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Becoming an empty nester: One mom’s story

Empty Nester blog photoHappy. Sad. Excited. Scared!

My reason for buying potato chips, baking brownies on a whim and always having extra snack food on hand is leaving me.  Effective Aug. 21, my husband and I will be empty nesters as both of our sons leave for college. Happy, sad, excited and scared are all words that come to my mind when I think about it. It will be my husband, the two dogs, the fish and me.

When our older son left for school four years ago, it was an adjustment, but we had four more years of high school for our younger son, which meant: four more years of lacrosse games, rec basketball games, school dances, back to school nights, sleepovers in the basement, kids in my house and constant activity.  We never knew who was going to walk through the door next.

Now, I am looking at a future that will hold fewer trips to the grocery store, drastically reduced water and electric bills and a whole lot less laundry. I sense a feeling of calm will drape itself over our home.  Friends tell me that once we adjust to that feeling we will love it. I want to believe that, but am still unsure. Who is going to need me? I’ve been a mom for almost 23 years! No worries, my friends say, your kids will still need you.

My kids are doing what we raised them to do: Go off to college and prepare for the next phase of their lives. We provided the tools and now they are putting them into action. The good news is they are both attending the same university – one drop-off, one pick-up, and periodic weekend visits means we can all spend time together.

So, what’s my plan after they leave? I have one – to binge and purge my house – top to bottom, bottom to top. We’ve been there 13 years, and along with lots of great memories, there’s lots of stuff. Not sure what’s on the agenda after that, although I know it should involve incorporating daily exercise into my life.  As far as hobbies, I am lacking in that department.  A part of me is jealous of my husband, who enjoys tinkering with his 95-gallon salt water fish tank and painting, something he’s started to dabble in as the kids have gotten older. We have a 3-foot piece of barn wood in our garage that he plans to use as a canvas. He has a plan.

All good things must come to an end – having kids in my house full time is one of them. I am happy, sad excited and scared about my future, but something tells me I’m going to be just fine.  Hey maybe I’ll add to my dog collection. A puppy doesn’t sound that bad, right? It will help me tackle that issue of exercise, and it will be someone who will love and need me, but not do anything drastic to my water or electric bills  Something tells me my husband will only support the addition of fish to the fish tank. Looks like I’m back to square one!

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Posted in Reaching Retirement.

One Response to Becoming an empty nester: One mom’s story

  1. Leslie Kaminski says:


    Good Luck with the empty nest! I am starting at the beginning. I have a 3 month old daughter at home. I have a long way to go for an empty nest! I suggest getting a dog! It sounds like you know how rewarding the unconditional love of a dog is. Have fun!

    Leslie Kaminski

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