You know that saying ‘Be careful what you wish for’? We joke as parents that we can’t wait until our kids are out of the house. With one child away at school. One very independent almost 18 year old. I am now trying to take back those words. Revelations from an Almost Empty Nester.
Most would describe an empty nest as that point where your children have grown and left home to not move back in. But you can become ‘almost empty nesters’ when your kids move away for school to come back part time. Or when you have kids/young adults still living at home while working or going to school. And really they are just using your water, electricity, food and bed.
This last September our household had a dramatic change. One leaving to go away for school and one basically on her own living schedule. To be honest, at first I really enjoyed not being busy and scheduled on weekdays and weekends. But now four months in, I am finding that an empty calendar and somewhat empty home is well..a little scary.
When I first became a mother almost 20 years ago, I didn’t know what I was getting into, really. I knew it was going to change my life. I guess I didn’t realize that my life would change so much that I would, one day have to re-define myself, again.
For almost 20 years ( as a stay at home/part time working mom), I organized schedules, make numerous breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I did unfathomable amounts of laundry. I was the nurse, psychologist and teacher. And I drove, A LOT!!
So here I sit four months in, revelations of an almost empty nester. After a little self pity, thinking my family doesn’t need me as much anymore, I realize that they still will need me, just not like before. In a more adult way.
Suck it up Buttercup!
So, I have resolved to try new things, get out there and figure out who I am going to be again. I am going to do more things with my husband and hope I still like him ;). Do more things with friends that I have not seen in a while. Read more books ( suggestions welcome in the comments below), take longer walks and sleep in on the weekends 🙂
Really the sky is the limit. For all you almost empty nesters and empty nesters, we would love to hear how you re-defined yourselves.
Don’t forget to check out this post on Unfinished Conversations – Getting to Know Each Other Again in the Next Stage of Life.