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3 Things You Can Do to Prepare for the Empty Nest

By Christine Field May 25, 2023 Family

Releasing your kids to adulthood is a mixed blessing. You are both proud and saddened. They are embracing maturity and that’s a good thing! But your home will change after they leave, and that can be a confusing prospect.

Now is the time to prepare yourself for these changes. While enjoying your kids’ remaining days at home, it’s important to plan for what is to come rather than simply ignoring it. Your kids will be gone soon, therefore now is the time to figure out how you will cope with the sadness of the new season.

Try the following 3 techniques to help you prepare yourself for an empty nest.

Look Forward to Enjoying Your Newfound Freedom

While your kids are enjoying their freedom in independent living, you too can rejoice in your newfound freedom away from the kids and their limiting schedules.

You’ll be able to lounge around with your spouse without sharing the TV, and host dinner parties on weeknights, take vacations during the school year, join clubs, or become more active in your church community.

This is the time to rediscover your interests. For so long, you’ve put your wants on the backburner. But now you can fully explore your interests and find a hobby that helps you feel needed, appreciated, and offers gratification.

Reconnect with Your Spouse

After raising the children for so many years, living alone with your spouse is something that may feel new to you again. Now is the moment to feel like newlyweds! Reconnect with one another on a deeper level than you have in the last 20 years or so.

Every night is date night! Make something special for dinner a few times each week and then go out on the town on the weekends.

Take the time to enjoy this milestone in your relationship. You’ve raised wonderful children together. You’ve succeeded as parents and have held a successful marriage. You’re living your dream – have a toast to your success!

Plan a Home Improvement Project

Properly planning a home improvement project takes time. Therefore, use the few months ahead while the kids are still at home to redo their bedroom once they have moved.

Turning their bedroom into a gym may be too much of a change. So, take baby steps. Maybe turn their bedroom into a guest bedroom. By doing so, you can comfortably accommodate both your adult children and guests.

Add a home office area to the bedroom so your kids can have a place to study when they come home on breaks. In addition, a simple armchair for reading, fresh paint, new linens, and accessories will make for a hotel-like retreat that guests can appreciate.

Generally, most teens won’t feel as if they’re being slighted when their childhood bedroom is given a makeover. If anything, they’ll feel better knowing that their parents are just as excited about the change.

In addition to all of the tips outlined above, plan ways to connect with your children while they’re away. Discuss how and how often you will connect. You might plan a monthly outing and a weekly Zoom call. Try to avoid placing too many demands on your adult child. It is unrealistic to expect a call every night!

It’s vital to remember that this is uncharted territory for everyone involved; it’s certainly a mixed bag of emotions. All you can do is try your best to look at the bright side and all of the benefits involved for your youngster. You aren’t losing a child; you’re gaining a young adult!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How are you handling the syndrome of the empty nest? Have your children flown out already or is the moment approaching? What are you planning to do with your life when there are no more obligations around your kids?

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Kim

I have been an empty nester for 8 years. I was not sad for my kids to leave home as I spent 19 and 22 years of my life raising them and putting them first. They live close by so I see them regularly. I turned my sons room into a guest room and my daughters into an office/den. There is no reason to feel sad when your children become independent enough to be on their own. It just confirms to me that I did my job well preparing them for being out in the world.

Ingrid

Interesting isnt it Kim?! My son left home for university in Feb this year. Last year was really hard and I was often crying, sad that there were lots of “lasts”, i.e. last Mothers Day when he’s at home etc… However, while I did sob when saying goodbye, I haven’t cried since! I have just felt happy that he is living his best life. I am enjoying taking up a Masters Degree while working and am getting used to the extra time and freedom from responsibility. Things are a readjustment with my husband and he is starting to pull his weight by cooking occasionally. We keep in touch via WhatsApp and phone, but not excessively. I really thought this year would be hard but its been the opposite. I agree with Kim- I feel happy that I have done a good job preparing my son to be independent. He can cook and clean and I think all our conversations have prepared him to handle his emotions and consider consequences (mostly- LOL) before making a decision. His university is far away. I think he is having a ball!

Last edited 11 months ago by Ingrid

The Author

Christine Field is an author, attorney, speaker, listener and life coach. She has four grown kids, mostly adopted, mostly homeschooled. She provides MomSolved© resources and reassurances to moms facing common and uncommon family life challenges. Christine helps moms rediscover their mojo for wholehearted living after parenting. Visit her website here http://www.realmomlife.com

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