It’s Now Time For Sensational You!
Written by Karen Hutchinson, REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist®
…Now That Your Nest Is Empty
You have mastered survival mode. Now it is time to live!
What is this new phase of life all about?
“Empty Nest Syndrome” is not a clinical diagnosis. Rather, it is a syndrome that some parents experience when their last child leaves home.
Parents have mixed emotions during this time of their lives. They are excited and proud of the new independence their child has achieved, but there is still a sense of loss when you pass by their empty bedroom.
It is important to really feel all those emotions, but also remember to CELEBRATE! You have raised an awesome human and now it is time for YOU!
Your nest is empty. Now what do you do?
Now that your nest is empty, you are free as a bird! You likely have not felt the sensation of freedom, TOTAL freedom from hands-on child-raising for many years. It is an unfamiliar feeling, but definitely one you are really wanting to embrace.
But, how do you transition from being the on-call-go-to person in the family to suddenly having all this free time? Good question! I have struggled with that one in the past as well.
There definitely is some period of time where you will feel like you are grieving. This is because you are. The life you built and knew backward and forward has disappeared and you now are on the brink of creating a new one. It is both scary and exciting.
Once you have worked through the feelings of loss, you will come to see that the world truly is your oyster! Everything you have put off doing for yourself suddenly becomes more possible because of your lessened family responsibilities. You absolutely do not love your family less. You just have more time to spend on the things YOU love to do!
Remember, even though it may feel like a loss because the life you were familiar with is gone, the people you shared that life with are not permanently gone.
I wish I would have discovered this book while I was adjusting to being an empty nester. Fortunately, I did finally discover “From Mom to Me Again” by Melissa T. Schultz and I whole-heartedly recommend this book to you. When you read it, you will feel comforted knowing you are not alone in the way you feel.
So, here’s a twist…
What do smart and happy empty nesters NOT do?
- They are not wishing that life could be the same as it was while raising kids. They know that life evolves and they are thankful that they have raised people who are independent and thriving in their young adult lives.
- They don’t avoid or deny their grief. It might seem tricky to think you are grieving and celebrating at the same time. But give yourself permission to feel ALL your feelings. Your kids are doing great and need you less (yay!), but you still miss them. That’s perfectly ok and VERY common. This sense of loss fades with time. I have first-hand experience with this.
- They don’t wait to hear from their kids. Did you just laugh a little? How many times have we wondered why our kids don’t respond to our texts and phone calls as quickly as we do? The hard truth is that THEY aren’t waiting around to hear from YOU. They are living their life. So you should take a page out of THEIR book and not sit around and wait to hear from them, and go ahead and start living YOUR life.
- They don’t forget to take care of themselves. This where it gets GOOD! What have you set aside over the years that has resulted in a certain amount of self-neglect? Is it time to take better control over your nutrition? How’s your activity level? Maybe you need to change the hairstyle you’ve had since your kids were born. What about that foreign language you have been meaning to learn? Is there a hobby you have been wanting to try? Maybe it’s time to make a coffee date with the neighbour you only ever chat with at the community mailbox. OR how about this: a brand new career! Yikes! I did it. I will be writing more on that in a future blog post. Anyway, I raised three boys into men, so one of my personal favourite indulgences is now: a GUILT-FREE NAP! Your options are only limited by your imagination. This is your golden opportunity to do YOU!
- And last but not least (and this can be a tough one), smart and happy empty-nesters don’t let their little birds stay in the nest too long. Of course, it is sometimes necessary for the kids to live at home due to college or temporary financial struggles. But are you really helping them if you allow them not to look for work, or save money that will ultimately provide them with their adult independence? It’s our job to raise them so they will leave. It sounds harsh, but the reality of it is not harsh. It’s one of the most loving things you can do for your child. Having them leave the house can surprisingly improve your relationship with them.
Is this the time to downsize?
Would I really be the Real Estate Agent you want me to be if I didn’t ask that question?
One of the things that may come to mind is: this nest (house) is way too big!
Are you thinking of downsizing and pocketing the difference in cash? That seems appealing!
There will be less housework and more leisure time. And I can help you get to that point.
I have experienced, survived, and thrived throughout my own Empty Nest Syndrome, and I would be to help you through yours. Easily contact me by clicking here https://karenhutchinsonrealtor.ca/contact-us/ and we can chat about how I can help you make your next move!