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Old 02-07-2011, 05:41 AM   #1
 
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Default My nest is emptying....

And I've got conflicted emotions....

My oldest graduated college last year and lives in Louisiana (we're in PA). My second is a junior at PSU in State College. My youngest will be graduating high school this spring and heading off to college. It's an exciting time, but it's going to be so different around here. I've been "retired" for the past 11 years - spending my time taking care of the kids, a large home and a big beautiful garden. For the past 6 months I've been enrolled in a yoga teacher training program and hope to teach some classes on a part time basis. And my DH and I are looking forward to having more time together, to be spontaneous, travel, etc. But it's a definite life change.

How have those of you with empty nests adjusted?
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:12 AM   #2
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i was lucky enough to be back in grad school when my youngest started college. doing what you are doing, training to teach yoga, planning to travel, is the key. building things of your own into your life for you, now that your responsibilities as a mom are lessening.

the kids will still be back, and in a very nice way, but your nest is emptying. my kids are married, both newly parents this past year, and i still treasure the times i am with my kids and now grandkids. looking forward for you, i can say that being a grandparent is everything it is cracked up to be, and more!! i am madly in love with my 3 granddaughters (my daughter had identical twins!). i feel very lucky. and if grandchildren will not be in your life, your kids still will, they always will, and you will continue to relate to them as adults, and they will continue to enrich your life in so many ways. and they will like being around mom who has these new things in her life!

so while your nest is emptying, your life is filling up, if that makes sense. you have to stay positive and treasure your time with them, and enjoy your time with others and on your own.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:51 AM   #3
 
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rbb - thanks so much for your insight and your perspective!!

I must say that it's so rewarding to watch the kids grow up to be wonderful adults. And it's very nice to be able to relate to them on a whole new level. As for grandkids, I went through a definite period of not even noticing little kids - about the time my youngest got out of diapers until the past year or so, lol! Now I'm noticing babies everywhere - I think I'll be ready to be a grandmother whenever my kids are ready to be parents! (Probably not for several more years, though....)
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
 
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I can't improve on what rbb said - just chime in to say ditto. I'm a recent empty nester. My youngest just moved far away so that after years of having the pleasure of frequent visits this if a big change. It's definitely an adjustment - more of a re-definition of your sense of self. When my youngest went off to college I moped around for a week or so wondering what my purpose in life was. I think it's really important to allow yourself to fully experience your sadness and acknowledge that your children will never be with you in that exact same way. And you wouldn't want them to. Then you can begin to move forward. I began to explore interests I had put on hold for years. My children's college years were practice for this new phase. Nurturing our ability to accept change and maintain a positive outlook - these are the key.
Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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curlini -- you did improve on what i said, the parts i left out. certainly you have to acknowledge and grieve that part of your life is over, and altho your kids will always be in your life, it will be very different. if you loved being a mom, then it is a difficult thing to give up. if we are successful as parents, then we launch our kids.
i can't tell you how many years i felt so sad, teary, each time my kids went back to college after a weekend at home. and, my son lives out of state, always will due to the industry he is in, so that is another consideration. for me, perfect would be for my kids to live 10 minutes away!! lol
so you do both, feel sad about the loss of what you had, and feel glad about the good things to come. and really treasure all the times together, be in the moment.
i think putting other things in your life now that you have more time is a healthy thing for you and your kids. our kids like to see us having a full life, the tables switch and they start to feel responsibility for us!!
honestly, i would have been okay if my kids chose not to have children, it is a personal choice, but i am thrilled they did. my grandchildren bring so much joy to my life. of course, you worry and obsess about them, too, so add that to your worries about your kids, their spouses, and then the grandkids... lol!! but it is all so good.
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washing/cowashing, conditioning, leave in, protein tx: curl junkie products. styling:curl junkie conditioners only at times, cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. trying ufdcm. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!! sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:11 AM   #6
 
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Thanks, curlini and rbb - I tend to be a positive person who looks ahead rather than back, so I know I'll be fine. And I do have a lot of personal interests and ways to fill my time. Although raising my kids with my husband was my most important role over the past 23 years, the role of mother isn't my definition of self, if that makes sense. It's going to be interesting to see how life plays out over the next few years....
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:25 AM   #7
 
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Hugs to you. My oldest went off to college last year, but I do think I'll be sad when my youngest goes.

It sounds like you are level-headed and have a good outlook, I'm sure you will very much enjoy your life to come, having more time, and new relationships with your now adult children.
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