Welcome to THE EMPTY NESTER, 1st edition

The number next to the title The Empty Nester is the number of days I have officially been an empty nester. I give you this information for no reason other than to offer you comfort. The number of days is different for everyone, meaning it has taken me this long to be okay with it.  I can still have a life without my children occupying every waking moment of it. It actually is very freeing and exciting! Time is no longer an issue. I’m no longer watching the clock to see if it is time to pick someone up,drop someone off, start dinner, or attend a school event.

It has occurred to me that there are many women in my shoes of being an empty nester. I want to share my experiences and offer you the support and encouragement you need to live gracefully through this time. Whether you have just sent your first or last child off to college, the military, or they have moved away to take a job. your role as a mom has forever changed. Each of you will deal with this differently, some good some bad. Some of you will embrace the opportunity to have some time to call your own. You will fill your days with activities that you have longed to do, take up hobbies that interest you, travel with your friends and significant others. Maybe even start a new career. Others will mourn their children not being home and isolate themselves. Overwhelmed by silence in the home and holes in your calendar, the feeling of loneliness and questions of self worth creep in. These both are normal responses. I have experienced both scenarios. After my oldest left it was loneliness and sadness I felt. In fact, I had days when it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and I could not stop crying. I had to realize that he needs to spread his wings and fly. Trust me when I tell you that it is not easy to do! To this day, and he is now 24, I still cry when I say goodbye. No matter their age you will always be Mom. You will have to adjust to your new role in their life and give them space to make their own decisions and mistakes. It is now the time to sit back and take pride in the work you have done for the past 18+ years and pray to God that they remember all that you have taught them. This brings to mind the story of loving something enough to let it go so that someday it will return on it’s own to you. As this new phase of life begins for both of you I encourage you to see it as a blessing and a job well done! It’s time for you to have courage to take your life by the tail and learn to live again! Here are a few suggestions for you. Join a book club or start one if you enjoy reading, dust off that sewing machine and create beautiful things, volunteer in your community, travel, take up a new hobby or sport. Surround yourself with friends that understand your feelings and form an empty nesters group. Think about getting together once a month for dinner to catch up. Most importantly cut yourself some slack!, it takes time to get to the place where you are ok with your new role. Believe me when I say that it passes, you will survive it and even enjoy all the new found freedom you now have. There are days now when I wonder how I did it all. I am so busy with my new schedule playing tennis, attending Bible study, Blogging and hosting events that I don’t have time to be sad or lonely anymore. I have surrounded myself with some great people that encourage and support me and that is a good feeling! That my friends is living! I hope you are encouraged to start your journey.