134: Why the Destination Matters More Than the Path (Why We Are Moving), Your Wins & More 💚

134: Why the Destination Matters More Than the Path (Why We Are Moving), Your Wins & More 💚

Hello, my amazing friend!

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"The most important thing to remember is that your college student - if they actually made it to campus - has changed. It could be a big or small change, but they are not the same student who left last time, and they are definitely not the same child that lived in your house at age 10, 12, 14, etc., so your now emerging adult deserves to have the opportunity to show who they are now."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Check out @emptynestcoach 's episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast (why the destination matters more than the path):

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Episode Topics & Their Minute Markers

  • 01:12  Skip Intro
  • 02:16 My Wish For You Today
  • 02:38 New Things: Move, Grad School, and Empty Nest Success App Update
  • 03:56 Ask Coach Christine: How Should I Prepare for My Student Returning Home for Summer (College) Breaks?
  • 05:29 My Lessons Learned: Know Where You Are Going but Be Open to What Your Journey Looks Like to Get There (Why We Are Moving)
  • 07:11 College Loans
  • 08:11 Paying off the Loans & Why We Pay for Our Daughter's College
  • 11:19 Christine, Where Are You? 
  • 11:54 Celebrating You & Your Wins!
  • 15:21 What's in Your Life's Toolbox?
  • 17:30 Let's Find the Funny
  • 17:48 What I Wish My Parents Knew: College Break Exhaustion
  • 18:28 Two Questions for You
  • 19:23 Bloopers
  • 19:43 Still Listening? 

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. How many times have you moved in your life?
  2. What is the destination that you have your sights on for your life?

💚Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes

Episode Resources

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The Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, Episode 134



Christine: Hi, I’m Coach Christine. This is my podcast, it’s the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, and we’re on episode #134.  If you are new here, know that I tend to use terms I’ve introduced in prior episodes - should you feel a bit lost when this happens, I invite you to use my show notes for a list of earlier episodes to get caught up! High-level, I’m all about coaching you to become the CEO of Your Life and in my world, CEO stands for Conscious Effective Olympian.

In this episode, I talk about the why for my family’s upcoming move, we talk about how to prepare for college breaks, and of course, we are celebrating our wins and more!

I appreciate that you pressed play on this episode, today.  Here we go.

[happy music under voiceover]

This podcast is my gift to you: a parent adjusting to the idea of an empty nest - or possibly a student who's wondering how your parents are feeling about you heading out on your own. These podcast episodes will have a base of life coaching infused with reminders to cheer yourself on and maybe with a dash of my alter ego, Sally (the hotline video operator), popping in from time to time. I’m here to remind you that you should be your own biggest fan!

[end happy music]


My amazing friend, did you get a chance to listen to my last episode where I interviewed a client of mine? I can’t thank Jennifer enough for the time she made to share with us.  

As a reminder, you may submit feedback, questions or comments to any section of these episodes by leaving me a message (text or audio) - on my google voice number: That’s 1-920-LIFEWIN or (920-543-3946).  Of course, you’ll find that in my show notes, too, if you’re looking for it later.

All of my offerings, podcast show notes, transcriptions of the episodes, and more can be found on my website: Your Empty Nest Coach dot com. 


[computer game level up music (short)] 

I’m thrilled to share with you that this podcast episode is sponsored by SupaPass. SupaPass enables creatives to have a slick Netflix-style platform with a modern & easy-to-use feel, making it easy to browse resources. SupaPass powers our Empty Nest Success online community which is coming soon! A special thanks to SupaPass for providing a space for our empty nest flock to fly to!


[computer game level up music (short)] 

My Wish for You Today ✅

My amazing friend, my wish for you today is that you are present enough in your day today to notice something you wouldn’t have otherwise. Whether it be someone hurting that you can offer assistance to, an opportunity for you, or anything in between. May your mind be clear, and may your eyes and ears be open to it. 


[computer game level up music (short)] 

New Things. New Things. New Things!

First up, our move: I’m going to talk a little bit about this a bit today - tell you a little more about our why, also, but the status is that two weeks from today is our moving weekend. Our house sold in three days and it has been a whirlwind. 

Our daughter, as of today, isn’t attending grad school. Yes, she got into her dream programs but in the end the financials didn’t make sense for her - at least for this year, so she’s coming home for a bit - and our nest won’t be so empty again. Hubby and I are going to enjoy having her home for as long as she’s with us.

As for the empty nest success app is slow going with the move but I hope to have a portion of it available within the next two weeks for some of my flock members to begin testing it. If you’ve already reached out to me please know that I’ll be in touch soon. If you’re interested in testing it out, let me know  - email me or DM me!

And of course, there’s private coaching spots. I have two spots remaining in May. If you are a regular listener, you already know that in the Your Empty Nest Coach part of my life, my private coaching clients are top tier - they’re my absolute favorites. We have weekly private zoom calls, I send you resources, and you have a line of communication with me between sessions. It’s so much fun, and I’d love to work with you! 


[computer game level up music (short)] 

Ask Coach Christine

One of the ideas I have about this segment is to turn it into more than just a segment of a podcast episode. I would love to get enough questions that I can answer them Monday through Friday and share a win with them. So, don’t be shy if you have a question for me to answer. 

For today, a recent question I received is, “Christine, how should I prepare for having my college student back home?”

And my response? 

I love this question so much because it really is important to think about ahead of time. The most important thing to remember is that your college student, if they actually made it to campus, has changed. It could be a big or small change but they are not the same student who left last time, and they are definitely not the same child that lived in your house at age 10, 12, 14, etc., so your now emerging adult deserves to have the opportunity to show who they are now. Let’s be real, you might have changed since they left and you might want them to know who you are. So, my top tip is to recognize that they’ll be different and take the opportunity to get to know the child (of any age) who's walking through your door and also remember that it is time for the relationship to mature. 

I have a four-part series on this on Instagram and Tiktok, if you want to check it out. 

If you have a question you want me to focus on in an upcoming episode, use that google voice number 1-920-LIFEWIN. Leave a voicemail message or text your question to me. I do consider all submissions.


[computer game level up music (short)] 

My Lessons Learned 

What have I learned recently? 

Know where you are heading but don’t be set on how you are going to get there. I have talked about this in prior episodes and I talk about it in coaching - my spider web episode mentions it a bit but I’ve had it play out in my life recently and there was this incredible moment where I realized what happened - and this is where I share a bit about why we are moving. 

I’m about to be super transparent with you, and I did get the okay from my hubby to share this at a high-level. He’s extremely private (not on social media) so I like to ask ahead of time before I share things like this. 

We bought a large home a little over three years ago. We had been renting for years after owning a home but one of us really missed home ownership - wanted a bit more privacy and space. The house has been incredible with the pandemic - I mean we have been privileged enough to each have our own office space while working from home. I wasn’t sold on home ownership, to be honest. While there are things I like - the extra space and being able to do whatever we want in the house (are two) - the maintenance of home ownership and the work that comes along with it - well, I haven’t been a fan. I’d much rather create videos and content for you than clean a larger house, or take care of the house. 

When I came home one day last month and my husband said, “I think we should move.” I’ll be honest, I could not call the realtor fast enough. Then when he shared about how much homes are selling for where we live and pointed out that we’d be able to pay off our daughter’s college loans, well, it became a no-brainer for both of us. Those loans are no small potatoes. 

I promise I’m getting to the point of this lesson. Stay with me. 


To explain the college loans, we aren’t a family who had money saved for our daughter’s education. I know, I know - go ahead and gasp! I’ll wait. Our plan was that I’d work when she was in high school and we’d use that money for her college - well, she went four years early, so the solution for us, was, yeah, the government loans that she could take and the parent loans for the rest of it. She did get a great merit scholarship, but let's be real, it’s not like that leaves you with only $500 to pay for the year - gosh - wouldn’t that be nice? 

Here we are, now, with our daughter graduating in May, and guess what we need to start making payments on? Yes, four years of loans, loans and more loans. 

Feel free to judge, critique or what not. That is for you to do and it is all, honestly, outside of my fence, so your thoughts about what we did are for you to reflect on - not me. I share our experience because I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation and I want you to know I understand if this is you, too. 


Jumping back to selling our home and guess what we can do? Yes, pay off all of the loans! All. The. Loans. Rather than us live in this big house with college loans, we are moving to a rental where we get to live cheaper, and have a maintenance free lifestyle with no debt.

I understand this isn’t a choice everyone would make but it is the one we’ve made and it feels amazing. Does every parent have this ability? No, I know this. I know there are college students who aren’t able to get any assistance from their parents, and I know we are privileged. My husband did not graduate from college. I did. He had to pay for his college and tapped out very quickly. He’s always said the gift he wanted to give our daughter is a college degree paid for (she still obviously had to do the work - which she did). And here we are. 

You may be wondering… what does this have to do with where you’re heading Christine? Well, as most of you know, I have a day job and I have this business. I love this business but I’m not in a position where I’ll leave my day job to do this full-time until two things happen. Want to know what the two things are? 

1. Our daughter’s college is paid for

2. I make enough in my coaching to pay for all of the expenses with the business and make more than I currently make in my day job. 

Here is the interesting thing: over the last few years, I had assumed that paying off my daughter’s college was going to be through my coaching. I had never considered that we’d have this opportunity to sell our home in this market bubble, and that my husband who loves this house was going to be excited to head back to renting life. But here we are. It has fallen into place perfectly as if it was always meant to be this way and had to happen this way.

Does this mean I get to leave my day job? Oh, no. Not even close. I’m not one of those people that think,

[character voice]

 “I have to leave my day job to prove to myself that I believe in me. I mean,” sigh, “who am I if I can’t leave my day job and believe I can make enough money.” 

[return to normal speaking]

No, that’s not me. I get it but those are someone else’s thoughts about my business. I am a human who has real bills to pay, we have retirement to build up more and if I leave my day job, that puts a stress on not only our family but on my coaching that I don’t want there. I LOVE coaching. I LOVE it. I love it enough to be patient as my business grows. I love it enough to have single digit clients per year for five, seven, ten years - if that’s what’s in store for me. I’m all good. I am here, as Coach Christine, to have fun and to serve. Anything else is a drag and I don’t need that from the project I have that I created to bring joy and adventure into my life and into my client’s life.

So, I’ve learned in this experience that knowing how you’ll get to a destination is not important as being true to yourself, being open to anything along the way and remembering what your destination is so you don’t miss it when it is gifted to you out of nowhere. 


[quirky music under segment]

Christine? Christine? Christine where are you? 

Deirdre Dolan Nesline and I are continuing our Friday morning Clubhouse declutter tips. Deirdre provides great tips for your weekend ahead, and with my move happening, this is perfect timing!

If you are in Clubhouse, I invite you to follow me and Deirdre there.

As always, you may check out my Media & Press page on my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com for a list of all of my guest appearances. 


[computer game level up music (short)]  

Celebrating You and Your Wins[sound] 

My win? I got rid of journals that I have been moving from home to home and have never looked at. As I was going through things and preparing to box up items, I turned on The Minimalists podcast and they reminded me that I don’t need to save them. Those things might be important to you but working on being super present in my life means that I, personally, don’t need to look back at years and years of my thoughts because I have new ones now, and I like the growth I’ve made. 

As for your wins, I’m happy to share the last two weeks of wins from TikTok and Instagram! See my show notes to click through to view these wins and cheer everyone on. As always, please forgive any mispronunciations:

Lesa of NotYourCollegeLife shared, “Content planning done for the next two months!”

Jen of FlourishingOver50 shared, “just finished a 12 week course and made it through all of the content, recordings, homework”

Jane of AmbitiousMamas shared, “Sometimes just the fact that I can smile. This empty nest thing 😢.”

Jane, I want to stop here and just remind you that you don’t have to smile at every moment. Please feel those emotions. It is okay to be sad sometimes. You are strong enough to get through them, to feel them and get to the other side of them. I believe in you.

Alright, back to our next one..

JillGrimesMD shared,”Love the pod van! My Wednesday win was fighting through a new version of photoshop (new to me cuz I hadn’t used it in several years) to create a new header for my website 🙌 🎤

Go, Jill! 

Alright, I’m going to take a break:

Lesa, well done on your content planning.

Jen, awesome on the course, and content, and recordings, and homework. I know how much work that is. It’s a big deal. Please give yourself a pat on the back!

Jane, you’re going to feel those feelings and I’m cheering you on.

Jill, I can’t wait to check out this new header!


Now let’s hear from the TikTok family:

Gigi M. Green says “ My win is writing the first season of my soon to be released audio drama.“

Go, Gigi. Woo!

Layla “I recently found out that my school will be able to have a safe, COVID-friendly prom and graduation this year!”

Oh my goodness. This is so exciting. I love it.

Vik shared, “I made up with my mom and I finally cleaned my room!” 

Huge. Love it!

Rain shared, “I went to bed at a good time and got all my work done without procrastinating.”


Noreen “I was able to get my first dose of the COVID vaccine!”

I love it, Noreen. I got mine too and I’m waiting on my second one. This is great. I hope you’re feeling okay.

Sunnyday shared, “Even though I was worried about homework, I went to the beach with a friend.”

Well done. And I checked in with Sunnyday and they said it was beautiful.

Thank you all for sharing your wins. Now my listener, I want you to take a couple of seconds here and think of a moment that happened today: small - or big, that you can celebrate. Do you have it? Now take a moment to share it on social media. Tag me and I’ll be thrilled to pop over and cheer you on! If you aren’t on the socials then share it with one other person via email. You have no idea how much your wins encourage and inspire others - no win is too small!

As a reminder, you can always share your win with us - and you may send it to me in my DMs on social media, use my google voice number, yes, that’s in my show notes, or pop in the comments of my wednesday win videos on TikTok or Instagram: just add the microphone emoji.


[computer game level up music (short)] 

What’s in your life’s toolbox? 

As a reminder, these are the things that bring you joy, or allow you to reset yourself in one way or another. Some are escapes that allow you the grace to have time until you’re able to process deeper or to allow your mind a bit of time to recalculate to what’s next; other things are tools and resources that allow you to do the deeper work - like this podcast, my workshops, or doing coaching work with me or someone else. I’d love for you to share what works for you in your life’s toolbox for others to consider. Remember, these are always suggestions. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa - don’t be afraid to try new things!

What I have to share with you this week was that I was gifted with a n.o.w.® tone therapy system. A sweet podcasting friend, Lee Uehara, won it at Podfest Global Summit and was incredibly generous to gift this to me. What is it? Well, their website describes it as “It’s Yoga for Your Mind.” I love it! It helps me to reset and recharge in just three minutes. Let me give you a little listen….  

It comes with two and I’m going to turn them both on.

[sounds of n.o.w.® tone therapy ]

One of the statements on their website is “helps you live in the present moment, more easily.” 

I’m all about presence, so this is speaking my language. It does a great job for me, too. I feel like it takes me to where I am when I am walking through the woods alone and able to be truly present in the moment. I’m a fan. I did take video of opening it and using it, and will post it on YouTube as soon as I am able! 


[computer game level up music (short)] 

Let’s find the funny!

[giggles from others] 

I’m putting a link to a TikTok video in my show notes. It is an adorable cat thinking they are going to sneak attack on another one and that catchy Oh, no, oh, no, no. Yeah, that’s really sad. [giggles] You know what I mean. That sound. That’s with it and it made me giggle out loud. 


[computer game level up music (short)] 

What I Wish My  Parents Knew

Related to College Breaks..

Your children want you to know that they’re going to be exhausted when they return home and ask that you have patience and grace with them with your expectations - especially immediate after their arrival. It is a lot for them, and they often may disappear into their room to sleep and sleep and sleep. Definitely make sure they’re in a good mental state but also don’t be shocked if they want to sleep more than you’ve seen them do so before - especially with the pandemic - navigating campus during a pandemic is no joke. Enjoy your time with them, be patient and have fun!


[happy music (short)] 

Two Questions for You

Question 1: How many times have you moved in your life? 

and Question 2: What is the destination that you have your sights on for your life? 

As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend.

My HOPE is that I’m able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life.

If you enjoy this podcast please don’t forget to share it with others, it’s the best way to allow it to reach a wider audience. And of course, follow or subscribe in your favorite podcast app!

I’ll be back with episode 135 in two weeks. In the meantime, you have 133 other episodes, from me, to catch up on, or relisten to. 

And we are now at that part of the episode where I sign off after reminding you that you, my beautiful friend, are amazing!

See ya!




Still listening? 

Yes, I’m recording this in my podvan again. I’m very curious to see if the sound quality is just as good as my last episode - it sounded like a studio. It’s much better than my home. I’m debating on creating podvan accounts on Instagram and TikTok because I think I could have fun with sharing videos there. What do ya think? 

[end music]

117: It is FAFSA time & Let’s Talk About College Breaks 📅

117: It is FAFSA time & Let's Talk About College Breaks 📅

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend,

If you have a child in college, and they'll continue to be a college student next year, it is time to complete the FAFSA! 

It is also time to think about winter break. 

Whether they were on-campus or not, I've got you covered in this episode as, it isn't always a party when they return home. 🎈

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"Your child will be different when they return home, whether it is their first semester in college or their fourth. I can’t tell you exactly how they’re going to be different, but I can tell you they will be different."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

🎙The podcast episode in which I remind you that the #FAFSA is open, and we talk about how to prepare for the upcoming college breaks. 💚 #CollegeParents #CollegeBreaks  #EmptyNest  #Podcast #EmptyNestMom #EmptyNestSyndrome 

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This Episode is Brought To You By

💚  Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • A Reminder that The FAFSA is Open for the 2021-2022 School Year
  • Things to Consider for the Upcoming College Breaks - Even if Your Student is Home!

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Do you need to complete the FAFSA?
  2. Are you ready for the upcoming college break?

First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes

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Episode 117 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast


Christine:  Hi, it’s Coach Christine.  This is my podcast.  It’s the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast and you are now listening to episode number 117.  If you are new here, know that I tend to use terms I’ve introduced in prior episodes.  Should you feel a bit lost, use my show notes for best places to begin.  In this episode, I talk about the FAFSA and how to prepare for college breaks, whether your child is currently on-campus or not.


I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.


My future empty nest friend, and Conscious Effective Olympian, or CEO, of your life, how are you doing today?  Holy cow, there is a chance that this episode may be analogy-free.  Can I even do that?  Show notes for this episode have links to anything I discuss that is linkable, and of course, you’ll find all sorts of fun stuff, and ways to work with me on my website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  If you enjoy this episode, I invite you to subscribe to this podcast, and to consider joining the GPS Support Flock.  What is that?  I’m so glad you asked; take a listen.  


Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest.  If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community.  See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 


This is a bit of an informational episode.  Use it as a reference and don’t be afraid to pop back here again, if need be, or to pause it for later.  First up, I’d like to remind you that, yes, is it FAFSA time.  This will be important to you if you are in the U.S., and your child plans to attend college in the upcoming school year.  I get that a lot of things are up in the air, but if you think there is a chance they’ll attend, I recommend doing the FAFSA.  It can’t hurt.


I’ve heard people say, “Oh no, it’s FAFSA time.  I hate doing the FAFSA. It’s awful.” I have to admit, while the result from the FAFSA doesn’t usually make me want to jump up and down with excitement, the process of actually completing it isn’t too bad.  The FAFSA is going to be as awful as you allow your mind to let it be.  So choose.  I use, “It’s FAFSA time; I’m excited to be done with it.”  It works.


If you have never done the FAFSA before, you’ll need to get the IDs first.  A parent will need one, and your student will need one.  Once you have the ID’s, you then have the actual form to complete.  All of this is available via studentaid.gov. I don’t recommend paying someone else to do the FAFSA for you.  It’s rare that this would be needed.  I’d set aside 15 minutes to create the IDs and then 30 minutes to do the FAFSA.  Both I think are padded generously, but just in case, that’ll give you a ballpark idea of how long it takes.


The FAFSA is completed every year your child is in college, so it’s good to make friends with it, if they’ll be attending.  It will pull your tax information from a prior year, so have that info handy in case it doesn’t import automatically.  You’ll find plenty of videos and free tutorials if you run into problems.  I’m not a financial aid advisor.  I’m a mom who has a daughter in her senior year, so I’ve done it four times now.


You’ll get a confirmation email in a few days that confirms it was processed and there will be an EFC number.  That number doesn’t have a dollar sign, it’s simply digits.  It represents the amount of money that the government believes you can afford to pay for your child’s education for the next year.  That’s one year.  Be prepared for this number to be more than you’d expect.  I recommend sitting down.


The colleges your child applies to will use this number in determining financial aid available to them, including government loans.  Every college’s financial aid package will be different, so weigh their options carefully.  Also, consider all four years.  Look at the fine print on the awarding, to be sure you and your child are comfortable with where they’ll land before making any firm decisions.  Long story short, it’s FAFSA time and if your child plans for college next year, put it on your radar to complete in the near future, if you haven’t already.  That is my friendly reminder. 


Now let’s talk about college breaks.  You may know I’ve been having a lot of fun creating Reels on Instagram.  I’m even teaching some women now, how to become comfortable with them.  Lately, I’ve been taking some information from the podcast and putting it into these little 15-second to 30-second Reels, so I am doing a series within the Reels.  Currently, one is about college breaks and how you should prepare as a parent for college breaks.  I am going to talk about both, if your child has been on campus and if your child has not.  You may gain something out of both, but if you want to jump to one section, check my show notes for time markers. 


For those of you whose child has been on-campus:

First, be prepared for a routine change, again. When your child left for college, your routine in the household changed and it impacted everyone, even the pets.  When your college-student returns home, they’ll be used to the old routine and the rest of you won’t, so be prepared for change.  Second, expect them to be tired.  They have been going nonstop while they are away, and even if they had less activities than anyone expected, due to being on a campus with physical distancing, trust me, the emotional toll of being in that environment is exhausting and they more than likely couldn’t stop.  They had to keep going.  So the moment they cross the threshold of your home, wherever you live, they are going to feel like their five-year-old self safe and comfortable, whether that’s where they lived when they were five or not.  I know, some of you are going to get technical with me there.  But hopefully, they know they feel safe here.


Expect them to be really tired, expect them to go into this decompress mode.  They more than likely won’t be planning it.  It will be something that happens.  They may not even be aware they need it.  Don’t be surprised if they disappear for two days in their room which, you know, maybe they should be quarantining anyway.  If they don’t, so be it.  But if they do, I don’t want you to be surprised.  I warned you.  Third, set some expectations.  We already talked about how routines will be off-kilter a bit again.  Take some time now, ahead of time to think about how your routine before they left is different from how it is now.  Do you want it all to go back to the way it was?  Is there something new that you want to make sure doesn’t change?  Address it now.  Maybe you don’t want to do their laundry.  Set those expectations before they get home, but also be okay if their laundry doesn’t get washed on day one, unless you set that expectation.  Get the idea?


You also may want to check in with them and ask them what they’re really looking forward to, in case that’s something you could do without.  Remove the tension later.  Take the time to be curious about what you love now and what you want to stay.  Have fun with this and get creative.  By looking at this early and addressing it, will remove some tension on your time together.  So think ahead and figure out what, if anything, should be addressed.  


Fourth, your child will be different when they return home, whether it’s their first semester in college or their fourth.  I can’t tell you exactly how they’re going to be different, but I can tell you they will be different.  Independence changes a person in all sorts of ways.  Take the opportunity to get to know them all over again.  Remove your assumptions about who they were and get to know who they are now.


My next tip is for both parents whose college-student has been on-campus and for parents who have had their child home.  Take some time to celebrate where you are today and that you’ve made it to a milestone, and you should take some time to celebrate.  It doesn’t need to be a huge celebration.  I have a minimalist mindset, so I’d celebrate with a walk to get coffee, or a specifically chosen movie night, with maybe some special food.  But this is your celebration, make it what works for you and your family.  Give yourself a pat on the back for navigating all of your emotions through this semester.  Make sure you also tell your child how proud you are of them.  If you are having trouble finding this, take some time to really look.  You’ll find it.  Celebrate. 


If your child did not move out of your home for this semester, here are a couple of tips I have for you.  First, if you haven’t already, talk about the spring semester.  Discuss the options available for your student, if there are any.  If an option to move-on campus suddenly arrives, is that something they’d want to do?  Do they definitely want to stay home again?  Is there anything they would like to have different, if they do stay home?  The same question for you.  If they want to go back to campus, take the opportunity to be curious about the emotions and thoughts that arise in you.  Provide them a safe space to share.  I’d also recommend having this conversation or conversations outside of the celebration space.  Celebration is for celebration.  It’s also okay to celebrate even if you don’t know what is next, in case somebody needs that permission.  More than likely you aren’t sure of all of your options, yet.  But have fun exploring what they could be and what life might be like if you have them available. 



Second, take the opportunity to notice if anything has changed about your child this semester.  Yes, even while at home.  They may not have been able to experience the level of independence that attending classes on campus would have given them, but take a moment to notice the child in your home, that they would have returned different.  Where do your thoughts go?  Are you happy they’re still at home?  Happy for the extra time?  Are you bummed for them, that they didn’t get to experience the on-campus life?  If so, add “yet” to the end of that statement and how does that feel? 


I’ll be honest, my child went to campus.  I may not be able offer much here, but I’d love to know how you feel, if this is you.  Do you have tips, tricks, thoughts for other parents in your situation?  If so, I’d love to share them with my audience on social media.  I’m done recording episodes for 2020, otherwise I’d slide it into an upcoming episode.  But if you email me at Christine@youremptynestcoach.com or message me on Instagram, @emptynestcoach, I’d love to share.  Oh, I also could add this in my monthly email, or of course, the flock!  Yes, yes.  You should join the flock.



The questions I have for you in this episode are, one, do you need to complete the FAFSA?  And, two, are you ready for the upcoming college break?  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.  My next episode’s title is: The Benefit of Taking Time Off.  This one is listener requested.


Are you able to screenshot this episode right now?  If so, take a minute to do that and then to share it on social media to help others find it.  That would be incredibly helpful.  Be sure to tag me @emptynestcoach so I may personally thank you.  Happy FAFSAing and prepping for that upcoming college break!  You, my empty nest friend, are amazing!



Still listening? 

This semester has been odd. We usually only see our daughter once prior to Thanksgiving, if we are lucky.  She’s a few states away.  But this is her senior year, and she has her senior art show and thesis, and we can’t go.  It totally makes sense.  Hubby and are good with it.  We don’t need to be on the college campus, but it’s yet another thing that who would have thought we wouldn’t be doing this year.  Have you had any of these moments lately?