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Kitchen Full Of Kids, Not in the Empty Nest

August 10, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | 9 Comments

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   Back to school is already happening.  Parents are checking the lists and encouraging their children’s hearts, saying, “all will be fine, it is going to be a fantastic year.”

   Then there is you, Mom and Dad.  I remember when I dropped my daughter off at college, three thousand miles from home.  I knew I would be fine and I knew I would be sad.  I did not    know what I wanted to do with the free time nor with the longing for the phone to ring with her on the other end.  Sure texts were a connection, but there is nothing like the sound of your child.

I remember in our support group, how we shared, that if our kids were happy, it made our day.  We wished that weren’t true, but in the beginning, their feelings affected our day.  Fortunately, that shifted.

Kitchen full of kids.  Don’t you just love those memories of them and their friends popping in and that somehow you had something for them to eat.  Well, that will happen, again.  It is not over.

Le maglie calcio ufficiali , le tute rappresentanza, felpe e pantaloni allenamento, pantaloncini e calzettoni ufficiali

What is shifting is your role as parents.  You are no longer the leader with your kids.  THEY LEAD NOW.  When you can accept that, even if you don’t like it, you won’t suffer resentment as much.  Your expectations will be more in reality.  They just aren’t going to call you every Sunday at 8.  You wouldn’t want to have to follow a schedule either.  Life happens for them. You want them to manage their life, more and more.  It isn’t easy letting go.  It will happen, though.  New passions grab your attention and then arrives new meaning beyond parenting.

This is your time to focus on you.  You don’t have to know for sure what’s next.  You will simply feel better by asking yourself, throughout your week:

• What matters to me now?
• How do I want to spend my time?
• Who do I want to spend more time with and less time with?
• What did I use to like to do when I wasn’t Mom or Dad?
• Do I just need time to do nothing?
• How am I feeling and what have I been thinking about? What do I need and how can I receive that?
• Getting to know more about you, is a good thing, when it comes to transitions.  You are not being selfish by focusing on you now.

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I will share one short story of something fun I did in my more free time.
I love cooking. It is creative for me and relaxing.  I like being with kids.  So, I invited a group of kids to come over on Wednesday and one boy, who thought he wanted to be a chef, taught these kids  how to cook.

 

You will find your rhythm for what’s next for you.  You will miss your kids being around and you will also love the new openness of your life.  It isn’t a step by step manual to live in this stage of life. It is a meandering.

 

 

 

Take good care,
Natalie
Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

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9 Responses

  1. Carol says:

    I will be a full fledge empty nester next year, my last Son will be off. I am really dreading this last year, I know that’s not right but I am. I am not looking forward to all the last times and endings, I need to savor and enjoy but I don’t think I can do that for all the tears already in my eyes. I look at other people that have never had any children and think they make it fine and find something to do with there time, I will to, but I am just trying to convince myself. I know you have said this is a meandering time in life but I am a planner and love being on a schedule and that will all end when there is no reason to get up anymore. I have only been a Mother so when that ends I don’t know what I will do.
    Carol

    • Michelle says:

      I hope you are planning ahead and enjoying the wonderful times with your kids. My two sons moved to SF this year after both graduating from college, so my husband and I are TRUE empty nesters now. It’s painful…but having a job helps. Maybe you should start thinking about that now to help ease the transition you know is coming?

    • Mary says:

      You sound so much like myself – not adjusting to empty nest at all! Been trying to find another meaningful purpose, but not finding it..deciding on volunteering and see how that goes 🙁

  2. Sara Mc says:

    Hi, I feel your pain. I often wish I could talk to someone who feels what I am feeling. I put so much into being “Mom” that I am now finding it really REALLY hard to figure out who to be now, and how to be happy. Sara

  3. Mary says:

    Carol, Michelle, Sara! I am so glad to hear that you feel that pain that I do too! All I want to be is a MOM and cant get out of that! My boys are both in University and were home for the summer…had a wonderful time and now they are gone again – sooo lost!!!

  4. Mrs says:

    Know it’s not empty nest yet but my daughter just started K. She is gone 7 hrs a day and was so used to her being home. The first day of K, I called my husband as soon as I dropped her off and started crying. The school wouldn’t even let us walk our kids to the classroom! Why are schools so strict? They even have a tape line parents can’t cross. You spent a few years getting your kids to attach and become part of your family and the schools want to cut the ties.
    Don’t like it!

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Natalie Caine, M.A. natalie@lifeintransition.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310