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Our daughter entered our life when I was 32 years old. I was in between gigs as a consultant (programmer/analyst) when we became pregnant. When our daughter was born, my thought of, “Sure I can be the breadwinner,” dwindled into “Hmmm…I’m not sure I’m okay with that.”
Thankfully, hubby was on the same page.
Throughout her childhood, I volunteered and worked a bit part-time in different roles, but my main gig was with her.
Moving ahead some years, we experienced interesting educational challenges with our daughter (our only child). Through her primary and secondary years, we have been the parents of a home schooled student, a public school student, and cyber schooled student (full and part-time cyber schooled). By early 2016, it had become apparent that considering to send our daughter to college multiple years early and more than a couple of states away was going to be an option we needed to consider.
Then, it happened. Someone said to me:
So, you and your husband will be empty nesters, next year?
Oh my. My mind went on overdrive with negative thoughts.
Comments from others were primarily to the tune of, “Wow, you get it four years early, you are so lucky.”
I hadn’t considered the empty nest. I mean, I was so busy in the details of the process (college interview, tours, FAFSA, application, etc.) that I hadn’t thought about what the following year would look like for me. Plus, I would think, “She’s not leaving home permanently, she’ll be home in the summer and breaks-,”
Can We Be Real For a Minute?
You know how you say something out loud and it hits you, really hits you?
Yeah, that was this for me. “Summer and breaks. Only summer and breaks. How long is the semester? Wait, how many weeks until we see her?”
And I was cut short of the prep time by four years, so I had to become okay with ALL of it real fast. I had to stop dodging the fact that she wouldn’t be here to check on daily which allows me to be automatically included in the big things and the little things.
Well, I had work to do.
I handle things pretty well on the outside, but inside I was a mess. I did firmly believe that our daughter attending that particular school at that specific time was the right thing for her. Was it the right thing for me? I had to get to a place where I believed it was so that I could be the best friend to myself, the best wife and best mother I am capable of being.
The Best Lesson
So, I worked on it. I worked hard on it. There were, and still are, easier days and more difficult days – that is how life works, anyway, right? I now focus on leaning into the difficult days, rather than fighting them – isn’t easy but it is life changing (I’ve lost
35 40 45+ pounds as a side note!), and, now, even when I fail (because I am human), the growth in my life is crazy-incredible.
The amazing part is that it all started with my thoughts.
It is now my passion to work with mothers of high school students who are in the trenches with those empty nest comments and are having a hard time with it all. I want to help you write the next jaw-dropping amazing chapter of your life. Why not? Your life isn’t over. It is just beginning.
Get started right away with my free, seven day program: The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.
Want to register for my next available session of The Empty Nest: First Steps Toward Success? View all of the information by clicking here.
Your Empty Nest Coach