We’ve been talking today on the August Mom list about some of us feeling like we are getting a preview of the Empty Nest. I had never thought about it before, but put in that context, I’d say that in some ways I do have a party-time Empty Next situation going on as of this year. Or, at least, significantly reduced parenting responsibilities from the driving all over town all the time perspective. Yes, the lack of volunteer positions has a lot to do with it. So does SportsBoy’s own reduction in sports activities. Or, maybe I should say, reduction in non-school sponsored sports. He does wrestle, but since that is for the middle school, it means he just has to stay on campus for the practices and for many of the mid-week intrasquad meets. So it’s a very low hassle sport from my perspective 🙂 His baseball team just has one mid-week batting session and then the Sunday morning games or practices and that’s it.
Older son of course still needs me to give him rides for his classes to full fill his requirements to get his license back – two sessions a week, but half the time one of his friends steps up and takes me off the hook there.
One of the moms commented that while her kids were out of town she actually caught up on a bunch of house cleaning projects for the first time since before they were born which is what made her wonder if that was a preview of Empty Nesting.
Hmmm…seems like I am quite obviously spending my time reading books – and that there was an obvious need for that!! I have always wanted to join a book club/discussion group but never did due to lack of time. Now of course, I have such a pile in my room that I’ll wait until I am in need of new book suggestions to see if I can find one around here.
I’ve committed to writing a bit more on another blog site. Three community diaries on DailyKos within the next month. I never could have done that before.
I committed to hosting a few gatherings at my house with my local high school classmates this year.
I’ve got a financial plan in place that will have me consumer debt free in three years. Which means no movies (or very few) in that time, but just think of how many wonderful films I’ve never seen all these years that I can catch up on!
Not to mention all these fabulous TV shows that people rave about which I never watched due to lack of time.
I’ve got a seed feeder up in the backyard and I joined the Cornell backyard bird watching program to track/count the birds that visit my yard. I’ll put up a hummingbird feeder soon to add to that. I’ve also started a compost pile out back. Nothing too well researched or fancy, but I’ve got a good pot of soil started there which I will spread around the yard.
Heck, I might actually start paying closer attention to my yard full time and feed and trim and plant some flowers from seed and fill up some long empty pots!
Beyond that you all know how I love my hikes. There are so many great trails out here in San Diego that I have not explored and I certainly feel that one can not go to Torrey Pines often enough!
Then there IS that boyfriend I have 🙂 And the cats!
So I kind of feel like there is a transition here. Sort of a pre-empty nest stage, where you can see the possibilities and maybe even lay the groundwork for what you can do with your free time. Certainly when SB is here there is plenty on my plate. Especially given the homework support he needs as I’ve written about many times. But the weeks when he is with his dad, well, I can relax a bit. And read.
So dear readers – I know some of you are already empty nesters – is it what you thought it would be? How have you settled into that new stage of your life? For those of you who are not yet – what do you think you will do? Or are you still so deep into it that you cannot imagine NOT driving a mini-van full of kids 24/7? 🙂
As mom to a 29yo (she’ll be 30 on 3/17) and a 26yo (he’ll be 27 on 3/28), I have had an empty nest for a while. I LOVE IT! I also have a traveling husband (TV producer), so my nest is just me and the cats. Heaven. I eat what I want, when I want. I watch the TV programs I want to watch. And I do as much community theater as I want. Of course, it helps that my kids are happy and healthy and that I adore my husband (of 34+ years).
Have to jump in too as another empty nester, although the 23 yo boomeranged home for about 6 months following college graduation. Older son is 26 and truly launched with his own famiy now. I don’t know if I ever thought what it would be like, it never seemed like it would happen because I was so wrapped up in things kid related. but now, I agree, I love it! The only down side is I find myself doing way too much work related work, staying too late, etc. since I don’t have the exuse to go home for someone. Beware of that. I loved all the many activities I did with and for my kids as they were growing up, wouldn’t have missed them at that time, but don’t miss them now either. Love what I do, just need to get a better balance now since I’m not being forced to do that by children.
I didn’t have much “empty nest” time. My youngest moved out, I moved north, and then within months my middle one was pregnant and it has been really busy getting her to appointments and shopping and planning for the baby. And once he comes, I know there will be more time spent with the baby, especially when she is able to go back to work.
So the nest may not be empty for too long.
I just did the math and when Noah hits high school, Colton will hit kindergarten. So that means I will be writing this same post in about……time for a glass of wine.
Well Steph – if you do the math – I started this parenting thing when I was 20 I’m now 45 and *maybe* seeing the empty next light. I’ll be 50 before it really is close. So, um yeah, make my wine a vodka OK?
That’s gonna be me in a year and a half.
The panic has already hit. I have been a parent ever since I became an adult, it is all I know.
But I’ve got tons of hobbies, so I’ll just drown myself in all that.
Focus on the things that you will be able to do finally. You deserve the time. Enjoy your hiking and working in the yard. Best wishes!
I am in the stage you are at. I still have two at home, but they’re awfully independent. I have seen the future and I think I might just like it.
To everything a season . . .