You are a mother of a high school student, and you are freaking out about the empty nest ahead? Together we will channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! You will THRIVE as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college. ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
75: The Not So Empty Nest (COVID-19 Social Distancing) Number 4 with Katy Oliveira, March 19, 2020
Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
In our Not So Empty Nest series, today I chat with College Success Strategist Katy Oliveira. If your child doesn’t already know about Katy, it might be time to introduce them to her. She has a podcast that helps them to become their best selves through college!
Take a listen or read the full transcript below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #69 of my podcast.
[Music: Intro – fades out]
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #69 of my podcast. If this is your first time listening, I invite you to check out my Friday episodes, as well, where I provide bite-sized coaching assistance to guide you along your empty nest transition years – this is an amazing time of our lives but it is easy to forget that through the bumps in the road in our journey. My hope is that you discover how amazing you are and find the excitement in your years ahead.
A reminder that a list of all of the Quick Tips Team members and their contact information may be found on my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com – look for the Quick Tips Team button on the home page.
And, of course, if you have a quick tip that you would like to share with listeners of this podcast, I would LOVE to share it with them, or if a quick tip, that has already been shared here, really resonated with you, let us know. See this episode’s show notes for a link to record your audio submission for this podcast. Happy recording, friend!
Wait, Christine, where are the show notes? That might help you, huh? You’ll find those in the description of this episode – on Apple Podcasts click, “Details”; on Spotify, Click “See More,”: on Overcast press the I for information – button – Get the idea?
Or of course, visit my website for full show notes with links to everything we discuss in this episode and a full episode transcript – those reside at your empty nest coach dot com forward slash p for podcast and 69 (for this episode’s number). I can’t wait to hear from you.
[Music: Sponsor Music]
Thanks! Thank you. It’s time to thank our sponsor. This Quick Tips episode is sponsored by my community: the Green Popsicle Sticks. Ready to find the GPS of your life? Then sign up for my Thursday Thoughts about email where you will gain immediate access to the GPS Life Principles document, and will receive a link to join our community – and it is all FREE! See the link in this episode’s show notes, or head to my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com and click the Thursday Thoughts About button to get started. See you there!
We are going to jump right into the tips from our team members, they’ve been introduced in prior quick tips episodes. If you are new to this podcast, be sure to check out our earlier quick tips episodes. First up is Katherine, the 5 Kilo Traveller.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Travelling light has started to flow over into my day to day life. My family are noticing how I am becoming more minimalistic. My daughter heads off to college this year (in NZ, we say, going to uni or university).
Interestingly as she has packed her gear up, she’s thinking about what goes with what, how many pairs of jeans she needs, tee shirts, jumpers, and that kind of thing…. Clearly, she has heard me talk about “take what you need,” which was my last tip.
So she does take what she needs…
But the rest of it she leaves right here at home…
I remember when I left home, I was studying nursing, and we learned about the stages of life, including the empty nest. I went home and told my mother (who like me now, clearly knows nothing about the world!)… I told my mum that she was experiencing the empty nest syndrome. Well, that went down really well.
With one look, I got the message loud and clear – but she also added- I love that you leave home, but you keep bringing your STUFF back”.
Clearly, she was in a state of denial. And 18 year old me humoured her by quickly changing the subject. Quite possibly a life-saving decision.
But now I’m in that same spot – kids leaving home and leaving their stuff behind.
Anyway, I’m pleased that she’s learning something from me as she heads out into the big wide world.
So, my tip today is – TAKE LESS!
You cannot travel light without reducing what you take.
I make sure that all the clothes I take can be worn in multiple ways and with multiple items. Three tops and three skirts or pants that go well together can be made into nine different outfits. Add a cardigan or a scarf, and that makes so many more ways to change your look.
I generally stick to one colour or versions of it and some accent colours. My personal preference is navy blue with an accent colour, but you could do black, grey, or any other color. In my minimal travel wardrobe, everything works well together and can be layered if it gets cold.
In New York in December, I wore – three SmartWool layers, a puffer jacket, and a long wool coat, and I was lovely and warm. Of course, I also had my scarf, my hat and gloves, and my warm boots – essential winter gear!
But because they all went well together, it was really easy to wear everything together and to layer them up. So take less. Happy light travels!
[Music: Guest Intro]
Hi! I’m Dierdre from DeClutter by Deirdre, a senior move management company, and your host of the Magnificent Aging podcast. My tip for this month is: do not accept items out of guilt, that you don’t want, from family members who are doing their own decluttering or organizing so that they can move or age in place.
Thank them for thinking of you and ask them to pass that item on to someone else.
Thanks for listening. I appreciate you!
Jo, our humorous observations team member is up next.
[Music: Guest Intro]
The empty nest feeling is quite a shock for many, but you do get used to it, and you develop a lovely quiet, ordered life with time to pursue your own interests and hobbies and spend a lot of time with your partner.
And then the kids come home again.
Prepare to spend your life savings in the supermarket only to be told, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.”
And when they do eat, it’s 14 packets of cereal, and not knowing what to do with the empty milk carton, they’ll put it straight back in the fridge.
They manage to pack for a full-week trip in about ten minutes, and yet it takes them a whole week to unpack when they get home.
When they do unpack, they put everything – and I mean everything – in the wash. This often includes sweet wrappers, coins, earphones, you name it.
When you return their washing – all clean and ironed, it goes straight onto the floordrobe.
They no longer consider, “What did I just say?” as a threat, but more of a genuine question and the TV is permanently tuned to either the sports channel or reality tv
But you know what? I don’t care about any of it. Like most parents, I will do whatever it takes to make home be somewhere they will come back to.
But when they go again, and it’s just my husband and I, I feel like the empty nest is okay, too.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Hi Rachel Lankester here, midlife mentor from MagnificentMidlife.com. My top tip today is to remember that we don’t dismiss the coppery leaves of autumn in favour of the spring blossom. Both are beautiful, they’re just different. The same applies to your beauty as you age.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Hi, this is Katy Oliveira, your college student’s success strategist. And today’s quick tip is to place less emphasis on the importance of a college major and more emphasis on encouraging your student to engage in relevant experiences that build their skill set and their network.
At the end of the day, skills, experiences, and relationships are what prepare your student for opportunities and open the door to employment, not a particular major.
How many people do you know who aren’t working in a field directly related to their major? I know, for me, it’s most people.
And of those, how many use their skills, experiences, knowledge, or relationships that they acquired studying their college major?
I know most of the folks I talk to on my podcast, often cite using knowledge or skills in their college experience in their current and unrelated profession.
What makes the major important isn’t the major itself, but the major’s ability to hone your student’s strengths, develop your student’s skills, showcase your student’s talents, and connect students to a network of mentors and peers.
Yes, there are still some classic professions that still require specific certifications and credentials that come with studying a specific major, like accounting, teaching, and nursing. But, more and more, people are preparing for professional opportunities that don’t yet exist during college.
This may seem terrifying, but in fact, I find it to be an exciting opportunity for your student to use their unique combination of skills, perspectives, and experience to find fulfilling and viable work no matter how the workforce changes over time.
The key is not locking your student into one specific job role, but instead, helping them understand what they bring to the table and using education and experience to continually personally, and professionally grow and develop so that your student can pivot whenever they need to.
[Music: Guest Intro]
This is Coach Christine, again, wrapping up with a tip for you today about when to seek help.
Do you know what takes courage?
Seeking help when you need it.
Sometimes we need an impartial outsider to see what we are blocking in our life.
I look at it as three levels of guidance:
Level I would be self-help: This is when you are content with where you are in life, happy with your progress, and enjoying the journey you are on – books, podcasts, chats with friends are all you need.
I see level II as when you need Outside Specialty Guidance: This is for when you are on the right path, or see glimmers of it, and are ready to expedite your journey ahead. You are brave enough to share your thoughts, and prepared to process them with another who will – with your best intentions in mind – do the following:
provide a safe listening space for you to share
guide you to see the speed bumps you have placed in your life
suggest tools and resources in your journey
encourage you to feel the feelings that come up and to
question everything with love
The best outside guidance will let you know when you are ready to fly on your own in self-help (with maybe some maintenance) or will let you know when they are no longer able to serve you. Should you want me to be that person for you, I, of course, offer:
An online program & Text Coaching
The GPS Exec Monthly Membership
And coming soon will be The CEO of Your Life Online Boot Camp
And the final Level I look at is Level III and you would need Professional Help: This is when If you can’t function in life, maybe you are having suicidal thoughts, or getting out of bed is a massive win for you, regularly, this is when you should seek professional help in the form of a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist.
Look for one who specializes in the area you need help in – Callan Olive shares more on this in an episode #23 of my podcast. Be sure to listen if you’re not sure where you need to head.
I hope this helps you in all areas of your life and take Level III, that final one, seriously if you are there. You are worth it.
[Music: Back to Christine]
Thanks for listening, today! If you enjoyed this episode, and want the next quick tips episode to make its way to you in your favorite app, take a moment to subscribe to this podcast – it’s free, after all!
My next episode is titled “Becoming the CEO of Your Life: Part 5 of 5.” Did you hear the first four? Are you curious? Well, I hope so! If you are subscribed to my podcast, you’ll find it in your feed on Friday by 6 AM. You can start listening to that series right now with episodes 64, 65, 67 and 68!
[GPS Exec Thank you music]
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to my GPS Execs: the executive producers of my podcast! Visit my website or see my show notes for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Exec, where you will gain bonus access to me – and more!
Thanks for listening today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please tell a friend about it.
And my empty nest and CEO of Your Life friend, please remember that YOU ARE AMAZING!
My guest, today, Jenn Musselman, is so much fun. She’s a closet coach, a certified professional life coach with a niche in closet coaching (more about that in the episode), and also manages one of my favorite places to hang out – and get my hair done – Reveal Salon, located in Chester Springs, PA. One visit there and you’ll know why I think of it so fondly.
Jenn chose to be open and honest with us in sharing some of the thoughts she’s had as her youngest heads off to college. She surprised herself with a couple of them and one she even had herself questioning, “where did this thought come from?” Now, if you have listened to a few of my episodes or more, you know I view observing and questioning your thoughts as healthy.
A special thanks to Jenn for joining me and for opening up to us in this way. May you find some comfort in what she shares. Take a moment to follow her on Instagram or Facebook while you are here. Links are below!
Take a listen or read the full transcript below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 37: Laughing Through the Empty Nest Transition With Jenn Musselman. … Well, my listener, today is a real treat. I’m lucky enough to know Jenn in my life. She’s a certified professional life coach, who has a particularly fun niche, or niche, however you say that, which is closet coaching. You may be wondering what exactly that is. I’m going to let Jenn tell you herself, shortly. …
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 37: Laughing Through the Empty Nest Transition With Jenn Musselman. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:38 Hello, my future empty nest friend. Before I get started, I have a request. My team and I are planning on taking some time off over the holiday season, and rather than going completely silent for that time, we thought we would share listener favorite episodes, or snippets. That means that we are looking for your submissions for one of two things, something you learned from the podcast that has helped you, or you’re favorite episode. For both of these, explain what they mean to you, and tell us what episode number it is from. You may email your recorded submission with your phone audio recorder or type it out. Send your submissions to podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for your assistance.
00:01:49 Well, my listener, today is a real treat. I’m lucky enough to know Jenn in my life. She’s a certified professional life coach, who has a particularly fun niche, or niche, however you say that, which is closet coaching. You may be wondering what exactly that is. I’m going to let Jenn tell you herself, shortly. She also is the manager of Reveal Salon, one of my absolute, most favorite places in the world, and I do not say this lightly, and I don’t say it about many things either. In the last two visits to the salon, Jenn and I have checked in with one another on how we are doing in this empty nest journey. With Jenn’s youngest starting college, she is in it, and the way she tells it, she might just have you laughing as much as she had me laughing.
00:02:35 Look, this empty nest stuff is no joke, or maybe it should be. The emotions we need to go through are no joke. But checking our thoughts about it, as you know, are everything. What if we choose to make it all funny? I hope my short conversation with Jenn will remind you of this. Welcome to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, Jenn.
Jenn: Thank you so much. I’m so excited that you asked me to join you. It’s a big privilege.
Christine: I just saw you on Saturday, and I get to see you again. I’m thrilled to have you here today. Jenn, thanks for being open and honest enough to share your tough times through your current empty nest transition. I know I keep telling you this, but I do think you need to do some stand-up comedy around. I would love it, if for today, you would start by telling us a little bit about yourself, your family and where you are currently on your empty nest journey?
Jenn: Okay. Sure. I have been married for over 26 years. We have two boys, 22 and 18, and both of them, right now, one’s starting grad school, and my youngest started a summer session up at Penn State. So, we are right on the cusp of being complete empty nesters come the fall. It will just be my husband and I. So, growing up, or should I say, going through this life with an entire family of men, or boys, or children, that’s probably where I got my humor, because it was either that or drink heavily, so I decided, you know, go with the humor to try to get through this because no one is very serious in my family. You know, a lot of bodily noises and functions, around the dinner table, still, even at this age. So, that’s kind of where I am with this whole empty nest thing. With my youngest son going, it definitely caught me off-guard. I thought I was seasoned. A seasoned send-your-child-off-to-school, but I still was not prepared for the emotional toll.
Christine: Right. It’s a big deal.
00:04:42 Christine: Yes. So, I’m not going to try to make this sound like a therapy session, which is easy, since I’m not a therapist. But there are at least three stories you’ve shared with me recently, that I believe my listener would enjoy hearing. Are you willing to indulge us?
Jenn: Oh, absolutely. Let’s embarrass me. Yes.
Christine: Okay. Yes. You once shared with me about smelling pillows, which actually I have looked, and there is something on this, on “Psychology Today.” Do you know that?
Jenn: Oh, no. No.
Christine: So, you’re not alone. But please, share.
Jenn: Okay. So, I’m Italian Catholic, so you know, we are very emotional beings, and we worry a lot and we’re filled with guilt, but when my first son went away to college, I’m not even sure how this started, but I just missed him a lot, so every morning and then every evening, I’d go to open his blinds, or close his blinds in the room, for the day, or the night, and then I would end up smelling his pillow on his bed, trying to get some little scent of him. So, don’t change your kids’ sheets. That’s my advice. So, now, I’m doing it in both kids’ rooms. Like my husband said, “Thank God we didn’t have six or seven kids,” because my morning or night routine would take an hour. I feel like I have to do it. It now has become a routine, like having my coffee in the morning. I just smell, and I talk to them, have a nice day, good night. If any of my neighbors are watching, yeah, that’s me.
Christine: Maybe some will be like, “Hey, I do that, too.” I think that’s what we’ll find. Has anyone mistakenly washed them, or do you do all the laundry?
Jenn: No, I do all the laundry. They’ll come home, or I’ll say, “Okay, I’m losing your scent. It’s time for you to come home, because I cannot find your scent on the pillow any more.” Then, they’ll come home and I wash them, and then, you know. I don’t know. It’s just in my head. It makes me feel better.
00:06:52 Christine: It’s nice though. I’m wondering what’s wrong with me, that I have not wanted to smell pillows. Then there was this out-of-body experience that you recently had. Are you willing to share this one, too?
Jenn: Okay. Why not. Okay. My youngest virtually graduated, he went to Senior Week, and we had about a week before, then he was leaving to go to summer session. I don’t know, something with that last week, it’s kind of like the countdown, “Oh, my last Monday. My last Tuesday.” That’s what I tend to do in my head. He had told me him and his girlfriend were going to go out to breakfast. I went to the grocery store. I came home, he was helping me unload groceries, and all of a sudden, I see her vehicle pull up in my driveway. I literally started to hyperventilate, because I thought I had more time with him in the morning. I wear everything on my face, my expressions, you know, as everyone can read me, and she looked at me and she’s like, “Oh, oh. I don’t have to go out to breakfast with him.” I just started sobbing. I felt myself like, out of my body, looking at me, going, “Oh my gosh, you have totally lost it, woman.” It was nothing to do with his girlfriend. I adore her. It was just I thought I had more time, whatever that meant. I clearly felt I was outside my body, watching myself, just shaking my head, going, “Oh, what has this come down to?” Yeah, and she’s hugging me. I had to apologize and assure her it had nothing to do with her. It was completely me, and a little breakdown.
00:08:37 Christine: It is no joke, though. Really. It’s funny that you share this and the out-of-body part, but seriously, it just is.
Jenn: I think it just comes out of nowhere.
Christine: It does.
Jenn: I’m going about my day, it’s fine, and then, all of a sudden.
Christine: Oh, my gosh. Okay. Then, wanting to sleep with your son, but don’t worry my listener, nothing weird here.
Jenn: Yes. As weird as that sounds. I think everyone can relate when our kids were younger that you could cuddle with them, and you could smell their hair, when they did smell good, before they went through puberty, and just that closeness, that as they age, they don’t really want any more. Something’s with the week before they leave for school. I said to my youngest, would it be okay if I just slept with you, like, not in any sexual way, just cuddled with you. It’s okay, with dad. Like I got that, and he looked me, and he’s like, “You have totally lost it.” But I was just like, just cuddle for a couple minutes even. No, I got nothing.
Christine: Nothing? Jenn: Not even two seconds. Yeah. Nothing.
Christine: Not even like a show or a movie?
Jenn: I got a hug. I got tons of hugs, that’s about as — yeah. Lots of hugs, but not anywhere near the bedroom. So, yeah.
Christine: This isn’t limited to you, from what I understand. There’s some things going on with hubby, and do you want to share there?
Jenn: Sure. I didn’t realize, as the boys have gotten older, their relationship with my husband, obviously, has evolved. My husband’s actually digressed in age, and is trying to be more like a fraternity brother when the boys come home. I just realized, literally, the other day, I was doing dishes, and somebody came in, one of the boys, and he just totally changes. He reverts to a college kid, like a 51-year-old trying to act like he’s 18, and I was saying in my head, “Oh, my God, I think he is bipolar.” Nothing wrong with that, but I think we need to address this, and then, I said to him, “When they come home, you’re totally different than when it’s just you and I.” Then, I was like, “Oh my gosh, you’re bi-son. Like, bi-son, and then when you’re with me, you’re bi-me.” He is two totally different people. He can totally relate to them and connect with them, on a very immature basis. When it’s just him and I, I have my husband back.
Christine: He grows up?
Jenn: Yeah. Yeah. Now, it’s a big joke, when they come home, they’re like, “Oh, we’re with our best friend.” You know, and I’m the third, fourth wheel.
Christine: I’m wondering if I do that to my husband.
Jenn: Yeah. Right. Exactly.
Christine: Have no doubts. Sorry, honey, not that you listen, but sorry. What’s interesting is, I know your son headed off early for, is it rugby camp, before?
Jenn: It’s a summer session. Yeah.
Christine: He was recently home, was it for his graduation party?
Jenn: Yep. It was like a dual graduation party for both of our kids.
Christine: Oh, that’s great. What a big year for you. Oh, my goodness.
00:12:01 Christine: How did things change? Did they change at all? Did you feel differently?
Jenn: He’s only been gone three weeks, to me, it’s felt like six months. I was so looking forward to him coming home, and having this ideal little short weekend together. Yeah. Okay. There was more attitude than my house could contain. My name is now Dude. It’s no longer Mom. Everything, even moreso, revolves around him first, and then the rest of us. I love him with all my heart, but I was like, “Oh, gosh, when is it that you’re going back? When is it, that you’re going back, because –?” Yeah. He’s like, “I’m definitely one of the pack,” and he has his new tribe now. It’s a different dynamic. Now, my older son did point out that he said I felt the same way when he first came home.
Christine: Did you?
Jenn: Yeah. He said his language had changed a bit, and he had to kind of find his own way, and that I didn’t have a bunch of patience for it.
Christine: I think it’s this huge transition for all of us, and every time we come together, we’ve all changed in different ways.
Jenn: Right. Absolutely.
Christine: We don’t know what to expect. I know in my house, there’s a lot of it is language. The language my daughter uses at school is not remotely acceptable to my husband. She’s fine, but then, every once in a while, a friend will pop over, and she’ll revert to that and everyone trying to figure out where they are in their new place, and where we all stand, it’s a lot.
Christine: Just when you think you get it, then something else has changed.
Jenn: Right. Just when you think, I guess, I have to stop having any little ideas in my head on how things are going to go, because there’s always something new that comes up, and it’s like, “Okay.” We are a happy family but, yeah, we are all different, trying to survive together.
Christine: It’s tricky, us humans trying to work together, in any dynamic.
Jenn: Right. Exactly.
Christine: It’s a lot more fun to just laugh through it, and notice it, and find it interesting.
Jenn: Right. Right. Exactly.
Christine: Go with that attitude than like, holy heck.
Jenn: Yeah. I just have to laugh.
Christine: I wanted to say more, but I’m going to keep the explicit off. All right. Jenn, what is one piece of advice you would like to give to future empty nest women, like where you are right now?
Jenn: I guess my one piece of advice that I have found amazing through this journey, is that, and this is so wonderful that you have created this podcast, because people don’t talk about it. We talk about what to expect when you’re expecting, or we do, “Oh, you should walk by the time you’re one.”
00:15:06 Christine: Sure.
Jenn: Or you know, like potty training and all this, but all of a sudden, we get to this spot, and no one really talks about it, and even how emotional it is regardless of what your relationship is with your child, because we’re also in a place we’re getting older and even coming to find out what does this mean to us? We’re no longer a full-time mom, knowing every single move that they’re making, or even responsible for that. It’s just talk about it. Find a friend. I might be open because I make a joke out of it, but it’s something I feel like you’re kind of walking along the street and it comes around the corner and just hits you, and no one really talks about it. We’re very proud of them, but there’s also this emotional part of it, that we all have to as women, especially, just learn and grown through together. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not cry. It’s okay to smell pillows. It’s okay to not know really what you’re role is now, you know, in life.
Christine: Yeah. Yes. It is okay, and it’s a lot. Yes. Talk about it. That’s great. Great advice. Thank you. I was so thrown by how awesome that was, Jenn.
Jenn: What you’re doing is awesome, because no one talks about it, and sometimes you just feel like you’re losing your mind. Like, you don’t know where to put all the emotions.
Christine: It’s true. It does. You’re right. It hits you at the strangest, strangest moment.
Christine: Like you think you have all your stuff together.
Christine: You’re like, “I’ve got this,” and it’s just something dumb. Like you get in the car and you’re used to having a conversation with them in the car, at a certain time.
Christine: Or the first week, I find is traumatic with all these random things because you go home and you think you’re going to talk to them about stuff.
Jenn: Right. Even talking over the phone or texts, I mean, we have great communication, but it’s just still different. I want to see, and smell you, and touch you, and know everything.
Christine: Yes. You don’t have it inherently any more.
Jenn: Right. Right.
00:17:17 Christine: It is tough. Okay. As I mentioned earlier, you are a closet coach, which I love. My empty nest friend, Jenn always, and I mean always, looks like she just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. You do, like 100 percent. Jenn, if I hired you for closet coaching, what is that? What would it look like?
Jenn: Okay. It kind of came organically out of me doing life coaching. One of my life coaching clients just liked the way I dressed and asked if I could help her and then said, “You have got to do this.” It’s just really having you utilize what’s in your closet, but making you look and feel your best. Maybe mixing and matching something, or maybe something that you’ve been kind of hiding behind or holding onto, if you’re not really happy, maybe, with your midsection, but what you’ve been wearing is actually drawing attention to that area, when you’re trying to hide it. It’s just really having you come away with a better sense of your style, not spending a whole bunch of money, because I’m not into that at all, but utilizing what you have, maybe adding a few key pieces and then, when you feel good about yourself, you look a little bit better, you stand taller, you hold your head taller. You don’t have to be out of fashion magazine, but just to be the best you in what you have in your closet.
Christine: Yes. It’s so valuable. At this stage of our life, I think it helps, too. I mean, it helps in any stage.
Christine: Right now, there’s so much going on with our family, I mean, as mom’s we don’t think about ourselves anyway.
Jenn: Right. Exactly.
Christine: But especially like clothes. It’s either your therapy and you have a ton of clothes, and they might not work for you.
Christine: Or you just haven’t thought about clothes in so long.
Jenn: Right. Forever.
Christine: What a valuable gift you’re giving people. That’s great.
Jenn: It’s tons of fun.
Christine: I can imagine. You’re good at it. Is there anything else you would like to share with my amazing future empty nest friend?
Jenn: No, I think that’s all. Just be real. Just be true to yourself, and be ready for those moments where you can’t be ready but know it’s okay. If it comes out of nowhere, that you’re driving to work and all of sudden, you’re crying and you don’t know why, or you know, picking tomatoes or weeds in your garden, and something overcomes you, you’re normal. You’re like the rest of us. I guess, I just can’t stress that enough. If not, hopefully, my stories will make you feel more normal, or you’ll look at me like I’m crazy, so it will put you in a better place.
Christine: I think there’s going to be more people getting it, than not getting it. I really do. Before you go, I have four questions that I ask every guest of mine. First is waffles or pancakes?
Christine: Excellent. Any reason?
Jenn: No. No. No reason. I just like pancakes better.
Christine: What is one item you can’t live without and why?
Jenn: Lip gloss. I can’t live without it. I’m just addicted to lip gloss. I have no idea, but it has been a part of my life. When I was in corporate, I would hide it in my pocket. Hide it behind my mouse. There’s no reason, just I have to have lip gloss.
Christine: You’re doing a stash?
Jenn: Yes. I have a little bit of a lip gloss. Yeah.
Christine: Are you loyal to one?
Jenn: No, absolutely not. No. Nope. No. No. It’s subtle, but yeah.
Christine: Excellent. You’re all time favorite movie and any particular reason?
Jenn: “Sound of Music,” everything, everything about it I feel like I have great memories of watching it with the kids and just singing and everything, the landscape, the story-line.
Christine: That’s a beautiful movie. You have one hour of alone time, no one will bother you, what is your go to thing to do?
Jenn: Read. Just read. Read a novel. Read fiction.
Christine: Excellent. What are you reading now?
Jenn: “Everything is Okay…” I can’t remember the rest of the title.
Christine: I’ll have to look it up. We’ll put it in the show notes. Do you like it?
Jenn: Yes. I really do.
Christine: Okay. Great.
Jenn: It’s very different. Yeah. It’s very different.
Christine: Fun. Awesome. Okay. My empty nest friend, don’t forget to follow Jenn. I will have her contact information in this episodes full show notes on my website, youremptynestcoach.com. She’s on Facebook at Jenn.closet.coaching. Did I get that right?
Jenn: You got it.
Christine: All right. She’s also a life coach, so you can visit her page there, too. Does it link over?
Jenn: Yes. It does.
Christine: I’ll put them both in my show notes so you have them. Jenn, thanks for being brave enough to share your stories and your laughter with us.
Jenn: Thank you.
Christine: I am thrilled you joined me today. Thanks for being here.
Please don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, “The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.”Episode number 13 covers the high-level concepts of that program, if you would like to check it out. To dive deep into the concepts, definitely take my free program, as I provide videos and worksheets to assist you on your journey.
The questions I have for you in this episode are: what is the wildest thought you have had, leading up to, or going through the empty nest transition? This is a very important question, my second question: do you think Jenn should do stand-up? Because I think she’d be great. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find the show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode is my final special guest episode, Michele will be with us, and we’ll be covering some serious topics. I hope you find her as inspiring as I do.
Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast. It is free and you’ll be notified when I post a new episode every Friday. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
Last week, April Force Pardoe shared tips on how to prepare your home for the empty nest. This week, I thought I would share some thoughts I have about your child’s room: how to adapt it as they head off to and attend college. Enjoy!
Take a listen or read the full transcript below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
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Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 34: Your Home on College Breaks: Prepping Your Child’s Room. … Today’s episode is one that feels like a good follow up to our last episode, with April Force Pardoe. If you missed that, she joined me to chat about preparing your home for the empty nest. Originally, I was going to make this two episodes, but decided to combine it into one. Today, we talk about your child’s space in your home, and boundaries on that space. If your child is heading off to college and they’ve had their own space in the house, before they head off to college is a good time to discuss their space in your home moving forward.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 34: Your Home on College Breaks: Prepping Your Child’s Room. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my future empty nest friend. Before I get started I have a request. My team and I are planning on taking some time off over the holiday season, and rather than going completely silent for that time, we thought we would share listener favorite episodes or snippets. That means that we are looking for your submissions for one of two things, something you learned from the podcast that has helped you, or your favorite episode. For both of these, explain what they mean to you, and tell us what episode number it is from. You may email your recorded submission with your phone audio recorder, or type it out. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for your assistance.
00:01:26 And, as always, a quick reminder that all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, the “Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.” And, to be clear, we are talking about your future, not mine. Hop on over to my website, youremptynestcoach.com, and sign up today. Look for the link that says “Uncover Your Future.”
00:01:48 Today’s episode is one that feels like a good follow up to our last episode, with April Force Pardoe. If you missed that, she joined me to chat about preparing your home for the empty nest. Originally, I was going to make this two episodes, but decided to combine it into one. Today, we talk about your child’s space in your home, and boundaries on that space. If your child is heading off to college and they’ve had their own space in the house, before they head off to college is a good time to discuss their space in your home moving forward.
00:02:20 In this episode, I have in mind a family where the child has had their own room that has accumulated items over the last 17 or 18 years. Maybe items of theirs are scattered throughout the house, too. Now, your child is heading off to live on campus for multiple years. Yes, they’ll be home on breaks, but it will be different. They may or may not want to come back to room filled with their stuff animals and collectible “Star Wars” figures. Note, I did say may or may not.
00:02:47 Let’s assume also for this example, this child is heading off to a four-year college, that they will be living on campus, and will be home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break maybe, and summer for at least two years. Two years? What, Christine? Yes. I know. Look, four years of college means three summers in between. It is quite possible that between their junior and senior year, they may receive an amazing summer internship that doesn’t bring them home for summer in the way that you had imagined. Not to scare you here, but I’m a firm believer in knowing the truth helps process things early. If you plan for that possibility out of the gate, when your child receives said wonderful internship, they won’t have to worry about telling mom and dad, and how they will react, because you have already discussed the possibility.
00:03:40 This transition isn’t easy. Is it? We think we have four years to adjust to all of this, and you might. But with short breaks and them building their life, it becomes evident quickly if your child will be the one out and about that third summer. Great! Now that I’ve sufficiently freaked you out, and I say that jokingly, because as a regular listener of my podcast, you know that this is where you stop and check your thoughts about what I just said. Do you like your thoughts? If not, maybe pause this episode, and do some work there. See episode number 3, and then come back to this. I certainly don’t want to lose you as a listener, but it’s more important to me that you are in the right head space for this project. Are you still with me? Great!
00:04:25 The great news is that you don’t need to spend much money to make simple changes and figure out a few things now. Think about this. If you went through the equivalent of two to three boxes worth of your child’s belongings, over only two years, you will already have a pretty good idea of any remaining items that need to be gone through, if anything at all. It could just be a matter of moving the boxes in a car, and you are done, and they will have helped you with it. Can you imagine? Your child gets their first apartment, you have everything ready, and can purely focus on your own emotional health, theirs, and helping however that is possible for you. Doesn’t that sound nice? Because the opposite could be, your child’s moving, they can’t make it home before they get to their apartment, so you get to go through their belongings that have been left at home. Or, you never do, and they sit in your house year after year, after year. When you move, guess who is dealing with it? You probably won’t have either extreme, but on a sliding scale, what end would you like to be closer to? It’s something worth thinking about right now. While this might not be super easy for either of you to think about, it can be a bonding memorable experience.
00:05:41 Here are my suggestions: one, talk about what they might want their room to look like when they’re home next summer. Two, pack up some boxes ahead of time. For our first item, talk about what they might want their room to look like when they return for the summer. So, take some time, maybe in a coffee shop, or somewhere outside of the home, to tell your almost-adult that you would like to make the transition over the next four years as easy as possible for all of you. Is there something they currently love, that must stay? Is there something that they secretly hated all these years, and could do without? Are there items that they like, but they would rather have them organized in some fashion to move on in their life? Is there something they would love to have in their room?
00:06:28 For this first part, you need to be willing to hear tough things. If your child can’t stand something that you gave them when they were eight years old, and they know that you love that item, or picture, so they would never think to remove it. You need to realize that your thoughts about that item don’t need to be your child’s thoughts about that item. What would be interesting is to ask them why they don’t like it. Their story about it is a bonding experience, and it’s one that might have you laughing your head off. You never know. Heck, you now have a new story about that item, and you can figure out what you would like to do with it together. Maybe them knowing why you like it so much, and vice versa, might give them a new appreciation of it. If they say I don’t want it, maybe you will want to keep the item. But if you don’t, it’s okay. Your child’s love for you is not in an item in their room. They are figuring out who they are in the future, just like we are doing in our new phase of life. Who we are in this moment, doesn’t mean, hopefully, that we’ll be the same person five years from now.
00:07:29 As the minimalists recommend, you can always take a picture of the item to keep the memory, and then, let it go. I would talk about the room a few different times with your child. See if there are consistencies that come up, and then, when you are packing for college, you have another opportunity to go through everything. Maybe they would love to paint the room a different color, or go thrift shopping for a new shelving unit, or hang pictures of their college friends, who they have yet to meet. See what they are thinking, and then you can plan out some activities to do when they arrive back home over their breaks to help things get settled, and it’s a fun bonding experience.
00:08:08 Which brings us to the second part. Pack up some boxes ahead of time. These are not the going-to-college boxes. These are the I-want-for-my-future-me boxes. I recommend that you not allow your child to leave the room in disarray. Remind them that they have to come back to the room. Create boxes or areas of the room to place different items, such as one section for let it go items, these are outgrown items, things your child doesn’t want or doesn’t need anymore. The second area, pack away items. These are items to save for your child’s future self. Use the college packing time as a time to pack up those future-me boxes for your child, and be sure to label them well. Better yet, for anything that is memorabilia, it might be worth it, if it is in your budget to pick up some plastic bins. Well-labeled plastic bins are helpful, as your child might want to peek in from time to time. This way, they don’t have to destroy a box to do so.
00:09:09 If you try any or all of this, please let me know what works, what doesn’t work for you, and if you have recommendations for other listeners. Before I go, let’s talk quickly about boundaries about your space. Have the discussion with your child about how their room will be used while they are gone, if it will be used at all. If they have items all over the house, make it clear to them, if this is the case, that if they leave it out and a sibling uses it, it is fair game. Whatever the rules are, try to use some future thinking here and play out some scenarios, and decide what you want to set ahead of time. It is also a great time to set boundaries on when they return. How you expect them to behave. Will you be fine with them coming in and reverting to 16-year-old version of them, where you fed them, did their laundry, or will you have different expectations of them? There is no right answer here, and you might not know until the first week they return home. Maybe really the biggest and most important thing here, is to have a discussion about how things will be different. That you aren’t sure how exactly, but that you all need to be open to the change, and work through it when it comes. That you know you’ll have different expectations of them when they return home. Maybe it’s laundry, maybe it is curfew. Whatever it is for your family, and that they need to be prepared for that. It is another place for everyone to sit in the simmer and figure out what works for them.
00:10:35 Guess what? I have an entire episode on sitting in the simmer, too. Check out episode number 29. That’s what I have for you today, my empty nest friend. Please don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, “The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.” Episode 13 covers the high-level concepts of that program, if you would like to check it out. To dive deep into the concepts, take my free program, as I provide videos and worksheets to assist you on your journey.
The questions I have for you in this episode are: if your child is heading off to college, or in college, what is the condition of their space in your home? And, number two, do you have long term plans for that space that your child may not be aware of? As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find the show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode’s title is “Leveling Up.”
Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast. It is free and you’ll be notified when I post a new episode, every Friday. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!