I am not certain how the term empty nest came about when referring to parents whose children have left home. When I mull this term through my mind it seems to me our “land” has greatly expanded. I realize bird’s grandbirds do not come home for a visit nor do they babysit for those grandbirds; but let’s be real here once our children leave home the multiplication factor kicks in. In fact our grandchildren (GK’s) make themselves right at home when they come to our house. The car doors fly open and you can hear the announcement of their arrival before they touch the doorknob. We love it!
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
We are living this passage in more ways than one!
Married couples - the most important tip in dealing with the empty nest syndrome is; become each other’s best friends prior to the children leaving home.
• Always put your spouse above yourself, think of them first and do for them first.
• Find ways daily to be a blessing to your spouse. Blessing will begat blessing. Eventually your spouse will reciprocate and both of you will absolutely love being around each other 24x7.
• Be experts at conflict resolution. Know how to resolve your issues in a calm quick manner.
• Start taking walks, not only is the exercise good for you but you will both talk with one another sharing your life, hopes and dreams.
• Discover what interest or hobbies you both have and share them together. Examples: walking, biking, boating, kayaking, tennis, cross country skiing, golf, and if sports are not your forte try: cards, puzzles, gardening, landscaping – I think you get the idea.
• Learn how to compromise and enjoy what your spouse may enjoy even if it is not your favorite thing to do.
• Volunteer in a ministry or non-profit organization together. This will cause a greater intimacy in your relationship and will be very rewarding also.
• Do your chores together – two hands are better than one and you will be surprised how quickly the time will fly by as you accomplish the mundane.
• Whatever projects your spouse is involved in, find a way to become part of it and enjoy it with them.
• Once grandchildren have come on the scene, play a paramount role in their life. Developing a close relationship will the grandchildren will bring years of a very special close knit family.
Finding ways to enjoy life together and fill in the timeframes that would have been prior taken by the children will reduce the anxiety of; what will I do with myself now. This will also keep you from becoming overly involved in your childrens lives when they are endevouring to establish their own families and homes.
If you are a single empty nester, following the tips above by yourself or with a close friend will benefit you also.
We have been empty nesters for eleven years now. Occasionally my heart (Penny) will feel the achy – I wish my children were young again. However, the majority of the time we are thrilled to spend our days with each other as best friends. We are able to do things we could not do when the children lived at home. Our time that we spend together now is treasured and valuable; we believe it is a gift!
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.