Empty Nesting at it's Finest

Jojo3
Superuser

 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!!!!

18 REPLIES 18

Vanessa
Community Manager
Community Manager

Woo congratulations @Jojo3! That is so cool you're starting a new sport and meeting friends, what sport did you get into?? 

 

I believe @kj36928 is a recent empty nester as well. KJ, tagging you in case you have any tips or can share your experience

Thank you!!  Golf......it's so hard!!!!!!

Vanessa
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Jojo3 omg if you have any pointers please share!! I want to try TopGolf but also don't want to completley embarrass myself haha

nice

Jojo3
Superuser

You will absolutely Rock at TopGolf!!  It's so fun and dare i say...easy!?!  Keep me posted after you go!!!!

 

lenoras35
Member
Transitioning is really difficult. I read there are three things to keep in mind:Develop a new skill, (there’s your golf), socialize one hour day ( this can be challenging,but you met new people in the neighborhood), learn something new ( this could be a class or could be done by reading. Good luck. You are on your way!

Thank you!!!  I am trying!!!!!

AnnMarieW29
Member
hello @Jojo3 I too am a brand new empty nester, although my youngest will be home for school breaks. My kids are 26, 24 and 18. I also had my brother who has special needs living here so it was like having a 4th kiddo. His needs have increased past my husband's and my ability to care for him. He moved into assisted living last week. I'm struggling with the who am I when I'm not taking care of someone too. I've been a mom for 1/2 my life. I gained quite a bit of weight during the pandemic and decided this morning, it is going! My daughter is getting married in 17 months so I woke this morning and decided today was the day to shred for the wedding but most importantly get back to being healthy. I did a peloton ride and it felt so good!

I am so proud of you!!  I think that is the hard part, thinking I am not needed, but I need me!!  And you need you!! Plus, you are gaining a son-in-law to  take care of!!!  How lucky!!!!  

Gailya
Member

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. 

Thank you for your kind words!!  I am looking forward to this new chapter!!!

Flaxenweed72
Member

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!!

likodog18
Member

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!

@likodog18 Hello! I too am a post-empty nester. I relocated to a new city 7 years ago and these are some things that helped me get connected: -volunteer time & attend events for nonprofits that support a cause I care about -walk in the neighborhood to meet neighbors that like to be active -join MeetUp groups to meet people with common interests -get a part-time part-time job (6 hours a week) to meet people and feel like part of the community -explore the city - hit flea markets, makers markets, farmers markets, museums, theaters, sporting events, festivals, hiking trails, state parks, locally owned shops and restaurants (for the first year I committed to trying 1 new locally owned restaurant a week!) -maintain connections with faraway friends and family -learn something new -view it all as an adventure and focus on self-care and well-being I hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck and have fun!

Karen_C
Guide
Guide

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!!  

Those are great ideas! I'll keep them in mind as I navigate having some retired friend, some from work, and family that are far away. It's so easy to get caught up in job and volunteer obligations that leave little time for personal connections. Thanks!

@Karen_C -Thank you!!  I am trying to relearn my independence!!  My boys are home now for the break and I am in Heaven!!  I love doting on them and immersing myself but I am trying to brace myself for their inevitable leave.