Not long ago, when I had a freshman in college and a sophomore in high school, the reality of becoming an empty nester was looming. I had no idea what living in an empty nest would be like. After years of stay-at-home-mothering, filled with action-packed days and nights, grocery shopping, school volunteering, chauffeuring, and laundry, I imagined that a clean, quiet, empty nest would be devastating. Because messy and noisy means the kids are still home and I’m still needed.
Like many moms I relied on the advice and shared experiences of other moms. Those that have been there before me and left me a path to follow, or at least a light, so I wouldn’t get lost. But most of my friends had children the same age or younger – it was the blind leading the blind and we were all crying in our salads. What was I to do?
I went to the internet. I’m pretty sure I googled something like “OMG, I’m going to be an empty nester, now what?!” That’s when I came across my very first “mom blog.” I’ve got to admit her post was very depressing. Much like mine would have been had I posted the first week of my child leaving for college too. (I did write one, the tear streaked copy is sitting on my desk. One day…)
So I kept looking and found a few posts that conveyed the bitter and the sweet of kids going off to college, and the realities of college life. Some warned me what it would be like, some comforted me by reassuring me I would be ok, and some gave me hope for the endless possibilities for the new life I could create. I felt better having a sense of what to expect and knowing that the best part of my life wasn’t over. Maybe you will too.
Here are some wonderful posts by moms who have walked the walk. Enjoy, learn, and take comfort in that you’re not alone.
- Flown Away, Left Behind by Anna Quindlen
- The Long Goodbye by Old Tweener
- Empty Nest’s Silver Lining by Grown and Flown
- How To Send Your Son Off To College by Lisa Belkin
- 4 Things They Never Tell You About Empty Nest Syndrome by Shelley Emling, Huffington Post
- Six Tips For Adjusting To Your Child Going To College by Empty House, Full Mind
And my latest empty nest post: How To Survive And Thrive In Your New Empty Nest
Do you have a story you’d like to share?