Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Empty Nester

We have all heard about the difficulty of the "empty nest".  Many articles have been written on how how to prepare your marriage, your home and yourself for the sudden loss of the active role of mothering.

My son led us gently into the empty nest.  He had been moved out for 6 months before I asked..."he's not coming home again is he?"  He had been working nights and frequently spending the day to sleep over at a friends.  I looked around one day and recognized my empty nest.  But I realized a few other things as well.

  •  No one cares how late I get up or how early I go to bed.
  •  I no longer had to wait to go to the bathroom.  No more hysterical tears on the other side, no quizzical fingers poking under the door.  No more holding a child on my lap while I did MY business.  I showered as long as I wanted.  I didn't even have a teenager knocking on the door because his hair took longer to style than mine.
  • I could fix food the way I wanted to.  For years I had been leaving out the onion, mushrooms and black olives from my spaghetti.  I was preparing dinner for my husband when I realized the "kid" wasn't going to be home for dinner.  It was with glee that I started dumping additional ingredients into pot.  Things that would have curled the boy's nose into a pig tail...we chowed on the dinner like we hadn't had real food in 21 years.
  • You no longer have to be "quiet" for the good ole "boinka boinka whoo whoo".  In fact you can rip a page from your memory books and initiate the couch you bought 10 years ago.  But just to avoid surprises, throw the dead bolt on the outside doors.  No sense in causing the kids to have to burn out their eyes because they caught mom and dad in living room horizontal fellowship the night he decides to unexpectedly stop in with his girlfriend.
  • The tv is yours ago.  So is the phone.  And the computer.  So is the car.
  • Speaking of the car, it no longer mysteriously parks in your drive way with an empty gas tank.  The flip side being...you're pumping the gas again.
  • You can ditch the bra at home if you want.  Use caution with this however or you must refer to previous notes.   You no longer have to have a robe within the arm's reach.
  • The volume of laundry and dirty dishes goes WAY down.
  • You can remove the revolving door off your refrigerator.  The grocery bill goes down and amazingly what you do buy...will last longer for the two of you.  However there's less people to unload the grocery bags.
  • Got a sudden desire to see a movie?  It's your choice all over again.
  • Only YOU know where the chocolate stash is hidden now.
  • You can buy those sweet Scentsy wax warmers for the fragrances you like...not just fragrances that mask the odor of tennis shoes and sweat socks.
  • Quiet.  Seriously.  You can shut off the tv and talk to the spouse about your days without "moooooooom" (be sure to read that in the lyrical, obnoxious notes of an impatient teenager).
  • Your social calendar opens up.  At least until grandchildren arrive with ballet and Tball games.
  • You worry less.  Seriously.  When you don't KNOW the schedules of your kids, you aren't worrying about them coming home late, not coming home at, coming home drunk, or coming home with girls.  In this case, Ignorance IS Bliss. 
So my friends, the final note?  The empty nest is something that can be looked forward to rather than dreading if you put just the right spin on it.

courtesy Corbisimages.com


  1. Oh you make me laugh!! I'm a long way off on this but now I know what to look forward to! :)

    1. There are things that make me sad about the empty nest, but it is good to concentrate on the positive. It helps if your mate is STILL your best friend. :)

  2. Oh Tina... I know both sides of this equation and I'm choosing to see the blessings in it all. Because I know that while I am a mother...a mother is not all that I am or was ever meant to be. Thanks for this great list! You are a blessing to me Woman!

  3. You to me as well Loretta. Do you possess the empty nest? You certainly keep busy!

  4. i had to laugh tina. i hadn't heard much of this side of the empty nest much b/f our nest emptied over 10 yrs. ago! i agree, there are sad things about the empty nest, but your telling of the good things had me chuckling:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Martha. I had dreaded the "empty nest" after I read how depressed I would be and expected the emotional upheaval. However when we realized we had an empty nest, we looked at each other and realized we could live like newlyweds again!