A few years ago, my daughter was heading 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 picked up with them, proving life coaching by phone is a transferable career.
Fear of the Empty Nest
For years prior to this, I feared the empty nest. Mothering had been the most meaningful calling I could ever have. I loved and still love my "babies." Though at that time my babies were still under my roof, I had days where I used energy worrying about the unknown future.
One Child Off
Once my daughter left, 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. My shopping buddy and the girl-talk was missing and that is what I missed most.
But I adjusted and brought her home every three weeks or so for a weekend, and of course on holiday breaks.
My son, more or less, lived as an only child for the next 3 years.
In the Empty Nest
Time sped by, and before I knew it my son had finished grade 12 and made plans to fly the coup as well. He chose a different university, but also chose to live on his own.
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 to make lunch or dinner for (although both my kids cook). My husband and I started a few new routines including eating at the breakfast bar instead of at a set table as we'd done with the kids. To enter into my husband's world, we chose a few TV shows we both liked and around 7:30 or 8:30 we'd watch them together.
Later, I began working on art while he did his thing with his Xbox.
In my empty nest, I worried less about my children than when they were under my roof. That was a good thing. I released them to God. I embraced and enjoyed the new rhythm.
God gave me an unexpected measure of grace to weather the transition and it was easier than I expected. I hope the same for you.