10 Things I Like About Empty Nesting
My husband and I are settling into our empty nest. We are learning the fun things about empty nesting and the not-as-fun things. While it has been a huge adjustment, we are finding our way and I am ready to share 10 Things I Like About Empty Nesting.
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10 Things I Like About Empty Nesting
I get the Best and Softest Throw Blanket
Yes, we fight over the throw blankets at our place. When the kids come home for Christmas, I will be relegated back to the not so soft blankets. But for now, EVERY TIME I watch tv, I get the best one.
I Don't Have to Wear Make Up Everyday Anymore
I know that the cool, hip, younger moms of today go up to their kids' schools in yoga pants and no makeup, but I never did. I got dressed every darn day, did my hair, and put on makeup. Now that I work at home, somedays I wear my pajamas until 3pm.
No More Juggling Cars in the Driveway
We have a huge circle driveway that runs the length of our acre lot, but somehow we still could not park all 5 cars without someone being boxed in or someone blocking the circle drive. For heaven's sake, my precious offspring, how hard is it to pull all the way forward under the porte-cochere and not take up both lanes?
Less Laundry and Dishes
Ok, this one is obvious – less laundry and dishes. It's amazing to me how much less laundry and dishes a couple produces as opposed to a family of 3 (the size of our household the previous 2 years). I now run my dishwasher about 3 times a week instead of what seems like 3 times a day when everyone is here.
I do about four loads a week of laundry now. When there were 5 of us, the washer and dryer ran continuously. Instead of always having a pile (or piles) of laundry on the couch to fold in the evenings, I get it all done in one or two nights.
We ran like crazy for years from one kid's activity to another. We loved (almost) every minute of it and would not go back and limit their activities at all. We once sat through a state semi-final football game that our daughter was cheering for when it was 35 degrees and raining. We have sat through 30 mile per hour winds and 40 degree temperatures while she pole vaulted. We have traveled the country going to show choir competitions (fortunately indoors). We have been to everything from Academic Bowl competitions to cross country meets to film festivals. It has been 105 degrees and 25 degrees at these various events. Wow! It was fun, but exhausting.
Do you know what we do on Saturdays now? We watch “College Game Day” and then one football game after another until it is time for bed. Sometimes my husband goes out on a 20 mile bike ride without worrying about what time he needs to be back so we can do whatever is scheduled for the day. If I want to shop, read, or work on a project, I have time for it.
We have not figured out what our activity is going to be after football season is over yet. I am making a list of projects. I was in one of my son's rooms earlier today. I think a huge clean out is in order for this winter.
It may not be fair to say we are now “traveling.” Our traveling consists of going to see our kids. One lives in Hoboken, New Jersey so that counts as travel because we do things in New York City while we are there. But we are also enjoying burning up the highway to Waco, Texas and Austin, Texas a few times a semester. We talk. We listen to podcasts and audio books. 16 hours in the car pretty much flies by as we road trip it.
It is fun to see the kids in their environment, go to their football games, and take them to dinner. We laugh because we are now “choir boosters” again as one son is singing with the Longhorn Singers at UT. Yes, we went to their fall show.
No more extra-curricular activity parent politics
Oh my. Does it get any worse than dealing with mean parents hell-bent on pushing their agendas in a kid's activity? I do not miss this.
Funny Texts and Phone Calls from the Kids
Kids who are learning to adult have a few questions. My favorite was from my oldest: “I have the big block of cheese. What else do I need to make queso dip?” I was also a fortunate recipient of the “How Do I Cook A Turkey in the Microwave?” joke that the college kids were sending their parents a year ago. Yes, I argued with him for a while before finding out it was a joke.
Our middle son face timed us during a football game one Saturday evening and we watched it together for several hours. I even sat the phone in “his chair” for a little while. I think sometimes they just want to feel home.
A highlight this year was my daughter calling and describing a date that did not go well (for the boy). Don't expect a girl with two older brothers to back down when you decide to man ‘splain your opinion on an issue to her.
Fewer Trips to the Grocery Store
My husband may not be as on board with this as I am. Sometimes the pickin's are slim at our place these days. I do go to the grocery store, but not almost every day like when the kids were home. (I admit it. I am a terrible meal planner, so I was always running to the store for dinner items or any of a 100 things we needed.) It is a lot easier to figure out a meal with what is on hand when you are only cooking for two.
The gourmet grocery store down the hill from me also has these great “meal for two” kits. I am all about that! And going to the butcher counter and saying, “I'll take 2 salmon filets” or “two of those pre-seasoned chicken breasts.” Easy peasy. I even go in there in my yoga pants and no makeup.
They Do Come Home
And what fun we have! The house gets loud. The driveway is full of cars. I get the ratty throw blankets. The dishwasher and washer and dryer run continuously. There is never enough food. It costs a ton to go to the grocery store. We worry about what time they are coming home. The house is a mess. We can't find the remote controls. We take out loans to go to the movies. It is a blessed time.
And then we hug and kiss them, send them on their ways, and pray, pray, pray.
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