I will be 42 in February and I am an empty nester. Actually, I have been an empty nester since I was 40 and Amanda when to college. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m a semi-empty nester since she does come home for break and occasionally during the semester.(Who knows, she might be one of those kids who return after college, so for now, I’ll just say we’re semi-empty nesters) Joel and I were always on the young end of parents as Amanda was growing up, as we were both just 22 when she was born. It was always interesting meeting the parents of Amanda’s friends as we were usually a good seven to ten years younger than the rest. It has never really bothered me and there is some freedom in knowing that we would still be young when she was out on her own and that we’d be young enough to enjoy grandchildren (but as I told Amanda, not TOO young, ok?) Now, I’m not so sure how I feel about that!
When Joel and I got married, I was pregnant with Amanda so except for the first seven months, we’ve always been the three of us. It has taken some adjusting for both of us to not have her there as the center of our life, but we are getting there. We are getting used to making plans for us and not having to worry about what her schedule is. I would say that for me, it’s taken a good year for me to get my equilibrium back from having my only child leave home. I have started my photography business and am sitting down and getting serious about my blogging again. It’s almost like it’s now MY time and time to focus on me and not on my child and where she needs to be. That might sound selfish, but now, this doesn’t take time away from her, she’s off doing her own thing at the University of Florida.
So for those of you who still have kids at home, I have some advice for you.
1) Time really does fly so enjoy every single moment..even the not so nice ones. (and snap a photo of the not so nice ones to embarrass them when they’re older..lol)
2) Don’t get so wrapped up in your children that you forget who you are.
3) Don’t worry about small stuff, I can promise you, it doesn’t matter.
4) When you are tired of the noise that seems to be a constant in your house, just remember that in a few years, you will wish that you had that noise back!
5) Make sure you have friends that aren’t connected by your children. (I found this to be helpful to keeping me sane and that ‘competition’ factor wasn’t there)
6) Don’t get so wrapped up in your children that you and your spouse forget that you were a couple before you had children and will be after they leave home. (I learned this the hard way)
7) Don’t look on your child’s high school graduation as a sad time. Not only is your child’s future wide open, so is yours!
This is a post for the Jan. 3 Prompt at Write Alm
(note that some of these are iphone photos and they aren’t as clear as I’d like)