Our son left home several years now, so I know a lot about feathering an empty nest. Of course, my husband and I will always look back fondly on our son’s childhood and miss that experience, but as you grow into your new life as a couple once again, being empty nesters definitely has lots of positive sides. So if you are facing this big change in your life imminently, let me reassure you and offer you so suggestions to help you make the most of it.
It really isn’t as bad as you anticipate it will be. I had visions of being in floods of tears when we left, but actually it was okay. There is a real sense of accomplishment when you feel that it’s time to help your child go out into the world on their own. After all, you raised them. While their success is ultimately dependent on them, knowing you have brought them up so they are ready to strike out on their own is very satisfying.
It’s hard to stop ‘mothering’ your child(ren). I still find myself reminding my son to do things like take his vitamins as well as admonishing him to ‘take care’. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to stop doing that.
An empty nest is a great catalyst to reinvention. Often our children love us so much as we are, it can encourage us to stay in a rut. Starting anew can open us to new possibilities that we might not have had time to notice before.
Not only can you rediscover yourselves as a couple after the nest is empty, you may also notice that your experience raising your child(ren) has made the connection between you richer. You never stop growing as a person, and it really wasn’t just our son who grew up in the last twenty years. My husband and I grew up too. We are more well-rounded as individuals and that enhances us as a couple.
So if your children have recently ‘flown the nest’ or are about to in the near future, fear not. It is a big change, but it’s not a bad one. Hang on to your positive attitude and your sense of adventure and you’ll be amazed at just how full an empty nest can be.