Filling your Empty Nest
My coaching experience indicates significant trends in parenting and marriages, with couples struggling to find purpose once the kids are grown and gone. My husband and I have been married 29 years. We assumed that empty-nesters had less parenting duties. Did you think that too? I’m not sure why I thought that since my mom is 86 and still a rock for four very adult daughters. While parenting is a lifetime commitment, there comes a time when you let your kids go and trust them to God’s very capable hands. While that can sound frightening, it is actually quite freeing.
5 ways to fill your home ‘on purpose’ after kids:
- Marriage Matters! If you are married, focus on each other. Active parenting takes time, energy, and a lot of creativity. It also takes skilled communication. Put the energy you used to put into your children into your spouse. Cook nice meals, have date nights, unplug and connect consistently. Make sure your spouse can’t wait to come home to you each and every day!
- Focus on friends! Great friendships don’t just happen. They take effort and intention. Place yourself in environments where you can meet healthy people. Surround yourself with strong couples, pray for a best friends, and get out and about more. Go to the gym, take a class, volunteer, and get involved in your church. Your life should no longer revolve around your children. If you have grandchildren, be a grandparent, not a parent. Go live your life!
- Focus on faith! Dig deep into your relationship with God. Seek Him in a fresh and new way. Ask Him to reveal himself and his personal purpose for your life. Read the Bible consistently. Linger as you listen attentively to what the Father has to say to you. Play praise music. Play oldies! Sing out loud! Linger with your Lord. Let Him have you and love you.
- Let go of your kids. It sounds frightening, but it is so freeing. They will make mistakes. They will make messes. They will make great decisions too! Let them learn and offer advice ONLY when they ask. It’s hard, but our role must change and we must be willing to trust God with our precious children and grandchildren. When you step out, they will learn to step up. Trust and believe in them to live a great and honorable life.
- Enjoy the pay raise! Get your kids off your payroll. As someone who was on my own at 17, I had to suddenly become an independent adult and pay for food, housing, and every other expense. It was hard but I made it. I learned to appreciate work and what I could do to take care of myself. It may be hard, but it’s our job to teach them to become responsible adults. We can’t treat them like needy kids if we want them to become competent adults. They will learn!
Find the best you in you. I’m so thankful in all my years of being a wife, mom, BeBe, daughter and sister I never lost my woman. ‘Beth’ never got lost in all the other roles. Tired, yes. Overwhelmed, yes, shaken to the core, oh yes. Because of my crazy background I stayed ready to be independent if and when needed. Proud to say, Beth survived! I’m a happy woman who loves fashion, shoes, working out, and hanging with my hubby, friends, and learning new things. I’m Beth, who are you?
Your nest is not empty! Fill it!