Here is where we put all of Part 1 and Part 2 together. There are several components to deal with as an empty nester. All empty nesters go through these components, some handle them better than others. Hopefully, this series will help someone navigate through the ENS and come out on the other end stronger and better than ever!
1. Quiet - the home is more quiet. No noise from children coming and going. Absent of your children and creating a deafening silence.
2. Time - absent of the activities of your children, you have more free time. More time to miss them, more time to reminisce about years past, more time to feel sorry for yourself.
3. Emotional Drain - loneliness, nostalgia, memories, emptiness. Remembering when the house was full and feeling the emptiness.
4. Loss - the loss of purpose, the loss of identity, and feeling lost
1. Make your home - YOUR home. Redecorate or not, enjoy your home, enjoy your quiet home. Play your kind of music as loud or as low as you want. Wear clothes or go buff - it's your home now all to yourself. Get out the good china, good linens, everything you couldn't use when you had children home.
2. Use the extra time - doing things YOU enjoy. Pampering yourself, traveling, meeting new people, sleeping late, staying up late, reading, entertaining, anything you feel like doing, you now have the time to do it.
3. Turn your emotions - to self care. Living a new life doesn't mean you love your children less. It means you love yourself a little more now. Draw closer to your spouse. If you are single, turn emotions towards self love. If you are like most mothers, you have neglected yourself in favor of your children, your family. NO MORE! It's YOUR time.Dress the way you want not just in what's comfortable and easy. Develop your own personal style. Eat what you want - without complaining children. You can enjoy whatever YOU want now. Do what you want - when you want. No more school schedules, sport schedules, homework - IT'S YOUR TIME!
As an empty nester you have two choices:
* You can give in to the negatives and waste your best years - yes, that's what I said - YOUR BEST YEARS!
* You can get busy and use your best years to create a fulfilling life that you actually want to live and make the most of - YOUR BEST YEARS!
Ask yourself: If not now? When?
Life has many stages. No one should stay in one stage forever. There would be no growth.
1. What if you had never left home?
(You wouldn't have your own home now. You wouldn't have any privacy.)
2. What if you never worked?
(How would you support yourself? How could you be independent?)
3. What if you never had children?
(You made the choice to have children and it changed your life.)
4. What if you still lived with your parents, never worked, never married, never went to school, never went to college, never moved on?
5. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR OWN CHILDREN?
(TO NEVER LEAVE, NEVER MARRY, NEVER GIVE YOU GRANDCHILDREN, NEVER BE INDEPENDENT, NEVER HAVE THEIR OWN LIFE)
Now, get out there and create the most spectacular life and make your children proud of you!
Show them how to grow older happy and active! Set your life on fire and be the best you can be for the best years of your life!
(Now that I am retired and an empty nester, I am enjoying every minute of it. I get up when I want, go to bed when I want, eat when -where- and what I want, travel whenever I want, and I have more money in my pocket to do so.
Do I miss my kids? Absolutely! But I would never want them to live with me forever. They each have a life to live and are doing so, and so do I.)
Did any of this post resonate with you? Are you an empty nester and still afraid to live your own life? If so, please let me know. Please share your experiences with ENS. If you have any tips or strategies that may help someone else.