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So what do you do with an empty-nest?

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Replies to: So what do you do with an empty-nest?

  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,597 Senior Member
    Is anyone else feeling the post-holiday blues? My adult daughters (post-college) were here for Christmas and one was able to stay for New Year's Eve but both were gone by last Sunday. It has been very cold here, I'm sick, and I have a lot of work. My life as a mom and with a family seems so distant.
  • partyof5partyof5 Registered User Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    My D1 left Wednesday, she is senior and this is the first time I didnt tear up at the airport. After having a son graduate in 2015, one would think I would have the hang of it, but nope! D2 has a very long break, and doesnt go back until the week of 1/15.
  • b1ggreencab1ggreenca Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    Just the opposite for me. Because by the time he was a senior in HS my relationship with my son was very fraught and tense, during his first year of college I was not upset at all when he left to go back to campus! But here it is halfway through sophomore year, our relationship has gotten much better and more easygoing, so now when he left to go back I was finally sad about it!
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,221 Senior Member
    We are not, but we were at a NYE party given by some older friends. We described some traditions we have -- including time capsules questionnaires we and the kids have filled out each year since our youngest was two. We share our current answers and then open the old ones and read them aloud. We are asking questions about the skills we learned this year, our greatest accomplishments of the year, what we like to do less of, how we see ourselves in five years, etc. Plus favorite foods, movies, books, etc. This year, we stayed at home of New Years and both kids were back (though one flew off to meet his GF's parents). ShawWife assumed that ShawD would join us and when I explained that that wasn't going to happen, we accepted the invitation of her friend.

    So, the hosts explained to us, almost proudly, that they didn't have any traditions over holidays, etc. These are lovely people. The H has led major and really beneficial service projects and created organizations to help villages in Africa and building houses post-Katrina. Later in the same conversation, they noted sadly that their kids don't invite them to Thanksgiving or Passover or Rosh Hashanah.

    We think that creating our family traditions -- on RH, we have had a "Birthday Party for the World" etc. -- and creating warm events, the kids have warm feelings about doing stuff with us. So, later in the week, we had celebrate the new year with the kids and did our time capsule entries.

    We suspect their lack of family traditions is part of the cause of their current sadness at not getting invited to their kids.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,711 Senior Member
    @shawbridge, I love that time capsule idea. Wish I would have thought about it. I find myself regretting not "doing the right things" to build memories in some cases.
  • threebeansthreebeans Registered User Posts: 258 Junior Member
    I will probablly have my two oldest move out this year, one to transfer schools and the other to begin college. I'm already redecorating their rooms in my mind. My daughter will be a junior in high school by then and able to drive. She has been my most active child, by far so her driving will free up about 8 hours a week alone! Maybe i'll lose the 20 pounds I've gained since I've gotten married in my free time!
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,221 Senior Member
    Go for it, @threebeans. We are working psychologically on selling the house that we raised our kids in -- we don't need a 5 BR house in walking distance to an elementary school any more and we feel it would really be appreciated by a young family.
  • jmnva06jmnva06 Registered User Posts: 522 Member
    Our nest is now half-empty. My older D has moved home while she starts her teaching career. It is going well but has been an adjustment for all of us
  • rockymtnhighrockymtnhigh Registered User Posts: 1,902 Senior Member
    We had at times our vegetarian kid who comes home and we basically eat vegetarian for a week. It is some thing I could get used to.

    You are doing her a big favor, artloverplus, just giving her a nice environment and B&B including meals and emotional support. Would not expect any socialization much from her. This test is stressful. Time will pass soon enough and you will be back to your regular lifestyle.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,231 Senior Member
    It's funny--in our empty nest, we go to doctors appts and medical conferences so I can stay up to date with my nonprofit. H and I enjoy it as they are mostly in nice cities that we might not otherwise visit. The healthcare providers and exhibitors are pretty nice and we learn a lot that we share when we return to HI. Sometimes our kids meet us in locations we are at, which is an added bonus.
  • psychmommapsychmomma Registered User Posts: 2,067 Senior Member
    edited June 4
    I finally experienced an empty nest for two weeks. My mom lives with us but was sick and went in a rehab center after the hospital (To regain strength after recovering from illness) and S came home from his first year of college two weeks later. I feel guilty saying it was nice to have freedoms that we don't when taking care of an elder with dementia. I don't foresee another empty nest situation for a long time. I still enjoy reading what the rest of you do with your new circumstances.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 720 Member
    It was my parents' 50th anniversary this weekend. I can't tell you how many people asked DH and I how we are handling the empty nest. Truth is (and we were a bit embarrassed to admit) we have never been better. We love our daughter to the moon and back and would do anything for her (including paying out of pocket $70,000 a year for college that we had to take out a second mortgage to pay)...but the fact is, we have never gotten along better.
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