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Thread: Advise for NEW empty nesters?

  1. #1
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    So our youngest moves out tomorrow, he is going to live in the dorms on campus. He will only be about 30 min away, but I'm still sad, it won't be the same with him not home. The good news is that after I clean the house, it will stay clean. Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to how to cope? It will be too quiet. I already miss him.... :(

  2. #2
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    Don't assume that you are actually going to have an empty nest. I used to wake up on Saturday morning and find 2 car loads of college kids sleeping on the den and living room floors. My son had lots of friends who were too far from home to go home so they came home with him. I think they missed home cooking most. I never had such a full house as I did after I had my "empty nest".

  3. #3
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    My DH and I "thought" we were going to be empty nesters in 2007, after the last of five graduated.

    Only, my MIL moved in with us in 2005, I am her 24/7 caregiver; the oldest daughter decided to stay at home while attending college for the first few years. She moved out in 2008 and then we were empty nesters (except for MIL).

    Then....youngest daughter came home from college for the summer and transferred college to here and has been at home for two years now....

    The rule of the house is while in college they can stay here, as long as they pay $100/month for food and rent combined.

    Sometimes we can kick ourselves for saying that, but eventually she will graduate!

  4. #4
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    After all 5 were out of the house, 4 were married, 1 was in college we have had 1 in a car wreck and brought him home to rehabilitate, live at home and finish college, MIL moved in and lived 5 years until she died, 1 divorced and lost his job, moved in until he retrained and finally remarried and got a new job, another moved back home when he lost his job.
    In order to take care of the empty nest we had to move another house onto our property!LOL Out of the 5 kids we only have 2 that have never had to move back for one reason or another. These aren't good economic times.

  5. #5
    Junior Member LisaR's Avatar
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    keep buisy i decided to learn a new thing every year and travel still miss them tho

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    keep busy- but not too busy---don't forget you still have your husband!
    i work with a lady who was a (basket case) last year when her youngest left for college- for the first month she cried all the time---then she dove into work---started working 3 jobs- said she just didn't want to be home - it was too quiet---
    well now her marriage is taking a hit- her husband is really tired of her always being at work somewhere- home just long enough to sleep-shower=and leave again---
    and really who could blame him? she's not the easiest person to be around any more- dragged out- over worked- crabby- and oh so unhappy- now looking at a man who has been through thick & thin with for 25 years---who is saying enough is enough!
    so---
    instead of finding away from home activities to fill your time- maybe it's the perfect time to re-kindle and enjoy your spouse- without (children) interfering...remember- he's going through the same (empty nest syndrome) he just doesn't know how to show it like you do...but he needs you now too

  7. #7
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    We've been empty nesters off and on since 1994 when youngest left for college. As long as we are alive our home is their home and they are welcomed back at any time. Daughter moved back for 3 months before her wedding because her lease was up and son moved back for a year after grad school. Sorry, I cannot imagine charging my children rent.

    lol TanyaL..we were Holiday Inn South for all sorts of kiddo friends coming and going during the college years. Loved it.

    DH and I enjoy being "on our own" again. You just have to enjoy life whatever stage you are at in the scheme of things.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mmdquilts's Avatar
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    They are like boomerangs! Sooner or later they will return. Mine are spread around the country. Only the youngest lives here... and when I say here I mean I can go across the sidewalk to her door!

  9. #9
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I know people try to make their children more independent (charging rent, telling kids to move out) but my father said, "I didn't have kids just to kick them out." My parents' house was always open to us for as long as we needed it. Their rule was that we just couldn't be lazy. Either you were in college or working. They figured it was a waste of money for us to pay for rent/food/utilities somewhere else while it was free at home. None of the 5 of us took advantage. We all held at least one job (usually more) or went to college AND held a job. We all lived at home until about 27 years old. None of us left with any college or other debt and several of us had plenty of $ for downpayments on a house.

    So, my advice is to keep your home open to your kids. Expect that in this economy that they will be back. Consider this time a "vacation." The security for a child knowing that they can come back is priceless.

  10. #10
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    I loved my Mom's advice when things changed "it's just another part of life".Took it to heart & even my grown Grkids say it.
    When a job doesn't work out,someone has serious surgery,a friends child is sick etc....Something diff happens to us all & "it's just another part of life".

    You've been thru a lot raising a family...& nothing stays the same forever.It's part of life & as will the empty nest phase.A yr from now,you'll have grown & changed.Good luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by trif
    So our youngest moves out tomorrow, he is going to live in the dorms on campus. He will only be about 30 min away, but I'm still sad, it won't be the same with him not home. The good news is that after I clean the house, it will stay clean. Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to how to cope? It will be too quiet. I already miss him.... :(

  11. #11
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I've been going through the exact same thing lately as #4 child is just finishing up college and comes and goes. For the first time in 28 years it is often only my DH and I at the supper table. It is just another chapter in my life. My kids aren't that far away and I have lots to do to keep me busy. DD#1 thought I'd be lonely so she got me a dog! Molly is a great little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and perfect walking buddy.

  12. #12
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    ENJOY LIFE! BUT DON'T WALK AROUND IN YOUR TEDDY.

    WATCH OUT - HE MAY DRIVE HOME AND SURPRISE YOU!

  13. #13
    Senior Member mizkyp's Avatar
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    This ist dinner is hard, but you find things to do. Quilt more, join an exercise class, walk, and I'll bet being that close he will be home for the weekend.

  14. #14
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    I don't have any words of wisdom, because when my last one left I was miserable-really miserable. One year after he left (and I still missed him) he came back to attend post graduate school. So I have a temporary stay. I'm happy.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    Married 40 years and still have one in school. I don't think I will ever experience the empty nest. My oldest is 24 yrs older than the youngest, now 15. I have 3 grand children. House is always full. We will soon be building a new home on 40 acres. My son now lives there in a mobil home. We will plan the home to accomadate all the kids and grandkids. I have always told the kids and close family that they are welcome to stay if in need. I have made it clear, I will provide the roof over their heads and food from the cupboard. If they need money, they will need to earn it. My oldest daughter moved home after 10 years of marriage and started over. She now has her own home and is engaged. - I do have moments when it seems empty. I have joined a quilt guild and have been able to do things for and about me finally. So think of things you have been putting off. But always be prepared for a surprise return.

  16. #16
    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    For me, it was a struggle for a couple of years in the "empty nester" phase of my life. We raised our children to be independant and darn it! They have been! So, we didn't have them coming back to the nest as so many have said happens...so I did have a time when it was tough. I felt like I'd lost my most important job and was now unemployed...the saving grace is they are always your children and you will see them and talk and share and as they live their adult lives and then if and when grandchildren come along, it just adds to your joy. Here's my advice: be patient with yourself...it's new to you and every new phase must be adjusted to...take up a new hobby or interest, preferably with your hubby...and force yourself to get out and about with friends and such...and the biggest one is...TIME...it takes time...it will get better, I know you're sad right now, but it will get better! Hugs to you!

  17. #17
    Senior Member flowerjoy's Avatar
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    It may stay empty for a few hours.

  18. #18
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    Be grateful they CAN leave!

    Enjoy it while you can!

  19. #19
    Senior Member flowerjoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emerald46
    We've been empty nesters off and on since 1994 when youngest left for college. As long as we are alive our home is their home and they are welcomed back at any time. Daughter moved back for 3 months before her wedding because her lease was up and son moved back for a year after grad school. Sorry, I cannot imagine charging my children rent.

    lol TanyaL..we were Holiday Inn South for all sorts of kiddo friends coming and going during the college years. Loved it.

    DH and I enjoy being "on our own" again. You just have to enjoy life whatever stage you are at in the scheme of things.
    I'm with you on this... I would love it if my son and daughter-in-law moved in... or next door, etc. but, life changes and looking for new adventures (like quilting) is very enjoyable too.

  20. #20
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    You can always do what my parents did after the last one of us graduated high school and went off into the world... they sold the house and bought a 1 bedroom place. My dad said, "that way none of them will try to move back with us"

  21. #21
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    If son's school is only 30 min away -you will not be an empty nester, esp the first semester. You probably need to stock up on groceries! You and hubby can make a list of things to try/learn/do and start working your way thru the list and have fun! When my youngest left for college was when I finally got my own sewing room!

  22. #22
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I have a huge list of things to do when I become an empty-nester! Take a knitting class. Take a sailing class. Travel. Go camping a lot (my kids don't care much for camping, and I LOVE camping!). Buy a motorcycle and drive it to the Grand Canyon. Volunteer more, and not just at the school. Buy a dirtbike and explore the hills with my hubby. Start teaching others how to quilt. Go on more quilt retreats/outings with my quilting pals.

  23. #23
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    I only have one child and when she went to college in the fall of 2007 (2 hours away), I was very sad. I was very involved in with her school/sports and then it was all gone :(

    I got Blackberry so I could text (my old phon did not have texting) so we kept in touch that way and phone calls. She brought her car to campus after the first semester so we would meet in the middle at least once a month for dinner and to replenish her snack supply.

    I started to enjoy the "me" time after the first couple of months, but it was a major adjustment. I started spending more time on my hobbies so that was good.

    In 2008, I moved 500 miles away (due to job being moved) so it is harder now. She is a Senior now and graduates in Dec. and has no desire to join us - VA is her home and that is where she wants to stay. I miss her, but we talk daily and I fly her up here every 6 weeks or so.

    My advice is enjoy this new time that you have and "find" yourself again. I love being a mom, but I also love not having the daily responsibility any more. I used to have to make dinner every night and now I can skip if I want to. Little things that I have come to enjoy - less laundry, quie house.

    Maybe you can set up a monthly lunch/dinner with him and that will be your special time. Good luck! Meghan

  24. #24
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    I'm getting ready to be in the same boat; except my house really will be empty. My youngest daughter, her boy friend and my 5yr old grandson and my 5mo grandaughter all live with me so I'm really going to be an empty nester. It'll be the first time to be really alone; I've been raising kids for over 40 yrs and then last week my soon to be ex decided he liked the bottle to much so that ended a long marriage.

    I think it'll be great. It'll take me a few months just to get the house the way I want it. My daughter will only live a few miles away and I know I'll see her and my grandkids several times a week. I want to start doing things for me instead of for everyone else. Of course; first I have to figure out what I want but that's part of life. I'm already starting on my Christmas gifts that I can now do without fear someone will see what I'm doing. Worse case scenero; I'll get a 2nd job for the 3 days I have each week.

  25. #25
    Super Member katyquilter's Avatar
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    One word of advice "ENJOY" ....

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