The Empty Nest

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    So Jumper is almost eighteen and never home. She is either practicing her sports or at school or hanging out with her girlfriends or more often her very nice boyfriend. It's like she only sleeps here. And Sonic? He has always been pretty quiet, being on the autism spectrum, but he does come downstairs to tell me things in excited bursts of being social. I am very close to both kids. And both will be out of the house by August. For Sonic, it could be sooner, depending on when an apartment in the complex he likes becomes available. Even though I don't have massive interaction with either of them, it is comforting for me to know they will be sleeping under our roof. I am wondering how others have felt about or dealt with the empty nest when it happens. I was hoping to get down to Chicago to visit my daughter and new granddaughter more often, but I just got a job, which I really need, and while I will visit, I can't go for long periods of time since I will have to be mindful of my job. Julie is going to be a stay-at-home mom so that was an option for me, but now it's not. My hubby still works full time...he's only 58 (I'm a cougar by two years).

    I do have my dogs :)

    Because of getting this job which I'd rather not have but need, I also have to quit a lot of my volunteering. The only activity I will still be able to stay involved in is community theatre because I get Thursdays off (but have to work every other weekend). I work five hours a day, four days a week. I do not know if I will be up to still volunteering but changing my hours after being on my feet all that time. It's not a sit down job. Plus I'm the type of person who needs alone time after I've been with people for long stretches of time, like five hours in a store.

    How do you feel when the last one leaves if it is not your difficult child? Just trying to see how it goes for others. I imagine I will adjust as I'm used to adjusting, but it's going to be weird. I thought of doing foster care respite as a job...but not so sure I'm interested in day-to-day parenting anymore, even for short bursts of time.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey MM,

    I went back to work full-time (about 7 hours 4 days a week) about 2.5 years ago. It was certainly an adjustment after being a stay at home mom for 21 years! I did have to give up a lot of the volunteer things I was doing. It does make you prioritize....

    As far as empty nest, it was tough when easy child left because she was such a joy. But it's really neat the way our relationship has built and changed since then. We are even closer now! With difficult child, like Jumper he is 18 and a senior in high school. However, he will not be leaving when he graduates in June.

    My difficult child, while making HUGE strides the last 10 years, is still a difficult child! He is about 2 years or so behind most most his peers both socially and mature/independence. We have worked out a plan, which we have talked about and talked about and talked about, where he will work and take some classes (either in the fall or definitely by there spring semester) while having very specific duties at the house. I truly feel that he is a bird that can't be pushed from the nest yet. My fear is that he will boomerang back if I don't give him the extra time to "catch up". I am hoping, knowing him like I do, that giving him a little extra time to develop his independence and skills, once he goes he'll be ready and less likely to come back!

    So, I'm still maybe two years away.....
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When Jamie left for the Marines it was fairly hard on us. We did get over it. Now since it doesnt appear we will ever get the others to totally move out, we moved We are loving the new place. Its so darned quiet. We can do exactly what we want. The main problem we have noticed is that we are having a hard time only cooking for two
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I love my empty nest! It's peaceful, quiet, and if I want to spend a day doing nothing but play on the Internet, there's no one who'll tell me she needs something and I should get up and stop being a which I responded by sticking out three fingers like the toes of a sloth, danced, and sang "Sloth, sloth, baby, gotta love that sloth, sloth, baby..."
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am a empty nester for the time being. I love the absence of conflict and being able to do what I want when I want. I still work as a sub, but I am also looking for other ways to enhance my time.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your thoughts, all of you. Janet, I almost spit out my coffee and that "winner" is from me. How funny, if you think about it.

    I am getting closer to Julie, since she is pregnant and will be a stay at home mom, and Jumper is rarely home because of her activities anyway. Sonic will still be around. I am going to be t he one who shops with him and checks in on him and is in charge of his minor amount of care and his apartment may be only a block from ours.

    Since Sonic and Jumper are just so easy to live with, there really IS no conflict in our house now, but I have to move on. One step at a time. The job will definitely keep me busy and I still have Community Theater, which I love. I feel better after reading your responses.

    I do know I'll be very sad to never again get to sit with the particular group of moms I do now and cheer on our athletic teams that our girls participate in. That will never happen again. Even in college, Jumper will be farther away and I won't know the parents. We are sort of like a little family when we are all there for the same kids who had played together since grade school.

    We'll see how it goes. Hubby and I can still choose to do respite foster care, thus have time to make a difference in the lives of other children, and since we are too old to adopt them, it will be like can love them, but you don't have to raise them. And with extra money just doing apartment living (heat/garbage/water included) and my job's money, I can probably plan more trips to Chicago to see my precious granddaughter-to-be Kaili (this is actually Kylie, but they are spelling it like that...go daughter and her SO are very creative, different thinkers and they want to spell it this way. Guess I'm lucky they didn't name her something like

    It is more the idea of no longer having Jumper and Sonic under my roof that makes me feel lonely, but I let my other kids go (made them go in some cases) and we survived and I guess I'll survive this too.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This has been on my mind too MWM. At about the same time your kids leave home, my granddaughter will be leaving for college, she is the same age as your Jumper. Although I've actually been through the empty nest when my daughter left home, I didn't really get that positive sense of the empty nest because my entire bio family has always kept me hoppin' with their needs and demands. So, this time out, feels as if I can really appreciate all the positives. If my daughter can get her own life in gear and my granddaughter happily leaves the nest, then this will be the first time in my entire life that I am not massively responsible for someone or a group of someones!!

    SO and I are starting to plan trips. Once it is just the two of us, we can get away a lot more. We both enjoy traveling of all sorts and we do road trips well there will likely be a lot more of those. Even with my job, I get a lot of time off so we can still travel quite a bit. I am thinking that when I retire, I want to learn new ways of gardening. Since I have quite a number of food allergies, when there is more time, I want to learn to bake and cook differently to accommodate my sensitivities more. I've been leaning more and more into that lately.

    I don't know MWM, perhaps give yourself some time without the kids before you sign on for foster care. You may find you LOVE the quiet and calm of life without the kids living with you.

    I am really looking forward to it. I think I will miss my granddaughter's daily presence, even though, like you with Jumper, I hardly see her!! And, I think there is probably a learning curve, a time of adjustment, where we can get used to this new 'normal.' It looks like a new adventure to me, a time in life to be enjoyed and cherished, to have that real sense of peace as responsibilities are lifted off of us. It's exciting!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    thank you, Recovering. Honestly, I find your suggestions just full of comfort and good sense and support and I think you have a point about waiting to see how it goes. I may LIKE being able to do what I want, when I want.

    To everyone here, you all know how much I value your excellent advice and wisdom. Thank you.