The last 2 years, I’ve been more empty nester than not. My youngest was in a unique situation where he spent the last 2 years of high school at a boarding school. Even though he lived at school, he still came home once a month for a long weekend. I‘ve spent the last 2 years going back and forth between empty nester & full-time mom. However, I’m about to shift into empty nester yet again. This time it feels more permanent since he’s leaving for college. And, an even bigger shift is happening in my life.
The back and forth dance that I’ve been doing between empty nester and full-time mom has been a bit confusing at times. While he was at school, I would just start to get used to him not being home & it would be time for his long weekend. That would throw us into old roles and then the whole adjustment process would start again once he was back at school a few days later.
Now, his moving out again feels a bit familiar. This is something that I know. The difference is that this time I won’t see him again for months instead of weeks. It’s going to be weird to not have him in the house one weekend a month. However, it will make it easier to adjust since I’m not switching roles so frequently.
Now that he’s moving out again, I’m excited for him as he moves on to the next phase of his life. I’m also excited for me to dive more fully into this empty nest experience. I’ve been preparing for this moment for awhile. I knew that I needed to have a focus once my kids were out of the house. I knew that I wouldn’t be happy without a new purpose. Because of this, I’ve done a lot of self-inquiry around what I want to do with myself once the kids have moved out. I began the process before they had even left because I like to think ahead. In doing so, I’ve created a direction for myself so that I didn’t all of a sudden find myself lost without my kids at home.
However, I know this isn’t the case for many moms. I know that many of us focus so much time and attention on launching our children out into the world and forget to pay attention to ourselves. Many moms are left with the question of ‘Now what?’
It’s like you’ve done the job of being ‘mom’ so well, for so long, and all of a sudden your child moves out and you’re left with this hole in your life. What do you do with your time now?
You might have thought you would have a party once your child moves out, but once that party is over, you’re often left with that sense of sadness. You’re not needed in the same way anymore. That can leave you both relieved as well as lost at the same time. These feelings are normal.
I’ve spent the last few years learning how to lead women through transitional periods in their lives. I’ve used these skills on myself many times. What I’ve learned is that it is possible to reconnect with yourself again. You do have more wants and desires. You do have other things that you would like to explore. You do have more goals that you want to accomplish. You simply have to remember that part of yourself. It can take some time and exploration, but the payoff is huge.
It’s taken me years to get to where I am able to say what I want to do in my post child-rearing years. Now, I want to help other women transition to this phase of life. I would love to share with you some of the tips and suggestions on how you can decide what you want to do with yourself next. If you’re local to me, watch for the workshops that are coming up this fall. I’ll help you begin this process of rediscovering yourself again. The first one is coming up August 26th. Click here to register.
Your Next Chapter is waiting for you!