Empty Nest


#1

DW and I will have an empty nest in one week.

Any suggestions on how to maximize the good aspects of this change and minimize the bad aspects?


#2

well you could sell your house and move to a double wide in Texas so the kids don't have the option of moving back home


#3

:clapping: What she said!

Seriously…you may have about six months of ill-defined blues, depression, loneliness, or such…I did, and my youngest had simply got married and moved 2 miles away. I’m just a sap, I guess, but I felt like suddenly my life had no purpose. Suddenly having 4 granddaughters in a matter of months helped take care of the blues :D!
It really helped our marriage though, by focusing on each other and rediscovering who we were without being 24/7 parents. Once we quit arguing and bickering (:rolleyes:) it has been wonderful. Very romantic once again…:wink:
My friends assured me that we would be closer than ever and that has proven true. Just stick it out if you have Empty Nest Syndrome and it will get better! :thumbsup:


#4

buy half as much laundry detergent as you have been using, and 1/3 as much groceries
learn to cook for 2 w/o anticipating 24-hr snacking


#5

Sign up for classes at your Community College, learn to speak French or play tennis.


#6

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:253508"]
well you could sell your house and move to a double wide in Texas so the kids don't have the option of moving back home

[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl:

Wish I'd thought of that. Seriously, that's when I returned to the Catholic Church.


#7

My three kids are grown and gone, and believe me, I haven't missed those teenaged days at all! They come to visit and bring grandkids along, but I don't have to run my life around theirs anymore!! I have 10 years between my oldest and my youngest.

My cousins think I'm strange that I didn't have the empty nest sadness. I think it is because I was a stay at home mom, who did all I could to ensure that my kids could be as independent as possible by the age of 18. I know I did the best I could for them, and I am thrilled to see that they can fly under their own power, still go to Mass on Sundays, and lead productive lives.

They are amazed at what their mother does when she no longer has to be Mom 24/7, and are glad to see me living my adult life, as I assured them I did before they were born!

I think you will have a good time too, once you taste that freedom.:thumbsup:


#8

I never understood this.

Why a trailer, why Texas, and why never have them return?

I plan on keeping my regular house where they grew up so we can continue to have large holiday gatherings. Hopefully all will always be gainfully employed, but if they did fall on hard times, they would be more than welcome to return - I have 4 bedrooms for crying out loud!


#9

One of the first things we noticed when our last one left was that we could finally order pizza with toppings WE wanted on it!!!


#10

After being a stay-at-home Mom and raising eight children, my husband died 12 years ago. We had an empty nest for a few years before he died. He liked to go fishing and cook barbecue for friends and relatives. We each had our own hobbies, and I attended American Legion socials with him when they had them. Fortunately we acquired new friends, as well as having some family nearby.

Now, I have been widow for 12 years and live alone. I am part hermit, and part busy with the church.
Art is my hobby, and I also took a class in calligraphy at the junior college night school for adults.

Daily Mass, some church meetings, some volunteer work......there are many ways to keep busy and happy whether it be with your spouse or all alone. I love it when my children come to visit for a week (not all at once!), and am happy to have two spare bedrooms.


#11

It might help to remember how excited you were when you left home to be independent. If you start to feel sad, think of a happy time from your past when you had your first place and imagine your kids having the same sort of fun now.


#12

I'd suggest that after all that time you spent being parents, you spend at least a little time doing those things which are personal and special to you.

  • Do you have a hobby? If not, find out about one that interests you, whether this be knitting, handicrafts, woodwork or whatever, and spend time doing. If you do, spend some time with that. You could even make it a social event, such as, for example, hosting a knitting night or a gardening club.

  • Church stuff. There may be ways in which you can help out your local church or join in church activities which as a parent might not have been possible or difficult. Or you could find more time for an extra Mass or prayer group.

  • Education. Is there something that you've always wanted to do or learn? Night classes or internet courses are always a good option- you could learn a language, a new skill, a qualification towards your job (or a new one!), anything you choose.

  • Sports. Filling your time with sports can be good, especially team sports which will introduce you to new people. It's also good exercise and pretty fun! If you want a challenge, you can always opt for a sport you've never done before.

Either way, enjoy yourself and don't forget that your children may leave but they'll never stop being yours.

-


#13

More time to work on your marriage and have plenty of uninterrupted alone time with your husband! I day dream about having an empty nest sometimes, I know that sounds bad and no doubt I'll be sad when the time comes too. But right now my girls are 19 months and 4 months old and man what I wouldn't give for some quiet, time to do the things I used to love, and real quality time with my husband again. Good luck with your new chapter in life! :)


#14

[quote="mommylotus1011, post:13, topic:253508"]
More time to work on your marriage and have plenty of uninterrupted alone time with your husband! I day dream about having an empty nest sometimes, I know that sounds bad and no doubt I'll be sad when the time comes too. But right now my girls are 19 months and 4 months old and man what I wouldn't give for some quiet, time to do the things I used to love, and real quality time with my husband again. Good luck with your new chapter in life! :)

[/quote]

Don't feel bad about looking forward to the day when the chicks leave the nest. This is what the aim of all parents should be: independent adult offspring. In my opinion, it would be very unhealthy of us to rear our children so that they are dependent upon us forever.

Enjoy them while they are little. Don't hurry them through childhood. As my Mom told me when I was a kid, I should enjoy being a kid, because I would be an adult for the rest of my life. However, think forward to the day, when you launch them, prepared for most of life, into the world as the greatest success you will ever feel.:)


#15

Thanks for all the replies and advice so far. Keep it coming, folks. I am NOT ready for this yet.


#16

[quote="CuriousInIL, post:15, topic:253508"]
Thanks for all the replies and advice so far. Keep it coming, folks. I am NOT ready for this yet.

[/quote]

I empathize. Next week son #1 (19) returns to college and son #2 (18) leaves in 3 weeks. It will be 16 YO and me. We all get along SO WELL. I will miss them so much.

I am sooo dreading driving home 8 hours from Chicago with an empty car, all alone, by myself......:(


#17

I still have a few years til I can even anticipate an empty nest, but I am looking forward to:

Things being where I put them.

Not having to figure out if what I am making for dinner is something everyone else likes.

Not having to buy snacks for kids that I will inevitably end up eating. :rolleyes:

Not having to get up to get someone off to school or pick them up afterward.

Going out for a ride with my husband, or taking a trip or even a nap without having a schedule for soccer to worry about, or whether I have enough milk for more than 2 people.

Making some of the thousands of recipes I have saved over the years, but never made because my kids don’t like this ingredient or don’t like their food touching or sauce on it, or casseroles… :stuck_out_tongue:

Only having to nag one person to go to Mass on Sunday.

Having a TV all to myself if I don’t want to watch Animal Planet anymore with my husband. :wink:

Yes, I know there are downsides to having an empty nest, but I prefer to look on the bright side. :slight_smile:


#18

I admit I had mixed feelings when we became empty nesters--joy and exaltation! My advice: change the locks or the baby birds may return. There are no real downsides and many benefits: no waiting up at night, income we can spend on ourselves, freedom to go anywhere whenever we want, eating what we want. Take up a hobby--we chose birding to expand our circle of friends, to get outside more, and to keep learning new things.


#19

My husband and I have had the Empty Nest since 2004.

For the first year or so, I had "baby hunger." I would advise you to be careful! My husband had a vasectomy many years ago (we were Protestant), so we didn't have the possibility, barring a God-given miracle, of a pregnancy. But I'm guessing that Empty Nest Syndrome produces a lot of gray-haired parents! So that's one idea for you! :D

Or you could do what I did--I started writing a collection of ice skating novels so that I could re-live all those years of raising children.

You see, my daughters were (and still are) figure skaters from the time they were toddlers. We spent as much time in a skating rink during their childhood as we did at home, and those years were glorious, exhiliarating, and so much fun! Both girls are grateful that they were raised as skaters, and like I said, they both are still very involved with figure skating, as is my husband.

So since I didn't have skating kids at home anymore, and that's what I missed more than anything :crying:, I created some new kids, coaches, and rink parents, and I wrote six skating novels with all these new skating people.

Three of the books are published (see my signature), and three more need editing and re-writing. Skaters and PARENTS buy my novels, and the parents tell me that my novels bring back so many memories.

Well, that's probably the main reason I wrote them--to preserve the wonderful years when my children were growing up as figure skaters. We had so many good experiences and met lots of great people, and many of them are still friends with us, at least on Facebook! Figure skating is a good family sport.

And so when I wrote my novels, I made sure to put all those great people that I knew, and good times that our family had into the stories, along with some mysteries and thrilling adventures that never actually happpened, but might have happened!

So write novels about your family! Re-live it all.

In my fourth novel, BTW, which isn't out yet, one of the skating moms ends up with an empty nest sooner than she expected when her daughter is invited to move to Colorado to train at the Olympic Center. I won't say how she deals with it, but it will make a lot of moms cry happy tears!

If you aren't interested in writing novels, then I would agree with what many other people have suggested so far on this thread--do some "me" things, all those hobbies and activities that you have been putting aside all these years. One suggestion is to get in shape, if you aren't already in shape. This is a good time to take up a new physical fitness activity at whatever level you can handle.

And this is FINALLY the time and season of your life to volunteer for a community, church, or school organization, or all three! Volunteering keeps you so busy and brings you into contact with other women in the same season of life that you're in. You will find a lot of fulfilment in whatever cause you choose to get involved with.

A few months ago, my older daughter (28) left a hilarious message on our answering service that went something like this: "Aren't you ever home?! You're supposed to be home waiting for your daughter to call and ask for advice! What are DOING all the time?!? Where are you?!"

So funny! She apparently thought that once she left, we would sit down in rocking chairs and wait for the phone to ring! :dancing:


#20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.