I am a new empty nester of 3, my youngest just went away to college, the middle is in college and the oldest graduated college, got a job and moved out. I am having a hard time remembering who I am. I, too, am a 'hands on' parent, very involved in their lives, especially staying home with them through Covid Learning, and am now faced with ways of not being a just a Mom, but putting me first and finding my way. I started a new sport, met some new neighbors and I still am trying to fit in. I would Love help with this transition!!!!
When we do our job well our kids move out and thrive. It’s a huge adjustment. I relied on girlfriends, setting lunches, shared outings to museums etc. I remember saying to my husband, “now we can have Dec in any room in the house”. The hardest part was reconnecting with my husband. Our schedules, plans, and focus has been on our kids and we had to work at being a couple again. You are more than a mother! You’re a wife, a friend, a daughter and much more. Use this time-it’s ripe with opportunities to reinvent yourself or revisit dreams that were shelved due to responsibilities. You’ll still be teaching your children -about change, ‘becoming’ and thriving.
you’ll do great.
I too am new to being an empty nester! Our oldest graduated college and moved to her own apartment about 4 hours away, and our youngest went off to college (in the same town his sister moved to!) earlier this year.
In the midst of it all I left my long time job/career as well, so no shortage of change to adapt to at once! For me getting active (taking Pilates instruction, also learning to golf (it IS hard!)), learning conversational Italian, and regularly connecting with friends/family have been key to maintaining a positive perspective. I might also add another that has been helpful: being of service in the community. Finding a cause you identify with, one you can lend even just a few hours a week to - is very gratifying - for yourself and those you help.
Just as I was getting into a ‘groove’, the holidays arrived and both children came home. It has been truly wonderful to have them home, but I do have a sense of dread to be ‘starting over’ with the adjustment process when they go back home to their respective lives, but expect going back to some of the routines I established after they first left will help…as well having forums and resources like this one are helpful to give a sense that you are not alone, and provide some great insights and suggestions.
@Flaxenweed72 -OMG! I love doting on my adult sons too and am dreading their departure!! They have been so much fun!! I love hearing all their adventures, what they will divulge anyways, and just seeing them grow. I have started to make plans the week they leave so I don't cry myself a river too badly. Haha! Thank you for your tips!!!!! Community service is something I need to look into!!
I'm finding myself somewhat in the same position but consider myself a post-empty nester. My kids (ages 29, 26, 23) have jobs and live in states that are a long drive or flight. My husband and I are nearing retirement and want to locate in a warmer, more diverse community. Part of the challenge is many of our friends have moved away and after having a career, I feel like I'm starting over again--don't really have close friends here, extended is far away too. Any tips or ideas on how to "start over" (especially if we move elsewhere) are much appreciated!
First I think what you are feeling is so normal, but you are actually acknowledging it and doing something about it!! I have two out of the house and one to go, but with all this new "free time" I didn't know what to do. An exercise class or dance class is a great way to meet women, craft/hobby club, I started taking a few classes at the local community college for "Life Long Learners" and have met some awesome people. My last bit of advice, when you make those friendships - make time for them. We do a girls brunch every month to stay connected and we always invite new friends to join. Enjoy this new found free time!!