Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Preparing for the Empty Nest

Today's topic is preparing for the empty nest. My nest will not be empty for at least another 6 years, but I see signs of it on the horizon. We have kids ranging in age from 20 down to 12.  

Our 20 year old, Ashley, just graduated with her associates in Equine Practition. Now she is looking for a job.
Our 17 year old son, Brendan, just got his first job. How he is going to tackle working as well as being a Senior in high school, once school begins again, I don't know. I guess we will see when the time comes. Our 14 year old daughter, Hailey, just graduated 8th grade and is moving on to high school next year and our 12 year old caboose, Adam, is going into his second year of middle school. I can't believe how they have grown1

Family trips have changed as well. Ashley has stayed home to work while the rest of us are enjoying a vacation.  This one is hard. Part of what I love about family vacations is watching the kids have fun and when one is not there, well there is something.....or someone missing.

Then there is the boyfriend!!!!! Yep, Ashley has been in a relationship for over a year now. They have talked
marriage, but want to wait a couple years! Yes, please wait! I am not ready for that yet! Right now she lives with us to save money for her future but we can't keep her forever.

 Brendan will be a Senior in the coming school year. He has already been talking about living here while he goes to the 2 year college in our area and then moving out and pursuing more school after that. I am so glad he is planning, but it is strange to hear. 

Driving 3 hours to see boyfriend all by herself!!!!!! 

All indicators that the kids are growing up and beginning their own lives!
Don't get me wrong! I do think this is all great! I am proud of my kids! But who am I now? I had to ask myself that question. Who am I? Am I still a mom? Do they still need me? I need to start letting them go and figuring out who I am without them. Who am I when I don't have anyone but my hubby to cook for? Who am I when I only have to do a few loads of clothes a week instead of everyday? Who am I when I no longer hear them call me mommy? Ugh, I want to cry! No! This is what being a mom is all about!

So, I have pulled myself together and started to tackle this new life that is not so far away. 
My hubby and I have started doing more alone together. We need to figure out who we are as husband and
wife without kids hanging on us. 
We have also started talking about our future and what we would like to do when we have more time and money! It has been rather fun dreaming about it!

I still get sad at times, but I know that I will make it through this adjustment just as I did all the other adjustments in my life. My kids have been such an amazing part of it, but they are just a part. There is so much more I have put up on a shelf until I have more time. Well, it is time to take some of them down and dust them off. 
This might be fun! I get to know God, my husband, and me in a whole new way! I can do this!
Phillipians 4:13 says "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Amen!!