“Have you ever cleaned out the bathtub in your new place?”
“Make sure you do. In the 14 years that you lived here you never once cleaned out the shower. Don’t make J________ do all the work.”
That was the advice I gave to my son before he moved out.
My nest is officially empty. The Prince moved out the rest of his things yesterday. The moment was similar to when we dropped off the Princess to begin her freshman year in college. Well, not really … I did not cry but the two of them did. I had to comfort them – which was a switch. I had a brief moment on Saturday morning but it left as quickly as it arrived.
The three of us went to a movie together and even though he assures me it won’t be the last time I have my doubts. I think that is what I will miss the most – the family outings. I’ve got great kids and I love that they actually enjoy my company. They tease me and let me know that I’m not cool, and that’s okay. But when it comes to serious things they don’t hesitate to seek my advice.
I am undoubtedly a good mother. I don’t pat myself on the back often but that is one thing that I can proudly declare.
I have actually been preparing for this moment since my son got his driver’s license 9 years ago. That is when I realized that both my kids would one day leave me. That is when I realized that I ought to have some kind of plan in place so I wouldn’t be left weeping in a corner all alone. I needed to get a life.
I’m happy to say that I have one. I’m building a business and working part-time and I’m active in my church and I’m building relationships that mean something to me. My life is full – well partially. Still no man in my life and of course, I haven’t gotten the cat yet.
That is the advice I would give to any parent that is experiencing the empty nest syndrome. Make sure that you have other interests. While we are raising our kids, we tend to make our entire lives revolve around them. So much so, that we forget that we have interests of our own. Somehow we feel guilty if we don’t make the kids the center of the universe. That was me. I have no regrets. I didn’t miss out on anything. I never, ever wanted my kids to feel like they were #2 … and I don’t believe they did.