best transition ever: grandparenting
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Life in Transition

January 10, 2022 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

A woman called softly saying, “Covid, is winning. I can’t, even though January, begin anything. Kids left, husband left, best friend left, work is unfulfilling.  I can’t.”

She is not the only person calling with anxiety and grief.  When life doesn’t give you what you thought you would have by now, it hurts.  Really hurts.  Covid and winter are keeping some at home even more isolated.  The uncertainty has not become easier to live with. Why would it?

We chatted for an hour.  Two practices emerged for her to do at home.  Play music louder than you usually do and lay on the floor with a blanket, paper and pencil, and the softest Kleenex. Notice thoughts going by, body sensations, feelings. Notice. Breathing deeply five times. Rest. Repeat.  Write anything, an image you saw, thoughts, feelings, wants, anger, why me, etc. 

Then put on different music.  Repeat activities. This is just a short practice. You don’t have to know what it means, what it did for you, or what’s next. I will share that when I have done this with a group or one or by myself, just the pause from the day and doing this, is worth it.

I am so sorry for the pain. I am so sorry you don’t have someone right there with you, holding your hand, inviting you to bundle up and go for a walk with them.  Then the pause of warm tea back home. 

Be gentle with yourself. 


Transitioning into Grandparent

December 31, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Fortunately, I have a tribe of wise grandparents. From their stories and concerns, as well as mine, here are some suggestions:

1. If you are a worrier, you are a worrier. “Did they make it ok to their aunts house? Did her fever break? What works for me is to remind myself that if there was a problem, they would reach out to me. Therefore, let it go until they do text or call you.  This shows them you don’t need to be in the loop for everything.  At the same time, you can ask them to text when they arrive or when she is feeling better. It is not easy to hold opposites of don’t and yes, it is ok.  Can be crazy making. You know what works best for them and then for you. This is just an example of your role as grandparent, being in the back seat and not driving the car. Do you really need to know?  Did you count to five before texting them so you could check in if it matters right now? Have you had a short chat with them that might say, “You know I am a worrier.  I am working on not being one. So, if you can let me know, great. If not, I will handle it.”

2. Have fun. When I was a Speech Therapist in private practice, I would think of myself as Mary Poppins who brings unique and individual activities to their home or school during our sessions. I would fill each little bag the night before for David, Ben, Amanda, etc. This was fun for me. When I am going to see the twins, I do the same thing and then I bring them home. The parents also love that I do this for their little ones.

3. I take photos and then text them to the parents when I am with their kids.  I use to do this when I took care of their dog. So fun!

4. Slow down when you are with grand kids.  Give space for them to respond no matter what age they are. If you sing to them, pause and then sing another. Invite them to sing with you even if they are little. This builds back and forth communication.

5. Say sorry to the parents when you make a mistake. I was excited about their upcoming birthday and bought something I thought would be fun at the party.  Just as I showed it to them, I realized that was not a good idea.  “Sorry, I could have asked before buying this. You have an image of how you want the party to be. Your party. Your kids.”  The irony is later they did ask me to help, “You are so creative and good at parties, would you help us.?”  Yippee. Some families don’t mind if you don’t ask first, others do mind. You know what is true in your family.

Here are the services I offer:

  • 1:1 Sessions on or off the phone.
  • Three sessions with your family in your home with whomever you invite such as son, daughter, nanny, children. The art of communicating, role playing, and a safe place to ask questions. Zoom or in person.
  • Presentations to your community, work life, or organizations.
  • Workshops, retreats, support groups.
  • Blogs and articles.
  • Stay tune for an exciting announcement the end of January.
  • Subscribe for free. Let’s build a community for the fun of this stage of life and the challenges. 

Take good care, Natalie

To Subscribe, email Natalie at (please include name and email address)

#grandparenting  #parenting  #adult children  #life transitions  #babies

Transitioning into Grandparenting. Here We Go…

December 31, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

First, I want to acknowledge all the parents who have gone into the transition of grand parenting and are All In in raising the next generation. I pay tribute to You.

Throughout my life I have lived expected and unexpected changes (just ask me about that). Cycles end and begin over and over.  I have had a full life with amazing and challenging experiences.  I had no idea I would fall in love with grandparenting so deeply. I feel double blessed, as my daughter surprisingly has Twins.

I have learned through mistakes and fun that the role of grandparenting is not solid.  It is about negotiating and keeping the lines of communication open with your adult children.  What may have been so one week, may not be the next.  Moment to Moment is the easiest way to live this new role in order to Prevent your expectations and wants from not being met. This is not easy. I recognize with my clients as well as myself that this is the preventive medicine from deep disappointment. For example, plan ahead and make alternative plans as needed during holiday times if you don’t get what you wanted.

Like it or not, our children are not hanging onto every word we say. They lead.  We grandparents will enjoy this cycle of life if we own that and if we remind ourselves that grand parenting is not our full Identity.  As much as it is a loss to not be as needed, the gift is we get to be more independent and pursue passions, friendships, and creativity we didn’t have time for in the past.

We are building a community of support and resources. “Did you feel left out when you weren’t invited…  What gifts did your grand babies enjoy at age one? Were you told “no driving my kids until age three?  No sleep overs for a year? No saying that to them.” 

Your children decide what is and isn’t ok for their family.    At the same time, our thoughts and feelings matter. It isn’t easy to hold opposites; they lead and we also matter.   Each of our families are unique. The fun is we all sit in the circle of a changing role in our life.  I want to be a support to you in this meaningful, ongoing stage of life. Some of us will be lucky to have time with our great grandchildren!

Here are the services I offer:

  • 1:1 Sessions on or off the phone.
  • Three sessions with your family in your home with whomever you invite such as son, daughter, nanny, children. The art of communicating, role playing, and a safe place to ask questions. Zoom or in person.
  • Presentations to your community, work life, or organizations.
  • Workshops, retreats, support groups.
  • Blogs and articles.
  • Stay tune for an exciting announcement the end of January.
  • Subscribe for free. Let’s build a community for the fun of this stage of life and the challenges. 

Take good care, Natalie

To Subscribe, email Natalie at (please include name and email address)

#grandparenting  #parenting  #adult children  #life transitions  #babies

Life In Transition, Now What?

October 9, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Natalie will be facilitating a Zoom support group for those who are no longer where they use to be and unsure of where they are heading.

What you hoped for maybe didn’t show up.   Life changes over and over we know that but what we have not known is NOW WHAT? How do I figure out what will add meaning which matters more than simply filling my days? How do I practice tools that will lift me when I collapse? How do I live in the unknown? 

Natalie is excited to be with you and share inspirations and wisdom from her own unexpected experiences and from her work with clients globally who sit and wonder, NOW WHAT?

Date: November 2. Tuesday MORNING 7:00-8:30 AM PACIFIC TIME

This will be a small group in order for everyone to be supported.

Email for further information and questions.

Life will continue to change. Each of us wants access to our inner world that is a safe, unique, and a caring place. Through a series of questions and easy experiences, that inner world reveals.

Take good care,


Empty Nest Support Group

October 9, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | 19 Comments

I am excited to offer an EMPTY NEST SUPPORT GROUP via ZOOM on October 19th.

The space is limited because I want everyone to have a chance to participate and receive support. I know this is a major life change because I have also lived it.

Tuesday October 19, 7:00am – 8:30am PACIFIC TIME.

Please email for further information as space is filling fast.  I look forward to being together with everyone and offering suggestions for you.

Join Natalie with Omega Teachers Studio on January 19, 2022

October 7, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Learn how to deal with transitions and build new perspectives on the path to change with motivational speaker and storyteller, Natalie Caine.

You are at a crossroad. Change is on the horizon, just within your reach. You aren’t where you used to be and not yet where you will be.

Transitions are places of pausing and feeling, floating above your life for a new view. You need time to think and dig into the earth to cultivate parts of you that had to go dormant and now want to blossom.

You find your rhythm over and over, and from that grounding, you step. 

In this 2-hour Omega Teachers Studio, motivational speaker and storyteller Natalie Caine shares wisdom, tips, and support as you deal with both easeful and challenging transitions.

How will you “put your toe in the water” toward a new beginning? Your time with Natalie will help you refocus on yourself and stay open to possibilities. As you take that first step, you:

  • Learn to ask yourself questions to build a meaningful life
  • Find what you need to let go of and what to reach for
  • Discover who you really are who you aren’t and, from there, find the resources within to pull yourself up

Join Natalie on this journey to empowerment as she shows you how to create an inner place of well-being and focus. 

Join live on Wednesday, January 19, 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST (4:00-6:00 p.m. PST). For registered participants, this class will be available on demand after the live session is complete.

How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome During the Pandemic

August 9, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments


Natalie was a featured interview at Lifehacker for their “How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome During the Pandemic” article.

The biggest challenge that comes with kids moving out is the process of re-establishing their identity outside of their role as a parent. “Parents are struggling with, ‘What is my role?’” Caine said.

Going from the busy schedule of full-time parenting to a quieter, more empty home can be a sharp shock—even if it’s the second time they’ve moved out. For a lot of parents, this is a time to rely on their support network, which includes friends and family, and it’s a good time to re-evaluate some of their own goals and dreams.

“Let yourself enjoy dreaming about something you’ve never done before that you might want to do,” Caine said. “You need to start having your dream list and your reality list.”

Read the entire article


July 22, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

I am excited to invite you to a support group via ZOOM.  I continue to dream we can meet in person and at the same time, based on your requests, I am not waiting.  Therefore, ZOOM gathering for now.  

As you know, I have been through a long list of painful, unexpected changes from an early age, as well as, choosing to re-invent my career over a decade ago. How do we access parts of us that could be an ally for change? How do we build a meaningful life and not just fill it up to stay busy?

Three of the most common questions I am asked, whether one on one in sessions or during presentations and retreats, are:


  • How do I even know what is fun for me?  I haven’t focused on myself in that way for a long time and I don’t really have close friends anymore.
  • How do I begin spiritual practices because I don’t have any that i do?  
  • How do I figure out what I want to do?  

I have been facilitating support groups since 1982 and it is fun and powerful to be with others who have similar doubts, questions, hopes unfulfilled and possibilities.  

Email me for information, SPACE is limited because I want each to have time to participate. I look forward to hearing from you.

I also am one who likes to prepare and at the same time is hopeful (Hope is my middle name). If life asks us to be still again and not venture out as we have been able to do for a short time, that transition as you know is very challenging.

I will be sharing what is helpful, what is not, and what you can develop for a good life in stillness.  

Take good care,



July 22, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | 9 Comments

I am excited to offer this support and am still dreaming of meeting in person as we did before.  Space is limited because I want each to have time to participate. Tools, tips, support, new friendships. Email for further information:

We have all been through a very unexpected journey and it’s time to prepare again for resources needed both internally and externally. I heard you when you asked to meet on Zoom to be with others who are in the empty nest or about to launch. I look forward to answering your questions.

Take good care,


Pandemic Empty-Nest Syndrome at AARP

May 28, 2021 | by lheidel | No Comments

Natalie was a featured expert in the AARP article “Do You Have Pandemic Empty-Nest Syndrome?

Here’s an excerpt:

Natalie Caine, founder of Empty Nest Support Services, says she’s seen a recent “wave” of parents seeking help with the readjustment to post-pandemic family life.

Caine says one key for parents struggling to adjust to an empty nest is working through the deeper feelings their child’s departure may evoke, like a sense of purposelessness or loss of identity. She also notes that it’s not uncommon for empty nesters to have realizations that go beyond the parent-child relationship, like reevaluating their marriage or career.

Addressing challenging feelings through therapy, a support group or with a trusted religious leader can be helpful, she says. And don’t forget the small stuff either: Something as simple as stocking meals in your freezer if you know you won’t feel like cooking after a college drop-off can go a long way toward easing the initial transition.

Continue Reading


May 24, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Today she called asking, “I have no idea what to do that will be worth it.”  I too have sat in that empty room wondering now what?  She left a career, her husband, and her kids were full adults in the world.   She did not feel like knitting nor becoming the expert at what tv shows are worth your time. 

She wanted something that got her excited to get out the door. She wanted to do something she never did in her past.  She wanted her life to be meaningful.  This is what she discovered after writing, walking, being with friends, and solo time.

“I want to volunteer in my neighborhood working with all ages of people. I want to listen and talk with them, walk with them, color together, cook, read out loud, dance, sing along, watch tv and talk about what just happened there.”

She began by telling people she was available. She did not post anything in the beginning. She also told herself she could change her mind and she told them the same. 

At this stage of her life, she wanted freedom daily to decide what mattered to her.  She was frugal. She was responsible.  She had been a leader all her life. Now she was on the hunt for a part of her that she never met, that lay dormant or undiscovered within her.

She knew her unrealistic expectations or her lack of patience might be a blind spot.  She took them along, as well as her playfulness and trust in something larger than herself. She is continuing her hunt and has many days that make her laugh.

What do you want to begin today?  Who do you want to call?  What notes do you want to write to yourself?  Where will you go for a walk? 

Take good care,


Families Preparing for Their Child Off to College

May 22, 2021 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

In our parenting group, I suggested they write a LETTER to their child about what they appreciate about them and what they, the parents, learned from them. Of course, I passed around the softest Kleenex as parents wrote their notes to their children. I too had tears, even though my daughter is years beyond that hug goodbye at the dorm.

Then we talked about what does each parent HOPE for themselves and dream to become? This was a challenging write.  Hearing each other share how they haven’t focused on themselves and don’t really know what’s next for them, helped everyone not feel alone on this milestone change.

Everyone said this preparing time is so busy with graduation, open houses, to do list for purchases and mailing, that the anxiety and tears mostly fall in the night.  They know once they are back home, the emptiness and SILENCE at home will be heartfelt.

Have a list of MOVIES you want to watch, freeze some MEALS for yourself, let one or two FRIENDS know you would like them to come over when back home, PARTNERS plan something for each other and have that be a surprise and maybe consider taking a short TRIP after the college drop off for a fun adventure in that part of the world.

Life gets more FUN beyond the empty nest. Each person travels with their own shoes and stumbles, sits to weep, and to dream.  You carry both the new freedom and the missing of the ROLE you had that changes when they leave after high school graduation.

Take good care,


Natalie Caine, M.A.