We have had an empty nest for almost four years now.
Unlike a lot of people I have come across in social media groups, I was never depressed about my children leaving home. Sure, I miss them at times, but I never felt a sense of loneliness or wondered how I was going to fill my time. I had friends and found new hobbies to help with that. In fact, my husband and I are busier now than we were when we were chasing four girls around from event to event.
I have always worked full-time outside the home and been a full-time mom inside the home. I consider myself to have been Supermom, but my life never revolved around my children. I became a single parent when oldest was a freshman in college and my youngest was 12. I still managed the household like I did before my divorce because I was pretty much the one that carried the weight any way.
I remarried a few years ago and gained a bonus daughter almost the same age as my youngest daughter. She flew the coop and went to college four years ago. Although, my role as a mom never ends, I felt my role as a mom raising young children was complete. I have successfully managed to assist four young ladies get into college, and have seen three graduate from college and start their careers. I even gained a son-in-law along the way (gaining two more this year).
I don’t mean to sound apathetic, but why would I be depressed or sad that my children have grown into pretty amazing adults and are surviving on their own? Isn’t that our jobs?
I feel a great sense of accomplishment in that my girls are doing a pretty good job at adulting. Do I miss them? Yes. But, my happiness does not depend on them. Instead, I continually pat myself on the back and say “Good job, Mom!”
It’s a matter of perspective. Let’s change your outlook.
- Instead of being sad, focus on the fact you have time now to do YOU! What hobbies did you set aside to raise children? Do that!
- What interests you now? Do that!
- Make yourself a bucket list and start marking things off of it.
- Instead of being depressed or feeling lonely, join a group of other empty nesters or volunteer your time and make new friends. There are a ton of groups on Facebook and you’ll be able to communicate and relate with others in your area. Go make new friends!
- Date your spouse! You spent the last 18-20+ years raising children. Now, focus back on your significant other and remember why you fell in love with that person. Chances are, he/she has been missing that time with you.
- Travel and go on new adventures.
- Go back to school.
- Start a new career. That’s what I did. Best decision I ever made!
You still have a lot of life left to live! Just because your kids are grown and no longer need you on a daily basis does NOT mean your life is over or has no meaning. This is your time! Go live it!
Tell me about your journey and family. I would love to hear from you.
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Live healthy, my friends, and remember that age is just a number.