I am soooo happy to have found this site a couple of weeks ago. Everybody is so helpful to eachother and it's so good to know that we can come here anytime and just vent if we need to.
Over the weekend we (hubby and I) packed up our 2 kids and drove them away to college. My daughter is a Sophomore and my son is a Freshman.
I know many parents look forward to this day and frankly I thought I would. We had our daughter 9 months after our wedding day, so she was a honeymoon baby. We have basically never been alone since than, until now.
I hate how quiet my house is, no kids, no kid's friends everyone is at school! My question to all of you empty nest veterans is...How do you go from being a busy mom with all that goes with raising kids to just being a lonely couple again?
Thank God I found you all!
Missing my kids
You make yourself keep busy, that's how.
When my son graduated high school, started working and making a life for himself, I started making one for me, also.
I went back to college and earned a double certificate - human resources and paralegal.
I took the Dale Carnegie course, because back then, I was extremely shy around new people. Now, you can't shut me up.
I volunteered as a literacy tutor at the county literacy center.
I joined Toastmasters, which gave me great depth into public speaking. I'm grateful for that, because it enabled me to speak in front of crowds, which came in handy when I started volunteering to do demos for different organizations.
I volunteered at the nearby elementary school, reading to children once a month.
Through my human resources training, I volunteered to counsel a couple of former gang members who have decided to have goals and make changes in their life. They call me Aunt Theresa. If you knew anything about gang members, you would know that it is the second highest honor they could bestow on a woman who they are not related to. Two of them will be graduating from business school next December.
I got involved in local politics, and am excited to say that I am now part of the volunteer team for my chosen candidate in the Presidential Election campaign.
I travel to NYC to go to school for cake decorating, pastry, chocolate, and hot sugar work. I can only go part-time, because of funds, but I've learned so much, and will continue until I have completed all the courses offered up there.
I called yesterday to volunteer at the local Habitat for Humanity office.
And soon I will be embarking on a new adventure - I will be teaching advanced cake decorating in my home.
There are so many things which you can do, if you look for them. Often, you find that there's more to you than you, or people around you, have let you think, all these years.
Short story -
A good friend of mine told me that her family is what she is. I told her I see her as so much more - a union steward, working woman, entrepreneur (bakes and decos cakes, too) - I gave her about a dozen words to describe herself. She doesn't see herself as just wife and mother anymore, and in the 21st Century, that's a good thing.
Well when my daughter got married my husband and I thought we would go crazy. The house was so quiet and everything. She did call just about everyday and my husband and I learned to enjoy our various hobbies more. Then came the grandkids and now it's like my daughter never left especailly on the weekends. We have our grands most of the time and life is great. Hope you will learn to make the time alone special.
Sorry, I just noticed the type-o in the title of this topic. Should be"empty". But, it seems you guys got the idea.
Wow, Theresa.....you certainly did get yourself busy. I'm going to use you as my role model, if you don't mind.
You know, you're right when you say we aren't what our families are, we have to be our own person. I went from being a daughter to being a 22 yr. old wife and mother. I was the 8th born to older parents, so by the time all my older siblings were married I was left alone with my parents and they were not in the best of health. My teenage years were spent taking care of them, and don't get me wrong, I don't regret anything I did for them, they are both gone now and I miss them terribly.
But, after I married and got pregnant right away, I stayed home with my kids and worked at night as a hairstylist. I've always put everyone's needs before my own and I guess old habits are hard to break.
I have always wanted to persue a degree in Culinary Arts and I am fortunate enough to have Johnson and Wales nearby. It would be hard to add another tuition to our budget with my 2 kids already in college, but I think I would like to enroll in at least 1 class to get my feet wet again. 25 years out of school is a long time!
My husband is very supportive of this so that's a big help.
Thanks ladies for the inspiration
Certainly, I don't mind - I am humbled that you would think of me that way. Let me offer to be a mentor to you - tell you how you can research the things or organizations that you might like to participate in.
Hey, anything that I can do to help a someone keep pushing the envelope of their life - I'm right there. Any time.
Look at that soccer mom from Alaska. She kept pushing it, too. I may not agree with her politics, but I've gotta admire her tenacity.
I say go for it.
My daughter is off on her own..working on her Masters. My older son is a senior in college. My baby is a 17 year old boy....and WOW...he is REALLY 17! Ya want me to send him to your house so you won't be lonely????????? Pretty please???????
I love him to pieces, but I'm not at all sure I'm gonna let him live to 18........
That's a great idea!
All those of you with 13 year old sons or 16 year old daughters, send them to Deb's house. After two hours, she will appreciate the emptiness of her nest!
I love my nieces and nephews dearly, but when they come here, they all pile in at once, and they all bring their kids with them! Needless to say, I can't wait for them to leave! They exhaust me mentally as well as physically. The quiet is deafening when they go home, but by that point, I don't want to hear anything but my own snoring, anyway!
You guys are awesome Thanks so much, I needed that.
I remember many times when I looked at my husband and said "soon we'll be alone, we should let the children live"
The years really do fly......it's only our first week alone, I think once we get past feeling blue , we'll actually enjoy ourselves.
Many of my nieces and nephews have little children now so I've sent out an e-mail to them all letting them know we're available for babysitting.
Oh Jodie, anytime your 17 yr. old is driving you crazy just think, next year at this time he may be away at college too. Than, I'll be the one trying to cheer you up