Empty nest: what to do before you experience it
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Author Jill Savage talks about the freedom, and the challenges, of the empty nest. Savage remembers preparing for the time when her kids would leave home and being surprised at how hard it really was to adjust to a quiet house. Hear some sound advice from a mom who’s been there.
NOW THAT THE KIDS HAVE GONE
- Their wives will be number one in their life, as it is supposed to be. But that means, I am not. I used to be number in their lives as their mother.
- A couple says, 6 or 7 weeks after their last son had gone to college, they got a call one night from Domino’s, just checking to know, is everything okay. No kids’ orders!
- It feels like being fired from the job you’ve been doing for years. Just when you are at your prime of being a good parent.
- Identify crisis questions like, ‘Who am I right now?’ comes up.
- I can’t ask the same questions that I used to ask anymore, because it is no longer my role.
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WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU EXPERIENCE IT
- Not just, what will I be doing, but most importantly, who will I be spending time with when they are gone? If that person will be your spouse, how are you embracing, developing or neglecting that relationship now? Develop or fix now, the most important relationship(s) in your life, outside of the kids.
- Your kids will still need you, but in a different way; as cheerleader, coach, or encourager. But beyond the kids, who else will be out there that will need your nurturing? Who are you allowing now to be your own coach and encourager or you are walking the journey all by yourself with your own cook book of little experience?
- You will need to let go of guilt. What you did well or didn’t do well for your kids. But, why not work now to reduce the likely reasons for guilt later? Making every parenting pain, season, events, request, a grateful privilege to respond to or handle, before that opportunity and privilege pass you on.