Updated: Mar 27
Ten ways to living beyond becoming an empty-nester. What's next after your children are adults and have moved out of the house? Well - I've listed what I believe should be on your top ten list of finding the beauty of living beyond raising your children, but first, I'll share with you an
awakening moment I had this past weekend.
I was babysitting my grand-nephews this past weekend; they brought me so much joy. I was pretty excited; I wanted to keep them busy and happy while they were in my care over the weekend. We walked, talked, laughed, danced, had an impromptu pizza night. We took plenty of pictures, capturing those precious moments to share with family back home. I was reminded of how gratifying it is to see the joy on kids' faces. I was filled with joy and excitement. The boys and I went to a skate park, and I watched as my older nephew took amateur lessons from a kid in the park, after which I took both boys to the pool and watched as my eldest nephew put to use his swim lessons, which are paying off I might add. The evening was creeping in, the boys were falling asleep in the car, and I was pretty tired also, but I had one more stop, the grocery store. Carrying the little one in his car seat from the house to the car, from the car to the shopping cart at the grocery store, or from the car to the stroller, and from the stroller to the car and back to the house multiple times throughout the weekend was a task. In addition, I was flexing my arm muscles the entire weekend doing biceps curls, folding, unfolding, lifting, bending to put the stroller in the car, and taking it out of the car every time we reached or left a destination. It was work. However, it didn't feel like work until it was time for them to go home. My mind was slowing down because I didn't have to think about keeping them safely entertained or feeding them and burping and changing the little one; my "call of duty" was just about over. Suddenly I was mildly sad and a little anxious; in just a couple of hours, my home will be quiet again; it will be just me and the furniture. Spending time with my nephews reminded me of when my daughter was a kid, and she needed me to keep her safe, fed, entertained, and more. The time I spent with the boys was an eye-opening experience. It caused me to realize how drastically my life has changed since my daughter moved out and I became an empty-nester. After the boys left, my house is quiet again, and moments after plopping down on the couch, I was exhausted, but then I realized my daughter and multiple careers were my life. Between work, taking care of my daughter, and other things that required my attention, I was left with little time to think about myself or showing myself the love and attention I needed and deserved.
My needs were put on the back burner for so long, I had to learn how to show myself love with the intensity and gentleness I showed my daughter and my clients at work or anyone else that required something from me. I had to learn how to become an empty-nester; and, I've never lived alone. So, where do I begin? Live, you say? Well, good people, it's easier said than done, at least for me and perhaps others as well. I am going to live, but I am going to live free. Because it's been well over twenty years, and the latter years of twenty, I might add, since I took time out to take care of myself, and It's been twenty years since I've lived without a child living at home. Now, since I was free to think about myself first, it's taking me quite some time to find balance and a rhythm. So, I would like to share with my readers and hopefully provide you with some suggestions on how to begin your journey of empty-nesting without the struggle and delayed progress I had getting started. I had to find a new stride in life. I hope this list below will help you get started on a path to finding the beauty beyond being an empty-nester.
1. Write down personal goals for the year, the next five years, and beyond. Most assuredly, things you've always wanted to do but just didn't have the time, or it was just forgotten about because you were so busy. Writing down your personal goals will give you a starting point, and it also provides a constant reminder of what you would like to achieve in the future. Remember to include dates because goals without a date are just dreams, and goals written down with a date will hold you accountable for completion. Now that we are empty-nesters, we are done dreaming; it's time to live and explore new things.
2. Create a vision board. Creating a vision board will give you a physical image of tangible and non-tangible things you would like to manifest in your life. Visualizing is a critical component in Actualizing. We must see the results we want first and then start "carving" our masterful plans to manifest what we want.
3. Create healthier eating habits and explore more nutritious dishes. In my humble opinion it is relatively hard to eat healthy often when your'e cooking for a family, somebody is not going to like something so cooking to satisfy everyone can be a bit challenging. Also, for some busy moms working outside of the home, fast food was always an option on the menu. Now that you're cooking for one, it's a little easier to satisfy yourself, so the possibilities can be endless, and eating healthier may be a bit easier now that you are an empty-nester.
4. Start an exercise regiment. Now that you don't have to rush to an after-school activity or rush home to cook dinner, you can use the extra time going to the gym or to an exercise class. Maybe incorporate walking or running different trails in your state. Hiking, biking skating dancing, etc. Being an empty-nester, the possibilities for finding activities that provide enjoyment and burning calories simultaneously are endless and so much fun and entertaining.
5. Learn how to build wealth. We are never too old to learn something new, and what better thing to learn than how to build wealth. Or more wealth for some. There is nothing wrong with making money, right? Learning to invest in the stock market may be an option or gaining a side job doing something you love or always wanted to do but never had the time. Some ideas are knitting and selling what you've made, creating a cooking channel on youtube if you enjoy cooking, making and selling jewelry, selling art, maybe learning a new skill such as painting or pottery and selling it for a profit. Keep in mind we are living in a digital world, so again, the possibilities are endless. We can do almost anything in just one click. The sky is the limit.
6. Join social groups. Now that your kids are adults, it's an excellent time to build or create a social life. It is easier than ever to connect with people worldwide in just one click. Can you imaging having a friend or friends in different states or countries without physically being there? It is possible. Now that you are an empty-nester, you have the time to meet new people. Be courageous, and put yourself out there, but be safe while doing so.
7. Travel, I admire your courage if you are courageous enough to take a solo trip, boy voyage, and kudos to you for your courage. But if you're like me and would prefer traveling with someone or a group, join a travel group; the same as social groups, travel groups are a click away. Traveling with a group keeps the costs down, and it's also a great way to meet people who share a common interest. Lastly, if you are safety-conscious, when traveling with another person or a group of people, there will most likely be a chance someone is checking for you.
8. Learn new hobbies. Such as crafting, photography, refurbishing furniture, just to name a few. Now that you are an empty-nester makeover a small room in your home, like the bathroom, the garage, or the kid's room. Take your time and have fun with the project, but consistency is key to finishing any project you start. FYI, there are many avenues that can guide you on your journey with small home makeover projects; you can refer chain hardware stores, some have free in store classes (at least prior to the pandemic), the internet and books, and videos, just to name a few. As the saying goes "seek and you shall find". Happy "projecting"!
9. Volunteer. Volunteering is good for your soul, and it is one of the greatest ways to give back. Giving your time once a month or more if you have the time to people in need is a humbling experience. You never know how you can enrich someone's life with kind gestures.
10. And last but certainly not least, declutter your home. Now is an excellent time to rid yourself of all of the stuff you accumulated over the years. Becoming a minimalist is not a bad idea; physically and metaphorically, it removes un-needed weight. In my humble opinion, when your home is clean and clutter-free, your life then becomes clean and clutter-free.
I always say, "change is work, but work equals change.".
For some, it is not easy becoming an empty-nester, even though we know it is coming at some point, but just like when you're carrying a child, you can never be prepared enough for what's to come, the same goes for when it is time your kids to leave the nest; you are not fully prepared. Embracing the inevitable is best practice. I hope I was able to encourage you to find the beautiful things about becoming an empty-nester. Thank you for reading, until the next post good people, be kind to yourself and be kind to others.
Kind Words: Steadiness comes from character and commitment.