73: The Not So Empty Nest (COVID-19 Social Distancing) Number 2 with Kellie Randle, March 17, 2020
Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
In our Not So Empty Nest series, today I chat with Kellie Randle who shares her experience in the unexpected not so empty nest.
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What You Will Learn in this Episode
Meet Kellie Randle
- The importance of feeling emotions
- Embrace the adventure
- Things that Kellie has loved, found surprising, found funny, and something she could use help with going forward
- Where to find Kellie online: Instagram: EmptyNestMomLife
- Why homeschooling mothers are great resources right now
First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes
- The Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast Trailer
- Series 1: Empty Nest Prep – starts at episode #3
- Series 2: The CEO of Your Life – starts at episode #64
- Series 3: The CEO Toolbox – starts at episode #88
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. … Hello, my amazing friend! We realize that your nest may not be empty now, due to restrictions we have from COVID-19. Today, I welcome Kellie Randle to the show.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. Christine? Yes, Christine? You know with the social distancing implemented due to COVID-19, that your listeners may not be in an empty nest right now, and they may be struggling with an unexpected full nest. I mean, listen to that racket in the kitchen? You’re right about that. You are listening to the Not-so Empty Nest podcast with Coach Christine. Is that better? I think at least for the near future, it might be a good call. Sounds like a plan.
Hello, my amazing friend! We realize that your nest may not be empty now, due to restrictions we have from COVID-19. Today, I welcome Kellie Randle to the show. Kellie may be found on Instagram as @EmptyNestMomlife. She’s been lovely to connect with over the last year, and I look forward to introducing her to you, if you don’t already know her. Kellie, thank you for being here today, and welcome to the show.
Kellie: Thank you, Christine. I’m so happy to be here, talking about all this, our new nest and the changes in our empty nest.
Christine: Yes, it is never dull. I’ll be honest, listeners, poor Kellie has been doing this great and I forgot to hit record, so we’re on take two. So, thank you, Kellie.
Kellie: Dual profits, we’re good.
Christine: Kellie, tell me what your family is experiencing due to COVID-19?
Kellie: Okay, so we’re kind of in a little bit of a different situation, I think, than most empty nesters, because this last year we sold our family house and we are downsizing and building a smaller house in our town, in Sacramento. We’re in California. For the year of transition, we decided to have a fun staycation all year, and my husband and I are in a loft downtown, which has been fabulous. But we were not expecting this change, so then when we got word that our college kids were coming, they cannot fit. All five of us cannot fit into an 1100 square foot loft. We had to make alternate plans. I have a graduated-from-college daughter, just recently graduated and she’s working full time in L.A. My other two, I have a sophomore and a senior at Notre Dame, and very, very devastating for the senior, as we all know, the end of their college career is just ripped out from them. It’s just been really, really hard. In order to figure out what we’re going to do with all five of us, we have a little vacation beach home, down south, down in Orange County, so we packed up and it is a vacation cottage. It is not a house that five of us have ever lived in, or plan to live in, so we’ve made a lot of changes. In the last few days I’ve just been really preparing because we don’t know how long this is going to last, how long we’re going to have to stay here.
Kellie: The kids are coming home with stuff. There’s not room for stuff here, so I’ve been being very creative and we’re also going to have to school and work, and do all of that here and co-exist together, with five of us, where we have not had to be.
My L.A. daughter can go back and forth, but some of those kids who were just freshly out of the nest and out of college, a roommate situation, where it’s kind of easier to come where mom’s going to cook, and she wants to be with the family, too.
Kellie: So she came down and she’ll be here with us. She doesn’t have to be, but we’re just going to have so much fun. I think she wants to be.
Christine: That’s really nice.
Kellie: We’re trying to embrace it. We will all be together tomorrow. My senior son is still back another day. We gave him the gift of time, because he will be leaving all of his friends and the little bubble that he’s had for the last four years. It’s been hard. Everyday we’ve had a plane ticket and luckily the airlines have been very gracious in letting us cancel and move it to the next day, and move it to the next day, because things are changing so quickly, we just don’t know what’s going to happen. If there’s going to be travel restrictions. But we really wanted to let him have as much time as he could there for the closure, and they tried to squeeze the last semester into three days. They made a bunch of plans and they really embraced it all, so they could all be together. Which I think is really neat. We really have to validate that for them right now. [Indiscernible].
Christine: That’s really important. It’s very important, and listeners, for those of you who have seniors in college, my heart goes out to all of them. The college that I work at, they never came back from spring break, so they didn’t even get a chance to take everything home. There are a lot of things, just to keep in mind for your child, no matter the year, but senior in particular, there’s a whole identity shift that you normally have months to process through, that they’re not getting to do.
Kellie: Very much so. I think it’s so hard to validate that. We have to let them feel and mourn. I’m mourning it, too, and they are also.
Christine: I think that’s important. Yes. Also for the moms, it looks like we may not get to watch them commence. That is something to mourn. Yes.
Kellie: All the graduation parties I was planning. We had so much. It was going to be great. So we have to validate it. We have to be sad. We can cry about it, and then we’re going to move on. We can’t forget; we can’t just sweep that under the rug. We have to understand and know what they’re going through and what we’re going through too. [Indiscernible] and we’re going to move on.
Christine: It’s so important. Just be patient with each other, because it’s the same thing I say when the empty nest starts is, when you and your husband are there, and it’s empty, you may be in different emotional states together. You just need to be patient with each other, because the day that your child’s sad, you might not be and vice versa. It’s just a lot of patience. It’s really good. Feeling those emotions is so important because you’re brave enough to go through them. Do it. Yay! Okay! It sounds like you’re embracing the adventure part of it, which I love.
Kellie: We just have to. [Indiscernible].
Christine: Okay. I’m asking my Insta family to share some of the following questions, and I would love for you to share them, are you willing Kellie?
Kellie: Yes, I would love to.
Christine: Earlier, Kellie and I talked and it seems like she’s about Day 2 of social distancing, and her whole family is together tomorrow, so Kellie, if you could tell me something today that you have loved, found surprising, found funny, and something that you could use help with. I’ll go back and do each one. The first one is love. Something that you love today?
Kellie: Today, I have loved having a plan. I’m just a type A kind of person. I know you are too, Christine. We have to get all our ducks in a row, and last night we had the four of the five of us, and we started thinking through how are we going to do this, with work and school, and schedules, and we’re not in the big family house that we grew up in. We are in this temporary living situation, so I started to think where’s everybody going to go, and people have to listen to oral lectures, and they have to talk and make phone calls. We do have different rooms, but we started to think if we’re all sitting at the kitchen table, this is not going to work. I went online and I found $24 Ikea desks that are amazing. Everybody got one. They’re small and we are just going to stick them around this cottage in different areas, in different rooms.
Christine: That’s great.
Kellie: So everybody has a little bit of space that’s just going to be theirs, and that makes me feel better. I’m confident, I ordered online, I drove right up to pickup. It was right there for me. I actually saw them on a Walmart website, too, if anybody doesn’t have an Ikea nearby, but I think just knowing that this is going to be okay. We’re just sort of checking off the box. We have all of our supplies, and now, how are we all going to do this? Kind of once that started to happen, I’m good. I love getting everything organized, and now, we’re going to be okay for however long this may be.
Christine: Yes. Listeners, I think both Kellie and I are former homeschooling mothers, correct, Kellie?
Kellie: I homeschooled in the beginning, a few years in the young elementary school, not through high school, like you did.
Christine: I did off and on. In the later years, it was I drove her to college, so I don’t know how much it counts, but there are those moments where it takes me back right now. I thought, if I was homeschooling, now, I’m not sure how much it would impact me, really.
Kellie: Right. Homeschooling moms have so many resources, and I am connected with a lot of mine, and that is very helpful.
Christine: Yes, definitely. If you want to send me the link to the table that you used, in case somebody’s wondering, I throw it in the show notes, so they know what you’re talking about.
Kellie: I’m going to post it on my Instagram, also.
Christine: Awesome. That’s great. Okay, so something you have found surprising?
Kellie: My husband and I talked to my son this morning, and we were surprised that he said, “I think it’s time I should come home. People are leaving. Life is changing so quickly.” Whereas, yesterday; “No, I want to leave. I want to stay here in Southbend,” and now, things are changing. That, and then also, when I was out doing a last few errands, my daughter called me on the phone, or texted me actually, I shouldn’t say called. Texted and said, “What can we do to help you? We know you are out, what can we do? Tell us what we can work on at this house, too? We know that you have the [indiscernible] list, and I hadn’t shared that with them yet. I thought, wow, this is good. They know that they’re all in. This is going to be all five of us together to make this work. I was so happy to get that text. That surprised me.
Christine: That’s great. It is interesting how fast they process, because the first day, I remember my daughter was in tears, like tears, and she had also a little bit of a gift of time with her friends this weekend, and she was ready. She’s like, “I feel like now, it’s done.” It is surprising. Awesome. All right, something you have found funny?
Kellie: The memes. What would we do without all the coronavirus memes?
Christine: So true.
Kellie: They have been making me laugh, literally laugh out loud sometimes. We have, of course, a family group chat, and people were sending them back and forth and [indiscernible] anxiety and ready to cry, and the next minute I’m laughing at me. It’s just kind of so great because they’re so communal. [Indicscernible], we can all laugh at it. We can laugh at these jokes, that’s going to get us all through. I appreciate that. That is bringing some humor to this whole situation.
Christine: Humor is so important. That’s a great answer. I love it. They are lovely. Then, something that you could use help with today?
Kellie: I am going to try and continue to remain calm and to give my kids grace, knowing that their leaving a situation that they were completely in control of, their time, their schedule, their life, and I’m going try really hard, every day, every minute of every day, to realize that I have adults now, living with me, and they’re not just home for Christmas break, where we’re all having fun. That we are in a home environment now, and just try and give them grace, give myself grace, take deep breaths, but I also have to know, and my kids do know, that it’s still our house, and we still have our rules, and we make the bed in our house. When they live alone and I don’t see what they’re doing, that’s a different story, but when you’re here, we make beds, we wash dishes, we live the way that they grew up living, so I think it’s just going to take some time and some grace of getting back into that routine. But also, it’s a new routine, because they’re adults now, living with us. Things are going to change, but somethings will remain the same, because it’s our house and I think I’m definitely going to continue to need help with that effort today. We all have to learn to get along, and we will. We will.
Christine: Yes. This is a really good point, because I think what happens is, even on breaks when kids come home and it’s only a couple of weeks, you automatically fall into whatever it was before, good or bad, and mom falls into the role and this is your opportunity. It’s a really good opportunity to establish your new relationship. Just make sure that you set your boundaries very clearly. There are sometimes where people will get mad they didn’t make their bed. It sounds like it’s very clear in your house, but in some houses, mom will get mad that the bed isn’t made, but there isn’t said, “If you don’t make the bed, this is what happens.”
Christine: Where if you don’t have it, you can’t really get mad at them.
Kellie: Our family is very good at family meetings.
Christine: I have a feeling.
Kellie: We will be having a huge one as soon as my son gets here. So, yes.
Christine: That’s wonderful.
Kellie: We will also have schedules, but also I’m going to keep in mind that I don’t know their schedules. I don’t know what time they’re meeting with each class, their professor or work calls, I don’t know that, and I don’t need to know that. We will have a very rough schedule where we will try and have dinner together and have some Netflix time at night, and I’m super excited about maybe watching some TED talks together and having some discussions. I have a lot of really good ideas. We’re going to do some family Tik Tok. We’ve got a list [indiscernible].
Christine: I can’t wait to watch.
Kellie: I will be sharing all of the ideas as they continue to evolve.
Christine: That’s wonderful. Okay, so how do you feel right now? If I go from like, I call it your Protector’s in control, which is kind of like not so peaceful, and to the CEO of Your Life, the Conscious Effective Olympian. Where do you feel like you are on that line right now? How are you feeling at this moment?
Kellie: I think I am pretty close to getting peaceful. When I was at the grocery store today, picking up three or four last things I thought we could use, I got a little anxious. When you start hearing the news and seeing people and the lockdowns in different cities, and so I did get a little anxiety, and then, once I got everything that was on my list and made it home, and then we had my son’s plane ticket back. I’m good now. I pulled up and everyone’s there to unload the car, and I’m thinking, I’m good. I’m feeling quite peaceful, and when my son arrives tomorrow, and we are all here together I think it will be really nice, and I’ll reach a different level of peacefulness.
Christine: Yes. Excellent. For listeners, when you feel that anxiety, if you catch yourself, first of all, don’t be mad at yourself if you get the anxiety. Be glad that you caught it, and then take deep breaths and think about where you currently are, because a lot of times, our anxious thoughts are revolved around things that we have no control over. They’re not “inside our fence.” If somebody’s saying something, it may not have a direct impact on you, but you take it on as if it does. This is all very good. I’m glad you’re where you are, Kellie. That’s great.
Kellie: Thank you.
Christine: Yes. Thanks for sharing all of that. It’s wonderful. I know you are working on a project with others, can you tell me about it?
Kellie: I am working on my empty nest blog. I’m not a technology person, like you Christine, and this has been a big challenge for me. I’ve loved growing my Instagram page and meeting so many people, and there’s so many young mommy bloggers out there, and they are so nice and so supportive, and helpful, and then there’s just a little crew of us older empty nest moms.
Kellie: Everyone has been just so great and so supportive, and I’ve enjoyed this new space, and I’m very much looking forward to actually pushing publish on EmptyNestMomLife.com, and now, with the gift of time and three technology savvy 20-year-olds living here with me, it’s going to happen in the next two or three days. I really look forward to that, and I will share that with you and on my Instagram.
Christine: Fantastic. That’s wonderful. My gosh, she has a big following on Instagram, so you did it opposite as I did. I love it.
Kellie: It grew, and it’s been a lot of fun. My blog’s getting close, but now, with this, this is the time. [Indiscernible] and everything.
Christine: Where’s the best place for my listeners to reach you? It’s on Instagram right now?
Kellie: On Instagram, @EmptyNestMomLife. I really talk more on my page about momming and keeping connected with your college kids. Christine, you, I love your pages. You, all your podcasts, and everything that you do really encouraging the mom and what her next step in her life is going to be. I’ll get certain empty nest bloggers and moms that I’ve connected with over Instagram, we all kind of have our little world and what we are involved in and supporting others in. I really try and focus on the kids. Ways to stay connected with your family when you are not living together, you’re in all different places. Mine are across the country and trying to just keep everybody connected. I love sharing ideas and how we have made this work, and it’s got a whole new chapter now.
Christine: It does. It does.
Kellie: So, @EmptyNestMomLife is my Instagram.
Christine: Perfect. I will have a link in my show notes, of course. You all know this, right?
Kellie: My blog will be EmptyNestMomLife.com.
Christine: Great. Wonderful. Thank you so much for being here today, Kellie. I appreciate your time and your ability to schedule this so incredibly quickly with everything that you have going on.
Kellie: Thank you. Thank you, Christine, and thank you for bringing on other empty nesters as we’re going through this. I think we can all just learn so much from each other, and give each other support. I’m very grateful to you, and using this space to help others.
Christine: Thank you, Kellie. To my listeners, we both want to tell you that:
Christine and Kellie: You are amazing!
Christine: See you tomorrow. Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to every member of my GPS Support Flock. I invite you to fly on over to my website, or see my show notes, for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Support Flock member, where you will gain access to all of my programs, monthly workshops, group coaching, and more. See you there!
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