Me writing my first blog post!! Wow! I never thought I would be doing something like this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I haven’t wanted to but let’s face it when you have children and a full-time job along with a husband there just isn’t a lot of time left over. Well, now that my little birdies have left the nest I am finding that I have time to do a lot of things that I haven’t been able to squeeze in before.
I am going to use my first blog post to tell you a little about how my new life began. When my youngest flew the coop I wanted to stay busy doing something, anything all the time. I didn’t want to think about how lonely I felt, how my role in life had changed so drastically. I felt like I wasn’t a mom anymore. For 28 years I had children in my home that I needed to be there for, that I needed to take care of. Now that they were gone I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.
I spent a few weeks trying unsuccessfully to stay so busy that I didn’t have time to think about my empty nest. But I kept finding things around the house that reminded me of when they were little, or I would hear a song that made me think of them and the tears would come. I kept my phone with me all the time, just in case they called. I needed to hear their voice and I am ashamed to admit it but sometimes I wished that they had a problem that only me, their mom, could fix. It seemed those calls didn’t come often enough. Oh, they called but mostly just to say hi or tell me something about their day. They didn’t seem to need me like they used to.
After floundering around like this for awhile my husband, who was having his own kind of crisis about our new situation, put it into perspective for both of us. I remember his exact words, “We are embarking on a new chapter in our lives,” he said. “We can either sit here and continue to just exist or we can get out there and start our new lives together.” It was then that I realized that being a mom of grown children is different. I don’t have to be there on a daily basis making sure that their life is running smooth. I don’t have to feed them, clothe them or make sure they are in bed at a decent hour. It was kind of liberating, almost exhilarating! And so it began!
My husband and I have found that we really enjoy being together. Whether we are just sitting around the house or going on an adventure, as long as my best friend is there to share it with me I know I will have a wonderful time. We have started going places that you just can’t go with children. We have found that we really like casinos! We enjoy margaritas when we go to a Mexican restaurant. Oh, and did you know that you can actually drive from Birmingham to Memphis just to eat lunch without someone in the backseat asking if we are there yet?! We have even taken a ten-day road trip all the way down one side of Florida to Key West and back up the other side! Imagine doing that with kids in the car!!
I realize now that I am still a mom. But I have a different role these days. Now I can sit back and proudly watch as my baby birds build their own nests. Writing this first blog post has helped me realize even more that they still need me but now it is for advice, recipes or other things they are still figuring out.
Now that I have my first blog post done and I continue to figure out my new life, I hope writing about it will help other empty nesters who are still struggling to realize that there is life after the little birdies leave the nest!