Sunday, October 8, 2023

Empty Nest Tips for Getting Through

Empty Nest Challenges: The Evolution of Motherhood

Carving pumpkins with my kids

My empty nest challenges began before my kids even left the nest. In 1999, I decided to step away from my career in television news to raise my two sons. I devoted many years to caring for my family and nurturing my kids. Little did I know this path would lead me to a profound sense of loss and self-discovery.  

on a boat with my son

As the years went by my children needed me less and less and I felt lost. After deferring my own aspirations in television news, which is now a blessing, I faced the daunting task of rekindling my own new aspirations. It was time to reinvent myself. This transition was no walk in the park; it came with many emotional obstacles, personal challenges and several mistakes. However, through the process, I learned invaluable lessons that would shape the person I am becoming.  

Fast forward to today, my two boys have grown into adults charting their own life path. While I have had over a decade to come to terms to that initial sense of loss that comes when your child moves onto their own life out of the house, the feeling has deepened. Those glorious and joyful times of their childhood are now just fading memories, which remind me of the substantial amount of time that has passed in my life. 

Some days, this loss is overwhelming and the challenges feel insurmountable. I am discovering a few strategies that have helped me cope during these difficult moments. I found keeping busy, going on walks in the warm sun, putting God first and focusing on ways to be closer to my kids and sisters.

Selfie on Holy Cross

The empty nest season of life is a transformative time, that invites us to rediscover ourselves and redefine our purpose in life. The path is full of challenges and uncertainties, but also a time of growth and self-realization. I am embracing the lessons I learned from the past decade, realizing it was needed to get to where I am today. I am grateful for all those past moments, good and bad. Now, it's time for me to stop looking in the rear-view mirror and look forward to these new chapters in life with my adult children.  

Here are some helpful tips for those facing similar empty nest challenges:

Embrace the Evolution of Motherhood

Motherhood evolves as your children grow, and it's essential to acknowledge that your role will change over time. Celebrate the fact that you provided a nurturing environment for your kids to become independent adults.

Reconnect with Your Passions

Many of us put our own aspirations on hold while raising children. Now is the perfect time to rediscover and pursue your interests and passions. Dust off those old hobbies, consider new ones, or revisit career goals you once had.

Learn from Your Mistakes

The journey to self-discovery often comes with missteps and setbacks. Embrace these as valuable learning experiences. Mistakes are an integral part of growth and reinvention. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Acknowledge the Profound Loss

It's okay to grieve the departure of your children from your daily life. This loss can feel overwhelming, but acknowledging it is the first step towards healing and finding new sources of happiness.

Stay Active and Engaged

Keeping busy is a great way to fill the void left by your children. Consider volunteering, taking up a new sport, or pursuing further education. Staying active and engaged will help you meet new people and create fresh experiences.

Spend Time in Nature

Nature has a soothing effect on the soul. Going on walks in the sun, spending time outdoors, or simply tending to a garden can help you find solace and peace during this transition. The mountains are my place to soothe my soul.

Prioritize Your Well-being

Self-care is crucial during this phase of life. Make sure to prioritize your physical and emotional well-being. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, and seek professional support if needed. Your health matters.

Cultivate Your Spiritual Life

For many, turning to faith and spirituality can provide immense comfort during times of loss and change. Consider putting God at the center of your life for guidance and support.

Remember this empty nest phase is an opportunity for personal growth, reinvention, and self-discovery. While some days may feel overwhelming, you have the power to shape this new chapter of your life in a way that brings you joy and fulfillment. Embrace it with open arms, and you may find that the best is yet to come.

What is the Jeep Sway Bar Button

A Key Component in Off-Roading and Jeep Performance When it comes to off-roading, understanding your vehicle's components is crucial. On...