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Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Post: It's all about me Jen

Today my guest post comes from It's all about me Jen. I found Jen's blog through a blog hop not too long ago. Jen's blog is great I love reading it and this post she wrote for me is just wonderful! If you ever wanted to know what it is like to be an empty nester then this is a great read. Also please make sure to stop by her blog and follower her if you like :)

I as a mother was never in a rush to see my kids grow up. I am aware of many women who want to dash from one milestone to get to another. I say to them “please slow down and enjoy every single minute of your children’s lives because you’ll never get those moments back.”

I was twenty-one when I laid eyes on my first of my three children, with their big brown eyes and wispy bangs, my heart just melted and I was done! I have always had a strong maternal instinct, been a nurturer, so becoming a stepmother was a no brainer for me. My husband and I had two boys together expanding our family making it two girls and three boys.

My years like most mothers were filled with the bustle of school volunteering, homework, sports, and having major bleacher butt, driving carpool, PTO and baking whatever whenever the school called. Time just seemed to fly by however and before I knew it the kids were driving, dating and working part time during the summer or on weekends and then poof they were preparing for college.

There is ten years difference between our oldest daughter and our youngest son so the transition from a house full of kids to an empty nest was a slow one and not quite as difficult as I had heard it would be. Our girls commuted to a local college and lived home for a time before leaving the nest.

Our oldest daughter was the first to move out, she’s bright and independent and it came as no shock when she came to us with the idea. Then our oldest son enlisted in the military that made him number two to leave. That was followed by our other daughter who moved out soon after finishing college. Then last but not least it was college and jobs for the younger sons.

It was an interesting transition for me as a mother with my nest empty; I had in fact never spent a single day of my married life not being a mother with kids at home. I had never worked so my whole married life had been dedicated to the children, starting on the day I married my husband; I was a full time mom. I, like many women tended to think of myself as mother first before woman or wife, so adjustments needed to be made for me emotionally.

You see I did a lot of things for my children because they were children and they needed me. What I learned after they left was that I needed to let go of the idea that they were still children. That they didn’t need me quite the way they did when they lived at home. So when I wanted to jump in and do something for them I’d ask myself this question “am I doing this for them or am I doing it for me?” That need I was feeling ‘to mother’ them never quite goes away but I needed to transition into treating my kids like the adults they were and not like the children they used to be.

When the last of our children finally moved out and my husband and I were finally free to be alone for the first time in twenty five years and to say the least, it was a bit of a shock to our systems. O.K I admit we had a bit of a honeymoon (we’re all adults here right?) We enjoyed our new found privacy very much, which included no worries about open doors, closed doors or ears that resemble ours hearing our conversations. Now we could come and go as we pleased any time of the day or night. Weekend trips are normal for us now; spur of the moment is not a problem.

We made a promise to take a yearly vacation just the two of us just to be “together” and we’ve done that all but one year. We’re going to Barbados this November for this year’s trip to a lovely all inclusive resort. Yeah!

One funny little adjustment I continue to have difficulty with is cooking for less than seven people; frankly I’ve never gotten that down!

We took on some overdue projects around the house that we never had time for, or the money for. A bathroom remodel was my favorite, I loved doing that bathroom and planned it all myself. What fun it was working with the contractor planning and shopping for all the fixtures and picking paint.

Other mothers have asked me if it was difficult seeing the kids move out and I’d be a big fat liar if I said it wasn’t. It takes time to get used to not seeing them every day, and I worry. But part of my job as a parent was to prepare them for adulthood so that they’d be able to leave with confidence and the fact that they did, made me feel kinda good, like maybe I was OK at this mother gig.

I’d like to thank Terri for asking me to guest post today on her blog Mom’s Point of View. I was so excited when she asked that I started to write it the minute we decided on a topic. This is my first guest post ever so I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Terri has been a generous and gracious host and I hope that if you’re visiting from my blog you'll show her some love, say hello, leave a comment or follow her blog.

I’d like to conclude with a few examples of what I call “the language of the empty nest”. Now that my children are out of the house, responsible for their finances and realize that our lives don’t revolve around them 24/7 and that we actually have a life, their communication skills have taken on some fun traits.

Phone rings -“Hi Mom I was thinking of coming home for dinner what’s cooking, oh meatloaf great see you later."

(What he’s really saying is)" Hi Mom I’m coming home for dinner and bring my ironing- you’re the greatest iron-er in the world, your meatloaf is the best, I hope there’s Heineken in the fridge because all I can afford is PBR with my paycheck, make up the guest room because I’m bringing my jammies!"

Phone rings-" Hi Mom I was just talking to the boys and they miss you and Dad soooo much." In the background I then hear my three grandsons saying, "we looove you grandmaaa!"

(What she’s really saying is) "Hi Mom we are so tired from working and taking care of the boys that we’d love if you’d offer to take the boys for the weekend so we can have some grown-up time….pppplease!"

My empty nest has afforded me the ability to read minds, isn't that great?! Why couldn’t I have that ability when they were home!?


  1. I just wrote about how fast life is moving with my youngest in his senior year. It was reassuring to find this post and to feel a little calmer after reading it. Thanks for sharing.

    Dixie Goode

  2. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy every milestone with my children while they're still young. I feel like they were just babies a second ago, and now my oldest is 11. I want to live in the moment more, to enjoy every moment of the time that I have with them.

  3. Jen I want to thank you again for your wonderful guest post! I have been having a hard time lately because my youngest will be turning 1 this December.

    The last thing I have wanted is for my baby to grow up so fast but it has flown by. He has done everything much faster than my others. He crawled at 6 months while the others were 8 months old. Now he is trying to walk. I don't want him to yet. My husband told me last night he will be 10 months old very soon. I think I am in denial.

    I have a friend who had her first baby 4 days before my last and she is rushing her baby to grow up so fast. I remember being the same way. I tell her all the time don't rush it!

    My oldest is 8 and I have had a hard time with her growing up so fast. I enjoy every little minute I can with all 4 of my kids.

  4. Great post!
    I'm years away from this but I do realize that it will go by so quickly. But as it is, the kids all have friends that they were playing with yesterday outside in the neighborhood. I was in the house with Fred. I had no idea what to do with myself. I'm sure I used to be fun before kids but I forget exactly what I did to fill my time. Does it all come to you after awhile?

  5. Echo,
    I visited your blog and read your post about your half empty nest. Your half way there Sista. I know you'll do the rest of your journey to empty nest-dome with grace!

  6. I am so with you Terri enjoy every minute of them. Hey my baby is 29 and even when he comes home with his ironing I enjoy every minute!

    And your friend; maybe she'll slow down a bit, when you show her how much she's missing by your example.

    This has really been so much fun Terri, thanks again you made my week, or month at least with this invite!

  7. Mark,

    I think the kids having a social life is a natural way as parents to prepare for life with that empty nest. Kind of like a weaning process.

    You'd be surprised how the invitations to socialize start to pour in once the kids get a bit older, and they'll get more and more frequent, really they do! Wait until the kids friends get married, Oh brother!

    I didn't even touch on the social life in this post. My monthly dinners with the girls. Or the dinner parties I have. I'm sure you and Fred did that stuff before the kids right? Vacations? Reading? Gardening? Dinners out with family and friends?

    I'ts like riding a bike my friend it will come back!

  8. Susan,
    I know as a home schooling Mom you're soaking up many special moments with the kids. I envy all those years you have left with your kids my friend, enjoy those moments.

  9. I'm an empty nester too, and so much of what you've said here parallels my situation. I had no idea what to do with myself beyond the role of "mom".

  10. It's a hard transition blueviolet. Thank goodness I had a bunch of friends that were doing the empty nest thing at the same time. That helped a lot to have gal pals to talk to.

  11. Hi, Debs Dealz stopping by to follow you via GFC. I love your site! I would like to invite you to check out by blog as well, and follow me back if you like, and/or like me on Facebook. We have daily blog hops...we would love to have you link up and participate!! We feel the blog hops are great ways to network with other bloggers, increase our followers and meet awesome people! We currently have the Time Out Tuesday Hop available to link up to. Stop on by!! Also, if you exchange buttons let me know!
    Thanks, Debs Dealz

  12. You are so right...savour the milestones because they grow so fast!! I may only get once chance at this motherhood gig so I'm trying to enjoy every minute of him.
    It's refreshing to know that when they do leave that I'll be ok ;)
    Great post and Barbados? I'm jealous

  13. Oh Kimberly,
    I'd take you and that monkey of yours to Barbados any day of the week!

    And it is OK after they go, it takes work but it's is OK. And with that hilarious hubby of your I'm thinking you'll be just fine Sista!

  14. It is so funny because last night a friend of mine and I were talking about how much we don't want our last baby to grow up. We both remember praising our first baby and wanting them to accomplish so much so fast. We now want our last to go slow.


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