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Ree Drummond opens up about life after her daughters left for college

She says she has had to fight to keep the “female strength and energy flowing” in her house!
Image: Today - Season 68
Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman, dropped by TODAY to share some of her favorite comfort foods in October of 2019.NBC / Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
/ Source: TODAY

Dropping off your kids at college for the first time is always an emotional experience — even Michelle Obama admitted she held off tears in front of daughter Sasha’s new roommates — but it’s often the days that follow that feel the hardest to empty nesters.

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond opened up about her two daughters going away to college in a recent interview with western magazine “Cowboys & Indians.”

She said her oldest, Alex, left for school in 2015 and it was “sad and difficult as is always the case.” But when her second daughter, Paige, went to college in 2018 “all bets were off.”

“There was an immediate difference in the culture of our house. It was suddenly, very noticeably, a man cave, where ranching and football were (and still are!) the primary focus,” she told the magazine. “So I’ve definitely had to fight to keep the female strength and energy flowing around here ... while also learning to appreciate the quiet spans of time in the Drummond house, which allows me a new avenue for creativity and focus.”

Drummond still has two teen boys at home that surely have kept her busy, but she also just released a new cookbook this fall, “The New Frontier: 112 Fantastic Favorites for Everyday Eating.” She also dropped by TODAY to show us how to make some of her favorite comfort-food recipes.