When all of my sons were living at home, this house was in a state of complete chaos most of the time. There were 4 of them. Those boys ate us out of house and home. It seemed like things were broken all the time when they were here. Lamps broken from missed football passes in the living room. Dishes were broken from the irresponsible hands that washed them. I remember the summer that they decided to have a water fight with their Super Soaker water guns…inside the house. The time when my 11 year old tried to pull the car into the drive way (don’t ask) or when the carpet in the family room caught on fire. Yes, those boys gave us hell for sure.
The house was filled with the sounds of laughter, discipline and love. I was always screaming and chasing one or all of them. People use to hate to see all of us coming, because my boys ate so much. I am laughing at the fights just thinking about it, good Lord they would fight each other!
Ah, but the house is quiet now.
Everything is in its place. There is peace and tranquility here. Neatness. You see my sons are all grown and have moved away. Each one lives on his own in different parts of the country. Sometimes when I walk by a wall that has been patched up, I remember the hole that was there from before. The first time we went grocery shopping after the last one left, we thought that we had forgotten a few items, because our bill was so low. Never realizing how much our food bill decreased with less mouths to feed.
I also never realized how much I would miss it all. I do. I miss the chaos. They gave me something to do and now I find that I have a lot more free time on my hands. I don’t have umpteen loads of clothes to wash. There are no more basketball games for 2 sons on different teams on the same night! No more massive dinners to prepare and cook and there are actually leftovers now. If you are an older mom like I am and dealing with an empty nest, here are 5 things that may help you combat your empty nest syndrome.
Don’t be afraid of Technology
Skype & Face Time are life savers, when the boys are unable to get home. It allows me to hear their voices and see their faces in real time. We also text A LOT and I have been known to stalk them on social networks if I don’t hear from them as often as I want to.
Have another kid
If you are able, want it and can afford it. Why not have another kid? Or you could adopt or get a Foster child.
Find A Hobby
Do what you love to do or what you’ve always wanted to do. You have time now and no excuses to stop you.
Get a Pet
We now have a dog living in our home. This is something that I never thought I would do. But I must admit that pets are a great way to get over an empty nest. They require a moderate amount of care and return affection repeatedly and unconditionally.
Reintroduce yourself to your mate
The house is empty and quiet most of the time now. Get to know the person that you neglected when you were both raising those kids and shuttling them back and forth. I know I looked at my husband the other day and said, “Hey! Hi there!”
I am so proud of my sons and the men that they have become. They are all functioning well in society. All are working, in college or the military. We Face Time them often and in fact I hear from at least one of them every week, but there is nothing like them being here. Whenever I see a frazzled young mother with a hoard of kids looking exhausted, I smile and I tell her to enjoy these times. I usually get a strange look. She doesn’t know it yet, but I know that she will miss these times when they are gone.
BMWK, Are your kids at home or grown and gone?