Is this your year? Are you reading an empty next blog because it’s your turn? After 18 plus years has the last, or only, of your children moved on and out?
As Baby Boomers, we’ve spent a good portion of our adult lives and careers raising and preparing our kids for “the real world” so that they could be confident and well-prepared for all of the challenges, good and bad, that would come their way.
And they took us up on it! They’re gone!
I wanted to touch on a few things that I think can help all of us parents prepare for this traumatic, or joyous, day (I guess it’s all perspective, right?). Just to let you know, I fall within the first category noted below; my first is soon to move out but my second still has two years, and for me, that’s not joyous because I will miss my firstborn immensely.
How Will You Prepare?
Let’s be realistic, for at least 18 years we have known that they would move out and begin life without their parents. Our time is up (except for the occasional visits of course) and their time has just begun.
We, I, have done our jobs and have raised them in the best way we knew how. We’ve:
- And loved
Now all we can do is release them into the adult world we know and trust that everything will work and they will survive.
But it is not just our children that must be prepared for the change, it is ourselves as well. While we may have put blinders on or deluded ourselves into thinking they will never leave (and let’s be honest, sometimes that day cannot come soon enough) we have to do things that will allow us to survive another change.
Here’s my thoughts on what some of those might be, whether you’re a single or two-parent household:
- Join groups or causes that you are passionate about
- Begin or focus more on favorite hobbies
- Learn a new skill, even online blogging like I’m doing
- Go back to school, part-time, full-time, the options are many, especially with the internet
Oh, a word to the wise, you don’t have to wait until their bedroom is empty before you start any of these. Remember, parents don’t really have lives and your teens are already coming and going without you. So start now, start early.
How Are You Surviving?
For those of you who have already had one or more of your kids move out, I can only imagine one of two things:
- You’re despondent OR
- You’re dancing for joy
I suspect I will move between the two because, while I will greatly miss my kids, I will also have other opportunities open up for me and I will certainly take advantage of them.
And oh yes, having extra spending money will be an added bonus, even if it’s just extra grocery money! That’s definitely a “Yay”!
As noted above, you cannot sit at home bemoaning you child beginning their own lives away from home. You must have something you’re doing and I would recommend doing something with others. You lost an important person and you need to get connected with others.
Remember, too, they’re not gone for good…they will still come back; whether to do laundry, get money, or introduce you to the grandchildren (yes, that day is very likely coming, too). But there will be some joy in redesigning their room into an office or guest room or whatever you fancy.
The important thing here is to have something active that you’re doing and possibly even something new. Maybe that writing or interior decorating course you’ve always wanted to take.
And the really cool thing…you get to go visit them and let them clean up after you for once.
What Do You Have Planned For You?
So I want to ask, what do you have planned for yourself? Don’t leave it to fate or you will wind up sitting in front of the T.V. watching the latest crime show or in front of the computer playing solitaire.
One of my personal goals, and like I’ve mentioned I have a few years, is to continue to blog on this and other websites that I own. Writing has always been a personal goal of mine and my websites will allow me to satisfy that craving…and consider myself a published author.
If blogging or even making extra retirement money is of interest to you then I would recommend learning about working online before you spend any money (especially if the young ‘uns are still at home).
Now is the time to prepare. The day is coming that you will be called an empty nester, it’s time to lay new eggs…selfishly.
Thanks for reading.