As you can tell by the title, this blog post will be dramatic. I have been a stay at home mom for 19 years. This past week I was FIRED!! At least it feels that way. My kids decided to grow up, leave the nest and live their own lives. How dare them!! They have broken RULE #1 in our household…IF MOM AIN’T HAPPY NOBODY IS HAPPY!!! I do realize it no longer affects them, my poor husband.
I lived my passion of staying home with my 2 kids for 19 years. We moved our son to college a year ago and last week we moved our daughter, the baby, into her dorm room. I feel like I have been crying for over a year straight at this point. Who knew how attached I would be to my kids and how hard it would be to let them go.
Looking back over the last 19 years, I feel like I blinked and missed it. Is my “in home” guardian parenting really over? My mind starts to wonder…Where did the time go? Did I do enough to prepare them for life outside of the nest? Will they come back to visit me?
The anticipation of the BIG MOVE day for my daughter was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. I would break down into tears randomly, sometimes multiple times a day. Will this water in my eyes ever dry up? Oh great, here is comes again…
We got her moved in at Stephen F Austin State University where she will further her academic and volleyball career. I was feeling kinda of proud of myself, I kept it together while in front of her. Then I get to the car and I just can’t stop, water works are back once again. I pull myself together and we travel the 3 hours home.
We pull into the drive way of our home, our EMPTY HOME and then it REALLY hits me. The past 19 years come rushing back of the calls MOM, MOM, MOOOMMM!!! The random text during the day, “Hey mom, I forgot…can you please bring it up to school.” Or this one “I need…for school tomorrow.” And its 9PM at night, off to the store I go. The famous “What’s for dinner?” The early mornings and late nights at their sporting events. Then endless hours in the car driving, here, there and yonder. SILENCE…NOTHING…EMPTY
Needless to say, I am a blubbering empty nester mess!! I plan to take one day at a time. I will hit my camp gladiator workouts even harder now; working out really helps me process my emotions by the way. Last but not least, writing this blog post I am finding very therapeutic. I’m leaving it all on the table for the world to see. Other moms I know have assured me that I am not alone. I love my kiddos to infinity +1, more than they will ever know. This transition from being a stay at home mom to an empty nester mom is just P-L-A-I-N H-A-R-D!!
I do know my husband and I will find a new normal. I am very proud of us!! We survived 19 years of parenting! WE DID IT!! We are out the other END!! From the commends we get from other people we did a fine job with our kids and we are told we are like no other family. We are different, we are unique, we do things our way. It is me and him versus the world and our 2 kids follow. I hope we have guided them and educated them well to survive in this new adventure in their “out of the nest lives.”
‘What will I do with myself when they are gone?’ A thought that crossed my mind about 5 years ago. Being a stay at home mom is a full-time job, has so much involvement and just plain busy. I thought if I no longer have my own kids to take care of, I could help other couples create and expand their families. I did my doula training and started taking clients 5 years ago, working around my family life. I wanted to make sure I was really well grooved in on the doula thing when the empty nester transition occurred. WOW! My passion to help others was in full fulfillment with being a birth doula!! I thought for sure this would help “distract” me from this transition I would have to go through in 5 years. I would stay busy and productive helping others, so I thought. Did it help? Realistically…NO. I feel very unprepared for this empty nester transition. Maybe there isn’t a way to prepare for it. It’s part of life but doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. There is a hole in my heart bigger than I care to admit, but at the same time I am looking forward to spending my empty nest days with the love of my life. Time will pass, a new normal will commence, my heart will mend and I will continue my passion to help others.
Words of advice…I know most of you who read this dramatic blog; probably have young kids or grade school kids. I know you are going through the thick of it now. Enjoy EVERY minute of it!! Hug your kids, kiss your kids, tell them daily you love them and stand back, stare, take it all in. One day, when that day arrives, you will be standing out the other end, an empty nester, looking back at your “in home” parenting life and wonder, Did I do enough? I blinked…I missed it…
Sincerely your professional parenter/amateur empty nester,
Krisha Crosley CD(DONA), BBCD
Serenity Life Doula
Photo Credit: KE Documentary