I cannot believe I have to do this AGAIN!
I already did the whole Empty Nester Thing three years ago. All of it – the dread, the sorrow, the horrible anticipation.
Shouldn’t a person only have to go through this once in a lifetime? But before I tell you about what’s going on now, let me tell you what happened the first time around.
The countdown begins. Eighteen months to go and then My Baby will leave for college. Saying good-bye to both My First Born and then to My Middle Child was hard enough. Now with My Baby leaving, it really felt like I was being fired.
The Sad, Fearful, Self-Pitying Voice in my head said:
You have done everything in your life that you have wanted to do.
You got married, had kids and raised a family. You earned a few degrees and a few certifications along the way. You had a few interesting jobs, you wrote a book, and you even jumped out of an airplane. You have done everything that you have wanted to do.
There is nothing else left. You are done now.
That was it. I couldn’t think of anything else that I want to do.
Poor, poor me.
The time had come. My youngest daughter, My Baby, Little Zoe, left the nest and went off to college in a state far, far away. Bye Zoe 😢
It killed me. I had many jobs over the years, but being a Mom was my one true calling. And now my watch has ended.
At some point, I may write a blog on how I went from Poor, Poor Me to I Love the Life I’m Living, but for now, **SPOILER ALERT** everything turns out to be just fine! Actually, more than just fine. Everything turned out great.
I survived and even thrived the whole Empty Nester Thing.
But now, let me tell you the rest of the story.
Ten months after My Baby left, My First Born (Seth) moved back in, the one who had not lived at home in 6 years. Yup, he moved back in… and stayed for the next 2 1/2 years.
Quick synopsis of why that happened:
Seth was about to get engaged to his girlfriend of 3 1/2 years. The ring was purchased, the engagement party was planned and they were making plans to move in together.
Then they broke up.
Seth spent the next 7 months depressed in our new condo’s finished basement. Oh, did I mention that he was in medical school? You can imagine how fun it was living with our 24 year old Man Child as he navigated the misery of med school while trying to heal his broken heart.
And finally, now – July 2016
Seth’s heart finally mended, he has a wonderful new girlfriend and after 18 months of dating, they moved in together this past weekend. Yay for Happy Endings!
But once again, I am an Empty Nester! Really? I gotta go through this again?
Here is the good news: everything is different!
This time, I am not broken-hearted.
This time I am not filled with dread nor am I depressed.
This time, I don’t feel like I am being fired.
After living with my adult son for the last 2 1/2 years, I now totally get why it’s not such a great idea for adult children to move back home, especially after they have lived on their own for many years. It’s just not the same. They are not children anymore; they are adults. They want to live the way they want to.
And we are not as young or energetic as we once were. Now, we are middle-agers and we want to live the way we want to live as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely love and adore my amazing son! He is sweet, kind, funny, smart, and super easygoing. I really did love living with him…for the most part.
However, he was also a total and complete slob. The basement was constantly filled with dirty dishes, he never cleaned up after himself, and his “bedrooms” were always a disaster. Bedrooms? Yes, plural. Seth never settled into one space once we moved from his childhood home. Instead, he rotated between the basement and the two bedrooms upstairs. He left a mess in all three rooms!
And when I asked him to clean up? He would, and with a sheepish smile say “I’m sorry” and would vow to do better.
He never did better.
And on top of the physical mess, there was also this whole emotional piece. Everyday, I watched as Seth dealt with the stress of medical school. He didn’t eat properly, he didn’t sleep enough, and he played way too many videos games.
At age 55, I hated being a nagging mother to my adult child. I despised constantly telling him to clean up after himself, or to eat better, or to wear his sleep machine at night. It bothered me to to watch him be tired and stressed every single day.
And I really wanted to have a clean house again!
So yeah, I am ready to be an empty nester again.
But this time, it is so much better!
I am sure there will be moments of loneliness and nostalgia as I get used to being an Empty Nester once again, but now I feel like life is unfolding exactly the way it is suppose to.
And this time, I am doing okay.