I cannot even begin to calculate the number of times I have been asked “So how is life with an empty nest?” Well, let me tell you…
Throughout my 18 years of parenting…I have always attempted to maintain a “half full” view. Soaking up my pregnancy days and baby stage…toddlin’ years…preschool adventures…and school days. Those led into the preteens and teens…and now we have reached the “empty nest.” I have encountered other mothers that reminisce and desire to return to baby days and cuddles and naptime…and others that desire to skip and hop right through the pre teen attitude. But I think I have truly attempted to embrace each stage for where I was standing. Granted with only one…I endured only one phase at a time, differing from my gal pals that may have kiddos in various stages…all at the same time. I also have girlfriends that are childless by choice or circumstance. So here is my advice…
EMBRACE the moment you are in! Savor your memories and anticipate what is yet to come…but do not reside there…instead live in the moment. You can not go back…and you cannot fast forward through the tough stuff. So live and love…right where you are. Look at sleepless nights with little ones as a phase and snuggle and cuddle as much as you can while they are still itty bitty and holdable! Carpool and cheer and eat in the car during those middle stages…because soon enough they will be driving and independent! Stay up late when they sneak in near curfew to hear stories that are fresh. And when you are empty nesting or living in the land of the childless…
- eat cereal for dinner…or sushi…or chips and dip
- meet your friends for happy hour
- sleep in on saturdays
- skip parent teacher conferences and back to school nights…oh yea…you do not even have to skip them since they do not exist!
- watch what you want on tv and control the remote
- don’t do laundry for a couple of weeks
- drive with your windows down and the radio blaring your choice of music
- sleep or not sleep with your door unlocked (if you know what i mean)
- be spontaneous to join friends for a game or concert or late night pizza
- basically…do what you want…when you want
I could live in the land of sadness and loneliness for my life that was…missing my girl and the life she brought to our home. Or I could embrace the moment and live and love right where I am. That is what I choose. And I hope that is what you choose too!