Top 10 Tips for Empty Nesters
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
November 22, 2010
Filed Under Parenting
Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Empty nest syndrome may not be the result of actually missing your children but the result of experiencing, for the first time in years, freedom and down-time, which you are unfamiliar with. It may feel a little hinky at first; even scary.
Aren’t you supposed to be busy every second of the day? Aren’t you supposed to be the step and fetch it girl for the children, who have now flown the coop and left you without purpose?
The top 10 tips for empty nesters include:
10. Stop calling
Do not call or text or email your kid 18 times every day. Get a grip. The kid probably doesn’t need you as much as you need him. If you don’t hear from him this is good news. Generally, they call when there’s trouble, and need bonded out of jail. No news is good news.
9. Minimize packages
Feel free to send care packages, once in a while but there is no need to overdue it. Even the most independent young adult likes getting a package full of goodies.
8. Enjoy nakedness
Walk around the house naked, singing show tunes. Workout in the buff. Make breakfast in the raw. Invite your partner to join in.
7. Find new hobbies
Do those things—reading a 1,000 page tome or learning to belly dance—that you never had the time or energy for when the kids were around. Face it: You can no longer use your children as a time succubus excuse. You have the time now. Use it, for you and on you.
6. Time with friends
Rekindle old friendships. Your friends from yesteryear are probably empty nesters too. Get together but try to talk about something other than …. Well, you know.
5. Pamper yourself
Take many self-indulgent and lengthy bubble baths and don’t lock the bathroom door. That’ll be a first in years.
Actually have a conversation with your partner that does not revolve around children. Be patient. This will take time. The two of you are so accustomed to discussing kids, fighting over kids and blaming one another for your children’s antics that you may be hard-pressed to come up with another topic. Try talking about … the weather, for starters. You may rediscover that your partner has a sense of humor after all.
3. Recognize your kids as adults
If you’re just dying to see your kid, meet him in a neutral place. Don’t wait for him to come home. Go out to eat in a restaurant or go to a movie together and let him spend time with you out of your element, so he can begin to appreciate you as an actual person rather than the woman who lovingly tolerated him for 18 years and washed his stinky socks. Your child will soon get a better appreciation of you as an adult, who just happens to be his parent.
2. Get sexy
Reinvent your sex life. There is no stopping you now, if you still have the desire. You don’t have to be quiet. You don’t have to wait until the kids are asleep. You don’t have to limit your activities to the bedroom. Go for broke.
1. Reclaim your castle
Remember who is queen of this castle. After the kids have been gone awhile you will, believe it or not, gloriously adapt to not having them around, and you will begin to like it. No. You’ll love it!
And then, if they move back in after graduating from college you, the sorrowful, sobbing empty nester of four years prior, are going to be annoyed. It’s guaranteed. Just about the time you reclaim your life, your home, your bathroom and your sanity, they’re back. Give the newly returned child a time frame: Six months, and you need to be out of here. Tell him that it is for his own good. Don’t let on that it’s for your good. You’ve earned the right to be selfish!
Are you a new empty nester? Get familiar with it. Find a purpose. A duty free afternoon was non-existent or at a premium all those years you were immersed, sometimes annoyingly and resentfully so, in the never-ending demands of parenthood. Suddenly, your daily schedule isn’t crammed full of parent obligations. Hey, enjoy it. It probably won’t last. They come back, you know.