Filling the Nest

Moonday Mania

A blog about the writing journey

Free Stock Photo - Bird Nest

The other day I was having a conversation with fellow author, Mart Ramirez, about children heading off to school next week. Which led us to discussing when they leave the house as adults. Mart’s afraid she’ll be sad when she gets to the point her child leaves home. I’m not. It may be callous, but I’m looking forward to it.

I love my kids, truly, wondrously, desperately love my kids, but at times I feel like a teenager waiting to get out of the house. I want to be me! I want to enjoy my spouse without being afraid a child will walk in. Drink a glass of wine without someone sniffing my breath (yes I have teenaged police at my house.) Travel without finding a sitter, or (even worse) leaving teenagers in charge of themselves and the house. What kind of vacation is it if you are constantly worried about what is going on at home?

I didn’t always feel like this. When the kids were younger, they were my life. I did everything with them and scheduled my life around theirs. Okay, I still have to schedule around them sometimes, but now I have a full life without the kids, and they are not even out of the house. Committing to writing has done more than fill my hours with satisfying work that I would do above just about anything. It has also filled my life with social obligations, travel opportunities, and real friends.

I will not be lonely when the kids go off to school, the husband is at work, and the house is empty. I’ll be on my computer discussing the best use of the word “t’will” and when did contractions come into common use. I’ll be at meetings, trying not to over-volunteer. I’ll be at writers retreats, conducting workshops on improv and taking workshops on NANORIMO prep.

In other words: Fill your life up and the empty nest won’t be empty, it will be full of you being you.

Oh, and the other thing I’ve done to prevent empty nest syndrome? I have a dog. She’s the baby now.

Stock Photography - Man wearing rucksack
What have you done to fill your life up? Will it be you or your husband who misses the kids most? At my house, it’s bound to be my husband when I’m off at RWA and he’s home by himself. Maybe he needs a hobby, like hiking.

Do you have other hobbies besides writing? Will they fill up your life the way writing does, so much that you merely wave at the kids as they trundle off to school and hope you remembered to kiss them?

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16 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

16 responses to “Filling the Nest

  1. Such a healthy point of view, Jessica! After all you raised your kids to be adults so cheering them on in that endeavor is bang on. And you are better for them, being a happy contributing adult, not to mention a great example. Love my kids and grand kids, too, but love my life with my husband just as much. The operative words there are ‘my life’.

    • WOOT! I met a woman on a plane a few years ago, and it was her first vacation without her six kids in twenty years Twenty years and she had never, not once, gone anywhere by herself or just with her husband. Not me! I was flabbergasted. At the time I was also leaving my two and three year olds at home so I could go on a cruise with my husband. Totally different mindset!

      • Me neither. Left my first child for a week when he was only 5 months so my husband and I could go to Jamaica. He certainly survived and we had a ball.

      • Oooh, Elaine! Five months! You definitely win the prize. Jamaica sounds fun, one of the places I’ve never been. See, no reason to wait for the empty nest to go have a good time!

  2. When my daughter, the oldest and only girl, left for college it did take a little adjustment for me. She was one of my best friends and I missed our nightly talks. Her leaving broke the ice and it became easier with each of the 3 boys. In fact, it reached the point with all of them…delighted to have them home for breaks, but after a few days started asking…”When do you go back to school?”

    • That’s me, Lizzie. I am so excited for school to start and my house to be all mine during the day. I will be able to make noise in the morning, play music loud, and write! WHOOPEE!

  3. I loved raising my son, but I’m also now spoiled now. I write, read, vacation with my husband…These are all things I put on the back burner while he was at home.

  4. You KNOW where I am, Jessica. On a free-to-be-me road trip.

    The first of many I plan to take. This week is writing week. Cousins Donnie and Robin left for work about an hour ago. I have the house to myself and the back roads of Farm Country to explore and photograph.

    Being back where I was born and lived until I was eleven is cathartic. I feel as if I’m getting grounded with the tap root for the wonky tree that defines my life.

    That’s why my husband gets the “you’ll know when I know” answer to his queries about when I plan to head home. He’s dealing with it. At least my answer isn’t “never,” right?

    High today in TX? 104. High today in Blair County, PA? 78

    • Definitely avoid Texas for a while. I think September should be cooler. Glad you are taking the time to explore your wonky roots and the rest of the county. I envy you your “whatever, whenever” road trip and attitude. And I’m sure your hubby is taking good care of the kids at home. Lots of walks, pets and snuggling while mom is away!

  5. I always feel a little sad when my kids leave the nest. They’ve been coming and going for the last 7 years or so. I like having them around, but I hear you, Jessica. Sept. is coming and we’ll be almost empty nesters. I look so forward to not cooking major dinners every night. I love to cook, but I was cooking for 6 every night and it takes so much time.
    I used to have lots of hobbies, but right now my sole focus in writing, hmmm soul focus too. It is good for my soul. I’m so excited for this new phase in my life. Happy writing, Jessica!

  6. I’m at that stage when the kids COME BACK. I suffer from reverse empty nest. What would that be? Boomerang nest?

  7. Pingback: Is empty nest a time to celebrate? « After the kids leave

  8. Pingback: Is empty nest a time to celebrate? | After the Kids Leave

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