Scared of Facing the Empty Nest?

A few years ago, my daughter was preparing to go off to university where she would live in a dorm.  We had moved into a new home. I had a son to get settled into a new high school and a house to set up, so I had a lot of new goals in front of me.  I'd put a couple of my coaching clients on hold while we made our cross-country move and then picked up with them later.  I was glad to have a career calling I could take on the road.

Fear of the Empty Nest 

For years prior to this, I feared the empty nest. Mothering had been the most meaningful calling I could have ever. I loved and still love my "babies."  Though at the time my babies were still under the same roof, I spent energy worrying about how the future might feel.

I'd been struggling with depression with my cycles.  I was walking through perimenopause and often felt a profound sense of grief knowing a life phase would eventually pass.

One Child Off 

Once my daughter left home, for the first time in 18 years there was no secondary female presence.  The house lacked zeal and squeal. I realized just how noisy my daughter had been once the house was quiet. My shopping buddy and the girl-talk was missing and that is what I missed the most.

But we adjusted and brought her home every three weeks or so for a weekend.

In the Empty Nest 

Time sped by, and before I knew it my son had finished grade 12 and had made plans to fly the coup as well.  He chose a different university but also chose to live on his own. My daughter would be entering her 4th and then 5th year and eventually take an out-of-town job.

So finally, the empty nest arrived.  For the most part, I enjoyed a new sense of freedom.  There was no teen to drive around or make lunch or dinner for.  My husband and I ate what we wanted and sat at the breakfast bar instead of at a set table.

I soon realized I worried about my children less when they weren't under my roof.  I began to embrace and enjoy the quiet. I realized God had given me an unexpected measure of grace to weather the empty nest.

I eventually found when the children returned for a weekend or holidays, I felt thrown back into a role that no longer suited me.

I won't say I didn't have a few emotional lows.  I did.  I was in perimenopause at the time and not sleeping well.  Some days I missed my kids. My husband and I had to renavigate our relationship.  We were fortunate to join a small group of couples going through the same phase.

My advice to women who fear the empty nest is for them to spend less time worrying about it, to enjoy where they are, and when the time comes, to walk through it with God's leading.

What's Next 

Most women will ask what's next for them.  They may be overcome with the idea that they need to find the answer to how to spend the next several years of their lives. Not having a clear picture can cause a woman distress.

Instead, she should cast her cares on God.  She she put striving aside and seek to hear his still small voice.  She should value the place she's at and enjoy her work whether it be managing a home, or working out of the house.  And she should take investigative steps on areas of her interests.

If you need to chat about the empty nest, let me know here.  

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