I started off writing an article about how the transition from being a homeschooling mom of a large family can make you feel….lost, retired, unneeded, lonely, put out to pasture. It can be a real identity crisis for women AND men to have their families and family responsibilities suddenly end. Of course it’s a gradual process, but when they actually move out for good, it feels sudden.
But I think we know all the negative things that happen and that are piled on top of the great ‘fun’ of menopause for women and losing testosterone for men. Let’s face it, none of us likes getting old.
So I decided to write about some of the good points of this season of life instead. And yes, I may have mentioned some of this in another article, so forgive me. On top of losing my kids, I’m losing my memory, my eyesight, and my ability to focus for five minutes!
Some of this will apply more to large families or those who had children late in life, because our nest gets empty much later than someone who had one or two children while in their 20s. An empty nest at 44 is much different than an empty nest at 58.
We got married relatively late (for boomXers, me born 1964, him 1963) and I gave birth to our first son at 27. My youngest was born when I was 40. He is about to turn 18 and still living at home, along with my 22 year old disabled daughter, so technically I do not have a real empty nest. But trust me, our nest is empty compared to what it used to be. I am no longer cooking 3 meals a day or doing laundry every day or even talking to them every day. So I am finding new things to occupy my mind and days.
Good things about having an empty nest
- You can now do all the things you never had time to do. This is a inside joke. Every empty-nester knows that this doesn’t actually happen. Somehow you become even busier after they move out!
- You can spend more time getting to know your spouse as a person, not just the mother or father of your brood. And this is also when you will learn patience and how to keep your mouth shut. If you don’t, you might end up single.
- You can work on your health, and you will probably have to because your body is going to start falling apart. More fun times, lol.
- You can travel the country in an RV. That is, if you have any money left after helping them move out and supporting them for all these years and paying the higher taxes now that you’ve lost your tax deductions and paying for higher life insurance because you are old and risky!
- You can have sex all over the house instead of just late at night after the kids finally go to sleep. Of course you might need some medical help making this one happen. But seriously, don’t give up on this gift of marriage.
- You can buy yourself all the things you never bought because you were spending all your money on your kids, like haircuts, underwear, medical care. Just make sure you aren’t dressing like you’re still 20. Your body and face give away the secret!
- Now that you have an empty nest, you can remodel, redecorate, or sell the house and move to a new place! Although, with today’s housing prices, you might want to hold on to that paid-off house.
- You now have time to volunteer, learn new skills, read books, visit with friends, cook gourmet meals, and take long walks. But you might need a nap and a long recovery period between each activity.
- You can spend time really studying and getting to know the God that has been helping you raise those kids. This is important because you are going to be praying to Him a lot more often now that the kids are no longer under your surveillance.
This is just a sample. I think you get the idea. Try to laugh and be grateful that you are still alive to pray for your kids, be there when they finally do come visit, and hopefully one day you will get to hug and babysit some grandkids. In the meantime, take care of yourself. At our age we don’t heal so fast when we get hurt. Watch your diet, exercise, and don’t take too many prescriptions. Always question doctors and do your own research. I think they are trying to kill us off because they don’t know how they are going to fund Social Security for all of us aging Boomers!
I agree about asking doctors questions and researching. However…I’ve watched my father in law dig himself into a hole by not looking at things the right way, not focusing on the right things, etc. don’t ever think you “know more” because you know how to Google
That’s true . I mean that you need to know the pros and cons and side effects and interactions of the drugs they prescribe.
But like, if your doctor says you need a test because they think you have something, do you research your symptoms, and not take the test because you decide you don’t have that?
Depends on the symptoms and the possible outcomes of getting the test or not getting it . If the only possible outcome is surgery , some people may opt to not get the test if they know they won’t do the surgery . It really depends on the condition .
I don’t know. I’d rather have as much info as possible so I can make a well formed decision
I had my two kids later — age 33 and 36. Maybe that’s why the empty nest hit me harder? Thanks for the positive ideas.
I think it’s hard because they are not living the way we thought they would live. This culture is nuts.
You’re correct! Hit the nail on the head.
I’m 69 and can relate to all you have said. I don’t know how I found time to work though. My two daughters keep me busy doing building work for them. (A retired builder comes in handy for them , and I’m glad to be of service).
That room looks nice and cosy.
I’m sure they appreciate your skills ! 😊
I’ve been replacing my kids with dogs. I have three dogs. Gosh, I don’t know if I can handle four when my youngest moves out in a couple of years. 😆
Lol , maybe get a fish tank instead ! I have dogs and cats, but I think I replaced my kids with chickens ! They actually give something back . 😁