It can be one of the most dramatic transitions of our later years, but Miriam Iwrey finds that the shift to an empty nest is also surprisingly liberating. Read more from Miriam on her blog.
The empty nest is not easy. Why?
Transition is defined as a noun: movement, passage or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.
Empty nest means we are changing from being a full time, hands on parent, to a parent who is not involved in the daily living of our young adult child.
Empty nest means we are moving from being just a mom to being more; we are redefining who we are, what we do.
Empty nest means we get to try things we could not previously for a multitude of reasons, one being we put our children first and now we can be first.
Transition means we are moving from one stage of life to a new stage of life; exciting and scary all at the same time.
Transition means we are moving towards those things we put on the back burner years ago; do they still fit, do they still hold interest, do they still serve us? Questions we ask as we explore. For some of us this can be a challenging experience as we find out now some of our ideas of yesterday don’t necessarily speak to who we are today.
2. Letting Go
Part of the process is being comfortable letting go. Letting go of those things that no longer serve us in this transition to a new chapter.
Letting go means being open to new perspectives and seeing things in a different light.
Letting go means allowing for new ways of relating to those around to take place.
To let go means to embrace learning new things about ourselves as we transition to the next chapter; again, exciting and scary all at the same time.
3. Finding our way
Finding our way takes time. Let’s be honest; we have spent 18 years identifying ourselves as mom and redefining ourselves takes time. The secret is keep at it, keep trying new things, experimenting, but perhaps most of all embracing who we are as individual women, imperfections and all.
To find our way means we evolve into a new version of who we are, embracing the knowledge and wisdom we have learned along the way.
Empty nest is not easy but it is a time of exploring who we are, who we want to be, all the while still being the mom to our children. As I mentioned in an earlier post on empty nest, watching our children grow into adulthood knowing we provided them with a solid foundation takes some of the sting out of being in an empty nest.
Empty nest is not easy; let’s count our blessings we have made it this far!
20+ years practicing Social Worker (MSW)
Certified Elite LIfe Coach
Midlife Transition Consultant