By Anonymous Mom |
I am an empty nester who loves being a mom. I don’t love my career
anymore and now I have to figure out “What DO I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW
Coping with the quiet house and no fussing over meals, and soccer
games is a big hole for me. That is just part of the darkness. I was
on committees at her school and did morning car pool when she was
We watched old videos of her with Kleenex and popcorn tossed on the
floor, right before her send off to college. HOW could this go so
fast? I never thought about empty nest until she was a junior in high
school. WOULDN’T have done me any good to plan ahead. I still can’t
plan to not cry. She is my only baby and there will be no more little
girl twirling, singing old McDonald had a farm, calling my name
everyday, bounding in for a quick bite and then off to practice, no
friends dropping in for pizza or study groups, no Halloween costume
changes, no school events to see those friends I too looked forward to
hanging around with and talking about our kids….the automatic,
belonging club of MOMHOOD.
To be honest, although, I could fake it and put on the brave , oh it
is no big deal hat, I cried and cried when I drove away from her
standing on the brick steps of her freshman dorm.. She didn’t see me
sobbing . I didn’t see her blow me a kiss.
For weeks I had no energy or motivation to talk much or go out. I
did work and do my have to list, but then I hid in bed, cried and
wondered, if I should call her or wait for her to call me. I don’t want
to interfere in her new life, but gee, why doesn’t she call or email
I let myself just be a slug . My exercise routine flattened .
My husband asked how I was doing and I told him I actually felt
depressed. I was so surprised at feeling lonely for her and not having
much energy or smiles. The build up of graduation, party at home, hugs
and tears, and then the excitement and anxiety of moving her into the
brick stone freshman dorm, ended and we were silenced from the emotions
and the drain of the intensity and joy.
The let down was like a gutter ball down the narrow bowling alley. “THUD”
After about two months, I began walking, just to get out of myself.
My daughter and I talked about once a week and emailed.
My husband and I saw more movies than ever in our life. We tried playing monopoly after work and then switched to scrabble.
We meandered with no “zippety-do dah” and didn’t have all the
details of life to fill up time or fill up our conversations. So we
got bored and after all this nothingness, we began to ask ourselves…NOW
What about us…what do we want to do with our life? That was a big question that we answered with one plan..
We decided to take turns planning something to do for the weekend.
Both of us liked taking a day drive to the beach, going for a walk,
reading there and having lunch away from the silent house. That helped
us slow down, and figure out our wish list from the inside out.
Don’t know about my job, yet, making a list of possibilities.
Looking forward to parent’s weekend and of course, not looking
forward to the pain of goodbye, again. It will be fun to see her room
and meet her new friends.
P.S. My friends thought it would be fun to remodel. absolutely
not…too much work for us. My brother-in law said take a trip to Greece
, too far away for now.
I think I will wait and see who I am and who my daughter is in her
new independent first year away. I feel this pressure that I am suppose
to dance into a new exciting romantic life with my husband and get
going with my new free time. That is not me TODAY!
GOOD LUCK to all us empty nesters.
ANONYMOUS MOM, but available to talk to others who are in the dark of this roller coaster!
Natalie Caine, M.A. firstname.lastname@example.org