best transition ever: grandparenting
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Empty Nest

August 29, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

I am hoping my experience will help others during the major life transition of being an empty nester or becoming one. Aren’t you surprised you are here, an empty nester, verses starting the school year shopping with your kids for a fresh, new beginning outfit, backpack, parent meeting?  You are not alone. 

Please email , for support and to receive suggestions, and events for empty nesters. 

During a private session this morning on the phone, a single mom shared with me, “I am ambitious and today I just want to be under the covers.  Who am I?” I have been hearing a similar question from mothers and fathers for a decade plus wondering, now what and what is my role with my kids?

It takes time to explore what would be fun for you and to focus on yourself. Think about compliments people have given you over your years.  Give yourself sweet permission to not know today and to self-care, which you hear a lot. Self-care includes checking in with yourself about what you are feeling and what you need today? 

Reach out. Also, congratulations on this milestone and being the parent, you have been for your children. Celebrate you.

Take good care,


Empty Nesters Are Calling

August 27, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

“My house and life now feels so small. My kids are all in college or working.”  Yes, we wanted this for them. We are proud.

What do we do with this empty feeling and the lack of giving to them?”

It takes time to find your new rhythm. One day you think you have it and the next you are at the market and see what you use to buy for them, and sadness stops you. This is natural.  I remember passing Halloween decorations in front of a house and that made me sad.  We liked the role we had and mostly we like loving our kids and having them around.  Although, I need to add, I have had parents call saying,” thank goodness they are out of the house. They just were so crabby and self-centered.” 

One day you feel relief and another you don’t feel like doing anything because you just miss them so much.

Begin something. Anything. Just to play around with what might be fun for you. You get to change your mind.

Now you are invited into this major transition asking you to focus on your needs and wants.  I know. It is new behavior for you.  Most parents share with me that after months of uncertainty and some sadness they got into the best wellness routines that they ever had. Other parents began reading at the library to kids and some did short road trips. The list is long in regard to what parents discovered that was fulfilling for them.

Remind yourself to pause before you text or call them. Check in with yourself asking,” what do I really need for me today?  Is it talking to them or letting them be?  Would it be helpful for me to go to an outside coffee shop and be around people?  Do I need to simply rest today?”

I imagine you are surprised at the ladder of feelings that visit you now that your house feels smaller and quieter. Life, in time does show you choices that will give you new meaning beyond full time parenting.

Take good care and visit my website, email me for events and some choices for you,


Embracing the Wonder of Grandparenting and the Complications That Come With It

August 4, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | 2 Comments

Every family is unique and has their own dynamics. We will discuss expectations for how to best serve your family.

How do you approach a conversation with your adult children that you want to have with them and they want to have with you?

  • Are they the boss and you follow or is there a way for a more complex conversation?
  • What are the things you want to fight for and what might be a losing battle that you have to surrender to? Still, you want a way to respectfully, honestly, communicate with them even if you don’t get what you want.
  • Managing expectations includes coming to terms with new ones that come up and noticing that old ones get better. What works one day may not work the next.
  • What is your growing edge in life? How do you fire up the energy to do something you never have? What will add heart and meaning for you at this stage of your life?

This class will include presentations, role-modeling effective communication, group discussion, writing prompts, Natalie’s photos for your personal intuition and Q and A.

You will leave with a better understanding of your role in your family, communication strategies, and possibilities for your personal fulfillment. 

Before class, make a list of where you walk on eggshells, what communication hasn’t worked and has worked, what leaves you feeling unsettled as a grandparent? You do not have to share this. It is a preparation for the class but not necessary.

Families go through cycles. In the past, they were dependent now they are more self-sufficient. 

Left My Job

February 18, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Oh, the road to change with both intrigue and dark turns. Transitions.  As you have read in the news and maybe know for yourself, people are choosing different lifestyles because of what they lived during lockdown and loss.

I changed my career over a decade ago and added to it. I have never looked back.  It is a heart pound when you leave a career and don’t know what is next. You leave a routine, peers, community, visibility, and contributing. 

I have had clients call saying they took a new job and really don’t like it. Others saying, I am so, so done. Now what? 

Take a rest, a pause, I know it is uncomfortable to sit without answers.  They do arrive.  Think about compliments you have received and what you are good at as well as how you want to spend time during your week?  Review your values and what matters to you at this stage of life. 

This is a new opportunity that holds both excitement and uncertainty, but haven’t we already made it through years of uncertainty? Go for it. Be prepared financially for the shift and for the joy of doing something you never thought you would be able to do or for the fun surprise of what went dormant in you that now gets surface. 

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #lifetransitions #babies #familydynamics

Hello Grandparents

February 18, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

I was babysitting the twins. One is teething and the other is proudly climbing into everything, even the dishwasher, where she stood and said “Bravo”.  Now it is locked. 

The little one couldn’t nap, and the other was sound asleep. I took her outside. It has been a long time since she wanted to cuddle because she is on the move. Rocking and singing to her, sweetly she fell asleep in my arms. 

Oh, what a precious moment, just wish I had thought to grab a blanket. She was fine. I was cold.  When they are upset, just soothing them is all that matters. 

She had a great long nap, and I just guessed the other was still sleeping in her crib.  I had no monitor.  Turns out, she was still sound asleep. Don’t you love watching them sleep?  Why is that? 

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #lifetransitions #babies #familydynamics

Empty Nest Expectations

February 18, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Transitions keep happening from easy communication with your adult kids to challenging talks. Maybe you were with them for an on campus visit or they came home, and you thought it would be fun. 

Well, I often get calls that yes moments were fun, but you wanted more time together and didn’t get it. It happens.  They are used to being on their own. You are used to being mom and dad who can’t wait to help and have time together.

A check in with yourself before a visit asking yourself,” What are my expectations for this time together?  Are they real or fantasy?  How will I handle the disappointment and how might I prevent that?

How well are you doing these days with letting it go in the moment and why well and why challenging?  Keep getting to know yourself. It is fun. I often make a backup plan in case my wants aren’t coming my way.

Take good care,


#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #lifetransitions #babies #familydynamics

Transitioning into Grandparent / Giving Gifts

February 1, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | 3 Comments

I don’t know about you, but when I buy something for the grand babies, I have a hard time waiting to give it to them.  I have always been this way, so it isn’t because of being a grandmother.

I tried to wait and give the gift below for Valentine’s Day, but, well you know what happened. I gave it to them last weekend.  So fun. I am glad I didn’t wait.

I bought a nontoxic puzzle, took out the pieces, printed photos I had of them and used masking tape to tape the photos down.  This way, I can change the photos easily. I put the puzzle piece back on top of the photo. Easy.   The one-year-olds are liking looking at real faces.

You will see below what I mean.  Do you have trouble waiting to give your grandchildren presents because you simply can’t wait for the fun of it?  I will come up with something else for Valentine’s Day, because love love love them and how they allow me to love love love them.

PS. I asked the parents if they think I am over giving things, like clothes, toys, books, bubbles, etc., to their children and they said, “No way.”  I am glad I asked. 

Some grandparents have shared with me that they feel guilty bringing stuff all the time and that they should just BE with the kids and not bring things. Have you felt that way?



#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #lifetransitions #babies #familydynamics

Transitioning into Grandparent

January 25, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | 2 Comments

A first-time grandmother shared with me “My life has been good enough. I work, have friends, adventures. Loving my grandchild is wonderful.  Watching my child be a parent is icing on the cake of life.” BUT…

She shared that she is struggling with not being included for the fun but is for sure expected to help out.  Helping out is expected from adult children.  AND…

If the family is going on an outing, she said they don’t invite me and she feels that is a fun time  The missing out stems in part from the grandparent not knowing how to communicate,” I do the dishes, bottles, nap time, toy clean up, cuddle, songs, stay late as needed, but I want to go out with my adult child, partner, and grandchild, like a stroll in the park. Not every time.  Sometimes I just feel like I do the “Jobs” rather than the family fun outing where I am not on duty, the parents are. I want them to think about how it is for me too and not just for them. Ok that is unrealistic, or is it?”

In my prior career as a Speech Therapist, I was curious about what was and wasn’t being communicated.  I re-invented and launched Empty Nest Support Services when there was no support and then Life in Transition when a woman sparked the idea by sharing with me, “I was in your Empty Nest workshop, and you need to open these teachings for all life transitions.”

How do we assess how we are communicating with ourselves and others? What is honest communication? How do we develop, step by step, those skills? What is my role today?  How do I figure out what matters?

We know we change at different stages of our lives and at all of them, we want to be generous, and continue to live a meaningful life. I remember a young woman was sitting in the front row of my interactive presentation when she raised her hand and shared,” my family would all be living together now if someone had taught us how to say what we really wanted to say and not think it wouldn’t matter.”

Everyone has a different family dynamic and need. They communicate like mentioned before to someone they feel safe enough to say it to but are wanting to have that honest communication with their adult children who are now the parents. Well not the in law. Maybe just their adult child first. They don’t want resentment to build up. They don’t want to feel used.

Have any of you had those moments where you want to say something but not sure how or when for fear your adult children won’t let you see the grand kids?  That you are being needy and unrealistic?

To some grandparents that might sound absurd, but to others it is real for them. They know who holds the cards. They know to check it out with the parent before doing something, like foods to give the grandchild. They know don’t give advice without being asked. But they aren’t sure what is ok to talk about and what is best left alone?

The new role of grandparent brings so much vitality, awe, gratefulness, and it also brings up how do I say what I am feeling or thinking if I am supposed to be in the back seat? I know I’m not the parent. I also have feelings and thoughts because I am still a person who wants to be respected and heard.

How has this confusion, doubt, about what to say and not say showed up for you as a grandparent?

I want us to have a safe support here to share our joys and challenges, as well as suggestions of gifts to give, things your grandchildren are enjoying playing with and of course the cuteness they say or do. We are building a community. So, stay tune for how we will be “SEEING” each other. Let me know what you need.  I am here.

SIGN UP (click here) so you can receive the emails.  We need each other. It is really fun to be grandparenting together.

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #life transitions #babies #familydynamics

Natalie Joins The NBC Today Show Segment – The New Golden Age of Grandparenting

January 18, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | 2 Comments

Happy to Announce I have been included in a Segment on the Today Show (NBC) Wednesday, January 19 about Another Transition, THE NEW GOLDEN AGE OF GRANDPARENTING, 8:00am – 9:00am


Follow Up From Today Show about Grandparenting.  As you noticed, my piece, as well as others who contributed for this segment, were edited out. It happens in TV. Do see the segment. Maria Shriver is as always, real and wise. Stay tuned for more.


Funny Names We Call Them

January 15, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Out of nowhere, I said to my family that was over for dinner, “Sh moon FAMILY, PARTY OF FIVE, your dinner table is ready.”  Sh moon has become an ongoing funny name, whether I text my daughter, morning shmoon, or call out to her, shmoon…

“I told them I can’t wait to make a real dinner reservation at a restaurant and be standing there with my family, hearing the hostess say,” Shmoon , party of five, your table is ready. 

What funny names do you have in your family?

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #lifetransitions #babies #familydynamics

Going to Playgroup

January 15, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

When I was a younger mama, I started a play group in my home for our little ones. We then began a circle of mommy friendships and our little ones began theirs. 

Today my daughter invites me to go to the park for music or sensory class.  They are Covid babies and rarely see little ones like themselves. This special playgroup shows on all the mommy and babies faces, sometimes staring at other faces between singing, instruments, sand, and paint. 

The hunger for being with others gets filled for that short outside time together, especially for the mamas.

Now my daughter is starting a mommy group. They are in a cycle of only meeting outside due to Covid or meeting on Zoom. 

Do you grandparents go to any classes with your grand babies? What classes were fun for you to take your kids too when they were little ones?

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #life transitions #babies #familydynamics

Story Time Ritual

January 15, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Every year from birth until now, I would read a story to my daughter on Christmas Eve. We celebrate Christmas and Hanukah.  Going to the bookstore to choose a book, signing it, and then holding her as I read and later watching her climb into a big chair for story time until now adult hood I still buy, sign, and read a new book to her either in bed or on a sofa. 

She kept all those books. Now she has them for her twins. 

This year I went to my favorite local bookstore, bought a book, signed it and I got to sit Sloane and Isla on my lap for their first Christmas Eve story time.  The books are usually funny or have a conflict solved like about friendship or are the all-time favorites like Good Night Moon. 

I read to them all the time, but Christmas Eve is a special reading ritual.  What rituals do you do with your grand kids?

Take care, Natalie

#grandparenting #parenting #adultchildren #life transitions #babies #familydynamics

Natalie Caine, M.A.