The A-Z Challenge ~ Why Midlife's Fabulous ~ The Empty Nest


The empty nest is often spoken about as a sad and lonely time. The kids leave and take all the life and interest and excitement with them. There's no-one left who needs looking after, nobody coming and going, no strangers wandering through the house, nothing new and nothing out of the ordinary any more. It can all be so silent and sedate and fairly boring if you let it.


Our house is certainly emptier and quieter without adult kids at home, but I also don't lie in bed at night waiting to hear the front door close to know they're home. I don't worry when I hear police sirens in the distance - I know they're not chasing my son in his speeding car or attending to a crash they might have been in (the constant worry of a mother who has teenage drivers at home). I don't have to think about how many I'm feeding at dinner time - there's always just the two of us and my husband has taken over most of the cooking lately so that is a bonus too.


Kids are really good at making the transition from nestling to full flight. It would be such a shame to spoil it for them by being lost, and lonely, and needy, and trying to cling onto their tail feathers as they zoom off to a new life. We found it was easier to make the transition as painless as possible, to wish them all the best, give them any help they needed to launch and to let them know we were there if they needed us. Then it was up to us to reconnect, restructure, and restart being a couple again - and it has been a lot better than I anticipated.

When you let your kids go without a struggle, they are happy to return for visits. They see themselves as separate entities who are free to come and go without any angst on their parents' behalf. It's a joy to see them come home and be settled in so quickly and easily, and for their spouses to feel part of the family too. It's lovely to have them and it's lovely to say goodbye and have peace descend again. Our empty nest isn't the cobwebbed pile of sticks you see in pictures, it is green and flourishing and feathered and ready at any time for whatever comes along. How fantastic is that?!

Give your children wings and roots - Dalai Lama XIV

If you'd like to read more about Loving an Empty Nest you can go HERE or HERE.
See you tomorrow for F - which is for the Lifelong Friendships.

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  1. I'm not looking forward to my teens leaving home, but they don't know it. I'm actively encouraging them that they will, one day soon, need to leave the nest and make a life for themselves. I believe our job is to raise happy, healthy, independent individuals who make a positive contribution to society. If we, as parents, achieve that, our job is done! Having said that, I'm sure the house will be a little too quiet when the time comes. #TeamLovinLife

  2. The husband does the cooking? That is awesome! :P
    I like your thoughts on letting go of your kids. It's exactly how I feel about it too. Most Indian parents never really let their kids make that transition. I see adults all around me who haven't quite "grown up".
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

  3. It's such a double edged thing - we grow them so they are independent & then are sad when they are. I'm dreading mine (19) leaving home, yet hope that she does - before she partners up - for her sake...knowing of course that I'll always be in the background to catch her. #teamlovinlife

  4. Beautiful sentiments :) I was bereft when mine left ... for a while. But the severed limb seemed to re-align after a while. I love that they are happy and independent and come home for visits (mostly) to tell us how happy and independent they are ;)

  5. My twins are 17 so I'm creeping towards the empty nest! This post is such good advice. I love that quote by the Dalai Lama. To me it summarises what parenting is all about. Giving your children the wings to fly and the roots to come back is surely the goal of parenting!


  6. This tells it as it is. I agree we have to let them go and use the time and space to move on with the next stage of our lives as a couple. My daughters love returning home to visit and we love having them. But it's a different feeling than when they were living at home. Nice post, I enjoyed it ��

  7. Love the quote by the Dalai Lama. Always hard to see your children move out, but so nice to see them come home too. Nice post.

  8. My empty nest wasn't empty long enough for me to enjoy the peace and quiet. The birds flew away and brought back little fledglings that I babysit so my empty nest is now a nursery once more

  9. I've got three young adults - twin boys aged 24 and a daughter who will turn 22 next month. My daughter moved out into a house with some other girls not long after she turned 21. My boys are still at home. My daughter is the most social of the three so I used to have many sleepless nights waiting for her to get home whereas now that's not the case because I don't know if or when she's out. Sirens still do make me anxious. My daughter is far more mature and independent than my boys so it's no surprise that she is the first to go. Not sure how long it will be till the boys leave the next. I'm in no rush .... yet! lol #TeamLovinLife

  10. My parents let me go when I was 21 --- 12 years ago and then about 5 years ago, they let my sister go. I do worry about them sometimes as they've let us go to different countries but at the same time, I hope now they can actually do things for themselves as we are adults.

    Etheree - Dreary

  11. My husband dreaded the day our youngest would leave, and I kept assuring him that having an empty nest was going to be great. And it has been. We have times when we wish our kids were still little and sitting around our table, but we are thriving in this stage of our lives.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Eggplants

  12. My brother is currently planning to 'empty' the nest. It worries me how my mom dad will survive. I guess, I will take pic of your blog post and send to my mom!

  13. When my youngest moved out I cried for weeks. However, he only moved 2 miles away. Both my sons and their family's lived within a three mile radius. After a decade, Husband and I needed to run away from home. We found that our retirement had become too meshed with their lives and we needed to strike out on our own. Now my sons are dealing with a reverse version of the empty nest.

  14. With your blog, I am seeing so many bright side of the middle age! And deep in my heart, I'm not scared of it as well!
    Thanks to you :)


  15. My daughter is 19 and threatens to buy the house next door so she'll never be far from us! I'd love to see her spread her wings & fly, but at the same time I wonder if she's actually ready...Does every parent feel that way?
    Congrats on the husband who cooks! Mine does breakfast occasionally, but works unpredictable hours so I can't count on him to be there to eat dinner with me, let alone fix it!
    Lisa / Tales from the Love Shaque

  16. I always felt guilty about not feeling bad about my son leaving home - what I don't tell people is that it was a mutual decision. Let me assure you, no tears. But he only lives 20 minutes away. If he moved further, I would miss having him. It gives me a feeling of security, now that he is in his mid 20's and I am in my mid 60's. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

  17. I am approaching the empty nest years with one in college and one in high school. I know it might be different once it actually happens but I am not sad (yet). I want them to be independent, strong adults on their own. It's easy to be positive when I'm not quite there yet. We'll see how it actually all goes down.WeekendsInMaine

  18. Life keeps changing and the better we are at accepting change the happier we become. Glad you're a Happy Empty Nester.

    Family #Lexicon of Leaving

  19. It sounds like you've fully embraced the change. That's wonderful!

  20. I'm a great believer in "let them go and wish them well"! I think too many parents allow their kids to stay at home too long and take them for granted. Fortunately both of mine left home at a respectable age - 23 and 21. The empty nest does come as a shock to the system and you do miss the little buggers to start off with. But as time goes by you learn to enjoy your new found freedom. :) #TeamLovinLife

  21. I admire your ability to let go and move on. I'm probably going to have a hard time. Then again I'm not a helicopter Mom today, so I may just manage to keep it to myself how hard it is to see my baby leave the nest. Oh, I just had a thought: I may occupy his room and turn it into a writer's and crafting studio!!! Ha!

  22. My 17 year old will soon move to Korea for 3 months. On a modelling assignment. I love that we have helped her create these opportunities. But there is a pain in my bellybutton where the umbilical cord is finally detaching .... (sob).


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