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Confessions From an Empty Nest

I have loved being a mother to my children and stepchildren.  I loved the chaotic schedules of ball practice, selling magazines, homework, science projects and the arguments over what is right and what is wrong.

I miss my children, who are now adults.

The nest feathered so dearly with porcelain dolls, colorful areas rugs, for the girls and sailboats of blue, with maps of adventures yet to be for the boys, sit quietly now echoing memories of young children.

To be honest, when the youngest child left home last year I think I went into a little depression.

No longer was breakfast a joy, nor was dinner.  Cooking had lost its appeal.  Once I had been so orderly with schedules, and neat clean closets, and always looking for new recipes that would appeal to picky teenage tastes.

Finally I knew that I need to do something or I was going to slip too deeply into a black pit of despair and medication and much counseling would be the only way to get me back out.

Have you experienced any difficulty with a quiet uncluttered life of an empty nest?

Well, here is what I finally come up with as a plan to combat the sad that first showed up when the nest emptied.

See this as an opportunity for personal growth, not an opening to a pit.

This was the time I began writing almost everyday.  I began a blog and started looking for other blogs that I enjoyed reading.  I soon found a small online community that I could identify with and interact with, much like Empty Nests ~ Full Lives.

Rearrange the feathers from your nest.

Now is the time to pull out all of the things you may have pack up because you didn’t want the children to break them.

Or maybe it is time to go and buy that new couch that was too nice for messy teens to sit on.

Maybe its time to clean out one of the rooms and have a project room for you.

Fill up your refrigerator with all of the things you like.

Get the mushrooms, onions.  Get the chocolate that you quit buying because they would eat it all and you never got even one piece!

Volunteer 

It is my very humble opinion that the reason we become depressed is because we are only thinking inwardly.  When I feel any depression coming on, I get myself up and go and help others.

Sunday School classes for the children always need help.  I volunteer at an inner city ministry, teaching elementary school girls how to embroidery.  When I show up they all yell, “hey Mrs. Diane”, then they say  “oreo!” and they all run up and surround me with a hug, and I am the white center surrounded by the beautiful chocolate.

They think I am there to teach them, if they only knew I am there because I need the love they give.  They help fill the void of my empty nest.

If you are reading this from the Empty Nest ~Full Lives Facebook page, would you please click here and leave your comments?

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Posted by Diane W. Bailey on October 4, 2012
8 Comments Post a comment
  1. 10/5/2012

    So beautifully written, Diane! I almost feel guilty to say I didn’t experience the “Empty Nest Syndrome” like so many do… although I’ve always lived near my children (we also have a son with disabilities who still lives with us) and I think in way, teaching has always been a life-savor for me. My students have served to fill many voids that I’m sure would have been hard to fill otherwise (after all… they are all my children:) I love your plan of combat and I can see how every one would serve to pull you out of a miry pit of despair and onto a full & rich life beyond child-rearing. Btw… always hide some chocolate, I do! You will be so thankful on those off days to grab God’s Word, your blankie, and some Ghirardelli 😀 (and just wait ’til you’re a grandma… YOU WILL LOVE IT!)

    Reply
    • 10/5/2012

      Marisa, I have a friend with a downs syndrome child and she says that is God’s gift to her so that she will never know and empty nest!. Did you see Terrie’s comment on the last blog, she knows about me and chocolate! And I do have Grandchildren…they are my reward for not resigning from parenting when I had teens!

      Reply
      • 10/5/2012

        What a blessed life you must live, Diane! Relish in every moment. I LOVE your friends philosophy (which I have now adopted for myself). My son is a treasure and I delight in his smile and sweet spirit every day 😀

      • 10/5/2012

        You both are treasures to me !

  2. 10/8/2012

    We are enjoying all sorts of new foods — I just roasted a butternut squash and made soup! My kids would’ve never eaten that, but we both love it! Who knew cooking could be so much fun?

    Reply
    • 10/8/2012

      I am learning to love to cook for two. Especially since I can cook what we like!

      Reply
  3. 10/16/2012
    jerralea

    I’m glad to find an empty nester in blog land. So often the blog communities I participate in are full of young mothers. I do love hearing their ideas, but sometimes it’s great to hear from someone who is walking the same path I am.

    Being an empty nester is harder than I thought it would be …

    Reply
    • 10/16/2012

      Welcome Jerralea! I am so very glad to have you here with us. Don’t be a silent participant, this is interactive. Did you “like” “Empty Nest ~Full Lives” on Facebook? Come over and join if you have not already!

      Reply

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