First, acknowledge your feelings. We’re often told to just move on, let go and be happy. So if we don’t feel that way immediately shame has a way of isolating us even more.
The enemy wants to go unnoticed. He gets you separated from where you’re supposed to be through subtle coincidences.
Trust God. I know this sounds like an oversimplified Christianize answer but hear me out. Every day wake up and be honest with God. Talk to Him. Don’t try to hide your feelings from Him. Hint, He already knows anyway.
Trust Him to meet you wherever you are in the process and walk alongside you. You don’t have to clean up first. Come as you are!
Invest in the new relationship. We’ll always be mama’s to our kids but the relationship is going to change and that’s healthy. Ask God to show you what this entails now. I know it’s hard but we need to be there for our kids while encouraging them as they find their independence. (sidenote – I’m still a work in progress on this part!)
Also, invest in your marriage! My husband and I are loving our time together since God is helping me work this out. As women we often put our husbands on the backburner as we feel our little’s need us more. The best thing my husband ever said to me as we dropped our first son off at college was, “It’s okay mom, you did your job well.” Make time to enjoy the quieter moments with your man now.
Connect with friends. This may be new friends or rekindling old ones. Spend time reaching out and connecting. We’re created to be in community and fellowship. If you’re like me, your community has been through your kids sports and activities. You are now free to explore your own activities and the friendships and community that go with them.
Don’t feel bad for enjoying this new life! There is no shame in enjoying less expenses! Or cooking less, fewer loads of laundry or not having to scrub a toilet two boys were sure was for target practice!
Finally, don’t run from the quiet. Silence equated to loneliness to me and I ran from it at breakneck speed. There was never a time last year I didn’t have some sort of music or the TV on when home.
Silence is a blessing not a curse. It’s in the quiet times we can hear from God the best. Lean in and listen, He’s always there!
I’m praying for all of you mama’s out there, in whatever stage you’re in now. Enjoy each moment but don’t be fearful. Each new day is a chance to trust God again.
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~
I just talked to my sister about this this morning – to acknowledge our feelings of loss is so true – the Enemy wants us to hide them – she sent me lots of links on it – one by Maria Shriver – happy to send them to you if interested. let me know.
Thank you so much for this timely post. In about 5 weeks, I will be entering into the empty nest phase of my life. But this will be felt more profoundly as we have had my daughter, son-in-law and for the past 18 months my precious baby granddaughter living with us for three years.
I experienced "empty nest" like grief when my youngest (my daughter who is living with us now with her family) move across the continent after getting married. My oldest was still home. I used re-did her room as a form of therapy, not to be rid of her memories, but to create a new guest space to honor my children and family. Jesus was my best friend through it all and I was able to take part in lots of fulfilling ministry work.
When my daughter and son-in-law moved in, my son was moving out to get married and live in his own new home. That move was easier since my daughter was back home.
But now, not only will my youngest be "flying off", but with her my granddaughter.
I am already feeling the anxiety the irritability that results from that type of anxiety, but your post has encouraged me so much in how to deal with those feelings.
Thank you so much for sharing. As the Lord would have it, one of my closest friends is going through empty nest for the first time as well. So we will have each other to pray for and to encourage.
I have five kids from 2-15. So I'm far from the empty nest, but each change in age brings a new season for me. As my older ones get older, they are becoming independent and I find myself dreading when they leave. I'm not sure what I will do and the loneliness scares me.
I'm so used to having someone with me all the time, I'm not sure how I will manage.
You gave great points and thoughts to ponder!
My oldest son moved to another state for college on Labor day, and my oldest daughter just left the house this morning to move to her new place. Hard to lose 2 so close together. I am a little sad, of course, but have chosen to embrace this new season of life and the transitions that await. thanks for this post
I'll keep these tips in mind, Laura. We're seeing our oldest of three off to college in fall of 2017, so it'll be a few years before full empty-nest hits. But it's never too early to prepare, right? May the peace of Christ fill you as you continue to move and grow in this new life phase.