Wednesday, August 30, 2023

It's Been a Year!


I can't believe that it has been a whole year that we have been "empty nesters"!

The last couple of weeks, social media has been overflowing with posts of kids going back to school...preschoolers to college kids. I have enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the littles with their new outfits and oversized backpacks and the college kids with their poster-clad dorm rooms. 

I knew the day was coming, yet the past year has been filled with a range of emotions. Some of our friends enjoy having their kids out of the house. Not me! I know that it is time for them to launch and start life on their own, yet is unsettling.

Here are a couple things that I have done to help during this transitional time.

1. It's definitely a loss when your kids move out of the house. Give yourself the grace to feel your emotions and time to adjust to your new lifestyle.  You may feel lonely, sad, or have a new zeal for life.  Whatever those emotions are, sit with them as they are neither good nor bad.

2. Stay connected with your adult kids. It's important to maintain a great relationship. My husband and I talk to our kids weekly, if not more.  Make certain to have family holidays together.  The get-togethers may look different than they did when your kids lived at home.  Consider it a great opportunity to make new memories and traditions.

3. Get a new hobby or start a new career. Since you're no longer "cooking for an army" or doing endless loads of laundry, you've got more free time on your hands. Take a class, volunteer or if you're like me, finish all your scrapbooks that you started and didn't have time to finish.

4. Enjoy just being a couple. Go on dates, travel, and rekindle what may have been lost during the child-raising years.  Remember, your spouse may be experiencing the empty nest season differently than you. Talk about it and process the change together. 

Our first year has been challenging and it's definitely been a time of positive growth.  Stay connected with your spouse and adult kids, get a hobby, and enjoy this new season!

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