I'm planning a new nest to coincide with them emptying this one. As they continue their journey so I will continue mine. My life begins anew just as theirs does. As they grow and strive to be independent of me I must take steps to be somewhat independent of them. I don't want to have time to look around my empty nest.
And if I make myself and my life interesting to me and I remain progressive and happy than I expect they will be keen on sharing my new nest with me as often as they can. Because really.. once the nest is empty and they have flown.. it is up to the adult them to choose their time with me.
I became a empty nester some time ago. There is an adjustment that you will go through. It is amazing the amount of time that is spent around your children and then there is a sudden vacuum. There are simply stages that you go through and it will be fine, but it feels strange and "unnatural". I really enjoy my life, post kids. Now, it is about you, not the role as mom. It is ok to feel, however.you feel.
I did some of the things I put off because I was too busy raising my son. There are some hobbies I've always loved that I began to give more time too. I also traveled more and went to see friends and family I hadn't seen in awhile.
The problem I had the most with was feeling guilty giving time to myself. It took me some time to get over that hump, but it went away.
Lots of my friends who are a similar age to me, and my sister, are going through this at the moment - I never had children (I wish I had, but c'est la vie) so I'm not having to deal with it, but based on their experiences you have two options: 1. Have wild parties every week and/or 2. Get a lot of cats.
I acted like someone had left the gate open- finally, I could head overseas.
When my daughter left for college I flew off to teach in Hermosillo, Mexico for a semester, and after my parents passed on. I moved to Thailand and taught there 2010 until last year.
As a single mother it must be difficult, I tend to chat about stuff with my husband. We both have mixed feelings, I love seeing them be so independent and watching other people relate to my 'babies' as real grown ups. I don't feel grief, just a little wistful. Funnily enough, I grew up in a family of seven children, and miss the buzz of having the kids around (I have three) but my husband who is an only child, blesses the peace and quiet !
I remember that grief, but knowing my kids were experiencing life on their own, independent of me, eased that grief. I am glad my kids didn't experience any separation pain, and were happy to get on to the life they had been preparing for. I was married at the time, but I might as well been alone.
Now that I am alone, I enjoy it. I'm glad my kids don't need me much, but they know I'm here if they ever do. Happy to get back to being me, not defined so much as my kids' mom, but me as me.
Go out and do some volunteering or something else to fill your emptiness! It doesn’t last long, and with mobile phones and tablets they are only a FaceTime away from seeing them. When mine went off to university In England during the 90s I gave them phonecards to use in Public phone-boxes to phone home...the calls were few and far between, even so! Mobile phones were like large bricks in these days and way too expensive for most people to buy.
Had no problem with it at all when they FINALY left. Didnt last long though as er ended up with a batch of grandkids. For another 14 years. The only nly habit I can't get rid of is the Inclination to cook for 6 instead of 2. But then that guarantees there is nearly always a few frozen dinners in the freezer when I don't feel like cooking.
I experienced it once. I was horrible at it, and my dog learned the English language a bit better. She often looked at me like I needed to put a plug in my face hole..."STFU, Mom!"
Then...... they came back.
My youngest kids came back - one from Job Corp, one from a nasty breakup that left him broke and nearly homeless.
Then my middle child and HER family came.... they had to leave Florida, or I'd lose her to the infestation of drugs that line the streets of Jacksonville.
Moral? THEY'RE ALWAYS GOING TO COME BACK. I sucked at empty nesting.... be very careful about what you wish for....IF you're wishing you had them around, again.
I had no problems; it was time for my sons to leave the nest. They came back a couple of times and when they left after those times, I was glad to have my house back. One lives six minutes away from me and though I love him and his family dearly (especially the grandkids), they have their lives and I have mine.
Seems to me from your pictures you are doing everything right: taking on home projects, some travel, taking care of yourself. If you are not used to doing things alone, join a group of fun people who like to do the things you do. The kids will always be there and I’ve found, often need you, for advise, a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with. Enjoy the time they give you, but enjoy your freedom as well.