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!?