We celebrated our youngest’s 18th birthday by moving her into the college dorm. She’s at a great school and I’m really happy for her, but as my husband said, “I’m excited for her, but sad for me.” This is a big change for us because both of our children are now grown and we’ve just become empty nesters.
We spent a few days getting our daughter settled and attending meetings for parents. When we finally said our goodbyes and left her, we went to meet a group of friends for a weekend on the White River. By the time Scott and I arrived at the cabins early in the evening, we couldn’t believe how exhausted we were. The emotional roller coaster had taken a stealthy toll on us.
Three of the four couples had just left their youngest child at the same college, so we shared a lot of the same emotions. The timing of our trip together was perfect and amazingly therapeutic. It was nice to kick off our empty nest phase with some close friends.
As we sat on the back deck overlooking the river, my friends and I lamented how every phase of raising kids seems harder than the last. If we had known how hard it was to be parents, would we do it again? (Absolutely!)
Our goal as parents is to prepare our children for adulthood, so when they eventually fly away it’s a mix of emotions. Pride in seeing them take on new responsibilities and challenges. Fear of the bumps in the road they’ll inevitably encounter. Sadness at not being able to see them as much and be a part of their daily life.
Margaret was homeschooled from the very beginning. I did everything I could to prepare her and it was time to let go. My job as a mother is never over, but it changes, and now I’ll be exploring this new frontier.
Update: It’s almost exactly three years later from when I wrote this post. Our daughter graduated Summa Cum Laud and got her B.S. in Psychology in three years. Now she’s preparing to leave for Ireland in a few weeks where she’ll get a Masters in Human Resource Management at Queen’s University in Belfast.
My life has changed, too, and I continue to write about where life takes us. The past few years have been affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey because we’ve had to spend more time getting our business back in order. We’ve also wanted to be available to both of our fledglings as they navigate life’s waters.
I also started a business with LimeLife by Alcone selling their all natural skincare and professional makeup. It wasn’t something I was planning to do but I fell in love with their products and decided to join as an Independent Beauty Guide. I expected to make some extra money and have fun sharing the products with family and friends but it has also helped me to grow personally and make a lot of new friends. It was just what I needed at this stage of life!
Would you be interested in learning about LimeLife’s products or opportunity? 🌎 LimeLife by Alcone is available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and Australia. You can direct message me, or click on one of the ads in my sidebar which will take you to my website where you can learn more.
Cedarwood Lodge ~ Trout Fishing Destination
I have 4 daughters, whom I’ve homeschooled for 16 years now. It was very hard to say “goodbye” to the oldest, 3 years ago now, but I can’t bear to think about saying goodbye to the youngest. I have 4 more years before I too am an empty nester. So little time! I don’t deal well with change. Maybe living the journey though you (I follow your blog) will help me ease into the role of empty nester with a little grace and gratitude. 🙂
Thank you so much for following my blog! You’ve made my day! I think this phase is a little different for homeschool moms. Maybe not, it’s just that after spending 24/7 with them their entire lives, it seems like even more of an adjustment. Yes, come along!
My husband has it figured out that his pension and our child tax benefit for our youngest (we’re Canadian) will overlap for just over a year, so no empty nest here for a while yet! There are times I wonder what life would be like in that phase, but with all the grandkids we have, I doubt we’ll ever really experience it in the way most people do….but that’s ok, God gives each of us a different journey. Have a great day!
Well, that’s true! Life holds different experiences for all of us. Enjoy those grandchildren! 🙂
My nest has been empty for a while. But knowing that you have given them all the tools they need helps you get used to it.
It does help to have as few regrets as possible. That has been one of my goals in raising them.
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