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Nerves about being an empty nester!

Posted July 12, 2013 - 12:04pm
At the end of August, my youngest will be heading to New York for his first year of college! For the first time in 20 years, my husband and I will have the house to ourselves. Since I have been a stay at home mom, I am a bit nervous for our lives together after our son leaves. What are some activities that my husband and I could do that could keep our relationship healthy? How do I change my daily routine of not having any of the responsibilities of a stay at home mom anymore?
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Hi!This can definitely be a hard time! I have learned some great things from my friends though! Something that really helps is to start volunteering somewhere. This will help you feel engaged and useful. And as far as keeping your relationship with your husband healthy, make sure to keep dating him! Remember what it was like when you two first met and it was just the two of you. Plan simple weekends away that you weren't able to have when you had children. This will be a great opportunity to fall in love again!


I was the same way 4 years ago! One thing we really tried to do more of was traveling. You would be surprised how getting out of your usual environment can really bring back the magic! Look at it as a good thing :)


Another way to keep your relationship fresh would be to take up a new hobby together with your husband. When I went away to college (so long ago now! :( ), my parents started taking tennis lessons. Then when the traveled together, they would play on courts in all different locations. Since they started on the same level, their skills improved and they remained good challengers for one another for a very long time :)


My parents are golfers so they would always be gone during the summers playing this course and that course.  They also took movie classes together, joined a book club, and made sure that they had things to do every week to look forward to.  Kick back and relax, hard part is over!


You know all those activites that you have wanted to do, but couldn't because the family was too busy? Do them! But first, take a little bit to relax. It's time to focus on YOU! Make a list of the things you love. I know I'm looking forward to finally taking a wine tasting class. Go out on fun dates with your husband at least once or twice a week. Take advantage of the chance to change your daily responsibilities.


Try not to adhere to such a strict schedule, this is your time to NOT have one! 

Mommy Ramblings

I can imagine there are all kinds of bittersweet moments with this. Where in NY is he going to school? I am from NY. Do you live far from where he is going to school? It really will require and adjustment time and I would tell you that if there are any issues that arise between you and your spouse I would not hesitate to see a couselor as a couple or individually if he is not on board to help you deal with this. Try and create a mindset that this is a new stage of life for you to pursue your dreams and have quality kid free time with your spouse. Discuss with him and make plans to do fun things that will keep you connected outside of your kids. Who knows, it could end up being the greatest years of your life! Oh and what about you? Is there something you always wanted to do? Go back to school? Take a gourmet cooking class? Look at those meet up sites for groups in your area where you can connect with others doing things you like. 


You could plan several nights a week to walk together somewhere new -  a park or a lake or the beach, depending on which part of the country you live in. Also, here in Seattle we have a website called MeetUp. It has hundreds of organization and clubs for every kind of interest and hobbies - from dogs, to fishing, to sports, to cooking, etc. Maybe there are some free activities on there to try for you as a couple. Take care!