The Almost Empty Nest- What’s Mama to do when the kids leave home?

This little nest has been a busy nest for the past 22 years.   One kid, two kids, then three Kids in our nest.  Activities of feeding, teaching these little birds to fly and all the other life lessons.   Then one by one the kids each take their turn and quietly leave the nest.  Now, I have the “Almost Empty Nest” and will help you with the question, what’s mama to do?

In the fall my youngest will be going to college and I’ll be looking at the straw in my nest.  No more birds to feed each day or show them the way.  If I do any parenting of my lovely kids it will be from a distance or by text, phone or when they come home on break. 

Time is fleeting as I also have my oldest living at home now, doing a long-term substitute teaching job and getting married this summer. She will be starting her own nest.   

The Almost Empty Nest

Some Things I Remember

When my youngest was born, I remember thinking about age.  “When he turns 18 and graduates from high school, I will be 50 years old.”  That memory was so vivid as I thought it and now, we are both at that age.  Time moves on.

I remember when my youngest was four years old and he was staring out the patio door looking outside.  I asked him, “What are you looking at?”  He looked at me and said, “When I get old, I am going to be a bird and fly away.”   I smiled and said, “Yes you will.”  Such a profound statement from a 4-year-old that I will always remember.

What he said will be true. He will graduate from high school and receive an Associates of Arts degree this May.  He will be heading to a University this Fall.   He will learn and grow and start learning how to take care of those wings and learn where those wings will take him. 

My middle kid enjoys living on her own as she works and goes to college.  Each new year, she adds new growth or learning experience to her life lessons. Her time with occasional visits to the nest is almost done too.

Teens slowly prepare you for that fly away.  They are at your emotions the last few years they are home and some days you can’t wait for them to fly on their own.  

The Nest Time with mom and dad goes fast.   The little Birds have grown and are on their own.

What’s a mama bird to do with her life?  That is my question. I am asking God to tell me what is next.  Kind of like a midlife change because a majority of my life revolved around the nest.  My nest is open to new possibilities.

What's Mama to do?

What’s next? What’s Mama to Do?

  • I need to do a little tidying of the nest. A little decluttering and saying goodbye to the stuff we don’t need to hang onto for just in case.   I’ll be sorting things we want to give to our kids and things we just don’t need.  
  • My husband wants to sell everything and move to someplace warm, but we will see what God wants us to do.   I for one would love some warmer weather in the winter too.
  • This almost empty nest nearly isn’t that bad, when you think of the freedom it gives in the future.   We can get rid of the nest and find a new one if we want.  We can find new jobs and new possibilities. We will always love our kids and stay connected with them. We can do that anywhere.  
  • The almost empty nest can be a good thing.  Just smile when you realize the time is winding down and things will change.   New nests for all of us down the road.  
The Almost Empty Nest. What's a Mama to do when her kids leave the nest? Parenting advice.

Empty Nest To Do List

  1.  Pray for your kids. Pray they would continue to grow in their faith, knowledge, relationships and communicate with you.
  2. Pray for what God wants you to do with your new time and maybe even place and space.
  3. Enjoy all the new freedoms you will now have.
  4. Discover who you are again without connection to your kids.
  5. Communicate with your independent kids and enjoy the new life they will bring to you.
  6. Grow in new ways: Connection with God, husband, hobbies or job.
  7. Set some new goals for your future.
  8. Spend time with people.  If your kids kept you from building relationships with family or friends, then this is your opportunity.
  9. Listen to God, your kids, husband, and others.  Just listen, don’t talk! This one I am working on.

Finally, I will leave you with a quote from a children’s book I loved as a kid by P.D. Eastman called the Best Nest. If you haven’t said this before your kids leave, you will most definitely say this when they come home for a visit. “I love my Nest. In all the world My nest is best.”

Share how you have dealt with the empty nest and how the almost empty nest makes you feel?

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2 thoughts on “The Almost Empty Nest- What’s Mama to do when the kids leave home?”

  1. This was beautiful Anna! I teared up and it takes a lot for me to do that. May is such a bittersweet month. We celebrate our accomplishments but we also say so many goodbyes. It is the month we said goodbye to our Mom, school ends and people retire and move to other jobs. It is Mother’s day and even though I didn’t and don’t have a longing to be a mom, I miss celebrating a mom or grandmom. Hang in there! The joy of summer is just ahead.

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