007 in DC(Arlington) , loved living there, the fast work pace, and made many dear friends; luckily we get back each year to a Lake Anna home. Very competitive parenting in Northern Virginia. We moved to Oregon to escape the city(husbands choice) when our girls were 7 and 10, reality check living outside the beltway! It was a challenging transition in so many ways!
    Laura Stowe, now
    http://www.mckenzieriverart.com!

    Like

  15. The feet mechanical

    I too found your blog through the kvelling-parents piece in the WashPo, forwarded by a mom I’d just met at a therapeutic-boarding-school parent weekend. Spent an enjoyable hour binge-reading yesterday and am impressed and grateful–loved the bits like “no one is praised as a ‘family woman.'” Having a nearly-17-year-old boy with mental health issues, and having worked hard on family systems as he proceeded through wilderness-therapy and beyond, I am less and less tolerant of the bullshit that characterizes so much interaction between parents. Keep up the inspiring work! –John

    Like

  16. Bonnie J. Weissman

    Enjoying your blog. Moved to Louisiana after 28 years in DC Metro area in early 2013 with DH. Older girl graduated LSU Law with honors, works for big firm in Baton Rouge, married classmate, and had twin boys. I love my days singing in a group which performs at hospitals and nursing homes, painting landscapes, boating with DH, traveling locally and internationally, going for a week here and there to our beach place in AL on the Gulf, and helping daughter and SIL with adorable grandsons who are almost two. Can relate to child with struggles; you always worry about them. Younger girl still in NoVa, recent college grad working two jobs and going to grad school after years of struggle with severe ADD, seizures and mental health issues. I used to feel I was the only mom with these concerns as everyone else’s kids seemed to be doing so well, and endured the competitive parenting in DC. Do I miss DC? Sometimes. I miss old friends, but see them on DC visits (or they come to see me) and Washington Capitals hockey (we had season tickets on seats four rows from the ice near a goal). But it is possible to go on to a slightly slower pace of life and avoid boredom, especially in a college town (BR has three), and as a grandma. The last I would not miss for the world!

    Like

  17. kbgso

    Hi Nancy!
    You are a breathe of fresh air! I stumbled across your blog on Face Book. I had no idea what kvelling was about. Thank you for the definition. Since reading this blog I used it as a page turner to your others.
    My husband and I are empty-nesters. It looks as if we may not have any grandchildren though we have two married thirty-something children. I was one of those that married-to- have children and hoped for many grandchildren. Fostering my be in our future.
    You’ve struck a cord on so many levels…being a boomer without a buck list and liking your own backyard to sites and travel, even purple polish vs mint green.
    Thank you for the sense of humor and the chuckles. I’ll be back soon to help keep my perspective and “empty sensors” light hearted.

    Like

  18. I just read your post, “About that Mom Who Isn’t Bragging About Her Kid” via The Washington Post. Wow. Thank you for writing this. I’ve not gone through all the struggles you have, but as a pastor’s wife, I’ve talked to so many who have, and the struggle is real. So many moms live in isolation because their child is perceived “different than the norm,” and there is such a lack of true support. Even in my “PG-13 rated story,” I’ve struggled with the feelings of isolation, because, too often, it is perceived a pastor’s home should be above real struggle and moments of failure…even if that perception has, sometimes, come from my own mind. Thank you for sharing so honestly and telling how you found good support. I hope this post will help many more than you can imagine. God bless.

    Like

  19. Miriam

    Stumbled upon your article about kvelling on FB. My husband and I adjust and readjust our expectations of our two adult boys (men) because life for them did not work out quite as we had expected. I AM the silent woman in the group. Thank you for making me feel less lonely.

    Like

  20. I can’t wait to read more. Pardon me while I binge on your blog. I love you piece in the Post!

    Like

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