It’s seven weeks into the semester and I’m profoundly feeling the effects of the empty-nest. The weekends are the worst, especially Sunday evenings. Some Moms get through this easier than others, but I’m struggling.
Saturdays were always slow mornings, since we went to church on Sundays. Breakfast, hanging out in PJs and then usually a soccer game in the crisp, fall air surrounded by the changing leaves. We would stop at the local cider mill afterward, picking up donuts and cider slushies. I stopped in on my own recently and wow, it just wasn’t fun.Sundays, I go to church alone. Sometimes I run a few errands and write a bit. I always cooked on Sundays and that heightens the sadness.
No, I don’t miss being in the kitchen for two hours chopping, preparing, cleaning and cooking…I do miss the end result of everyone around the table, eating and talking and bonding. I miss hanging out in the living room on Sunday nights deciding on a movie everyone would like. My older daughter made popcorn. I would yell at my son to put away his phone and just watch the movie :).
It sounds simple, but the little things like sports games, church, meals, their friends coming over and just the constant activity brought our home to life. It feels strangely lifeless.
Make no mistake, with all of that activity came frayed nerves and craziness that wore me out. My son annoyed me. My older daughter sometimes prioritized friends over family. Funny how when they are at college, I tend to forget these things. A little peace and quiet should be welcome.
My work is isolated. I have a home office and in the last year (ironic timing with the baby leaving for college), I decided to teach exclusively in our online program. It pays more and I live in the country. I don’t miss the drive into the city campus, but now I have even less communication with other humans. So, I’m looking for a different job. Not to mention, higher education is nothing like it once was and I’m eager to move forward.
Last month, I started volunteering more, began a couple projects I’m really enjoying and made sure to book some girlfriend outings on the calendar. Still, I’m a Mama. It’s not only how I largely defined myself but I actually enjoyed it. They still need me but it’s sooooooo not the same.
My kids all face time me, call and text every day. We also have a family snapchat and family group text. I hear all of this communication is unusual so I’m really grateful. They are cool kids who tell me all about their experiences (good and bad!), and I am truly thankful.
Like starting the first day at a new high school, groups have already been established and I’m wandering from place to place, looking forward to landing in two or three new things that will slowly build this new, peculiar life. Other parents move on and I will too, but it’s a struggle. I also recognize that I must because my kids need to see their Mom happy and secure.
My twins are a few hours away so I was able to see my son a couple weeks ago and we got a hotel room to extend the time we could visit. Quite joyfully, my daughter recently called to say her roommates are leaving this coming weekend and she wants me to come and stay at her apartment just the two of us! She’s making all sorts of plans and I’m stupid-excited. I’ll be cooking on Friday, jumping in the car with the birds on Saturday, stopping at my son’s apartment to drop food and treats to him en route to my daughter’s university an hour past his.
Mondays are welcome mornings for me. After feeling sad on Sunday nights, Mondays feel fresh, like anything is possible, I just need to keep working toward the new goals.
“For everything there is a season…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Oh, how I can relate to this post! My oldest is in the air force, newly married with a baby on the way and stationed 7 hrs. away by car. My middle son and his new wife just moved out of state in August. My baby girl graduated with her journalism degree and only a few weeks ago, moved 2 hrs. away to work at an LA Times paper. So, it’s empty nest here, too.
As an author, my home is my office. I’m finding myself at Starbucks more often these days. I’m truly busy with writing, but at times it’s hard to focus because I miss what was. Scripture, volunteering at church and a quote by Dr. Seuss helps me.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
God bless you in this new season! Praying God uses us both in our new mama roles.
The Dr. Seuss quote just made me tear up! I can’t imagine how difficult it is for you with all three permanently moving a good distance away. We work hard to raise them to become the independent people they become but the new Mama season is an adjustment. Thank you for the beautiful words. God bless you as well.
Thank you so much for finding me! I’m glad you did because it made wander on over to you!
Funny, the whole reason I started my blog was because my empty nest hit me like a Mack Truck!
I used to metaphorically roll my eyes when I was younger thinking it was not a real thing.
My son & daughter are 7 years apart & though I went through it a little with my son, I think when the baby leaves it is startling how it hits us. Especially if you are close!
I’ve written a few posts about it over the years! It does get better. I promise. I think my whole faith system was tested for a while. Now with FaceTime and texting, technology has helped and knowing God’s got them helps but I just wanted to say I understand.💕
Thank you so much. I’m glad to read that it really does get better! And, they are only at college! Walking with God is the only way for me to press on and you’re right, He’s got them!
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It’s an adjustment for sure, but now that your day to day motherly responsibilities are over, it’s YOU time. I love that you’re volunteering and spending time with friends. And what a fun weekend adventure with your daughter to look forward to!
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Yes, it will be great! I’m working on growing in a new direction! Thanks for reading :).
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