10 Things I Like About Empty Nesting

10 Things I Like About Empty Nesting

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.

Read all of my Empty Nest posts.

 

 

 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.

 

Time

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.

 

Travel

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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crockpot meals for two
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions

How to Make New Year's Resolutions using Mark 12:30

 

Many years ago I read an article about How to Make New Year's Resolutions. The author said that you should make a resolution in each of these categories: financial, social, intellectual, and physical. Because I was a Christian, I added a spiritual category.

Several years later, after reading Mark 12:30, it occurred to me that every goal, whether physical, financial, social, or intellectual is ultimately a spiritual goal. We are called to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) Our entire being works together in everything we do to honor our creator. This post tells you How to Make New Year's Resolutions using Mark 12:30.

A FREE PRINTABLE 18 Page Workbook is available to assist you as you make your 2020 New Year's Resolutions.

How to Make New Year's Resolutions using Mark 12:30

 

Taking time to review the year behind and plan for the year ahead is a process everyone should undertake. As the Christmas decorations come down and we begin to rest from the frenzy of the prior days, sitting down for a few hours with a notebook, a pen, and a warm beverage to plan the year ahead is a gift we should give ourselves. Here are some steps to help you through the process:

Meditate on Mark 12:30.

“Love the Lord your God with all your HEART (relationships with others) and with all your SOUL (relationship with God) and with all your MIND (my intellect and skills) and with all your STRENGTH (my body, my finances, my time, my surroundings.)

HEART: relationships with others. Think about the relationships in your life. What do you need to do to improve these relationships? What relationships do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive? How can you live at peace with yourself and others?

Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”

SOUL: relationship with God. What do you need to do to become closer to God?

        Psalm 119:175:  “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.”

        I can't recommend enough reading the entire chapter of Psalm 119 as you think on your  relationship with God

MIND: A vast category of learning and expanding. It's not a category of just eliminating the pollutants, but enriching our thoughts with good books, good ideas, new skills, new people. Learn something new this year and use that skill in service to God and man.

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

James 1:5:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

STRENGTH: physical goals – the bulk of most resolutions – weight, exercise, diet, finances, home improvement, careers, etc. This category could be called “taking care of business.”

These items are the things that strengthen or weaken our hearts, souls, and minds. If our “business” is out of whack, it strains our relationships with others and with God and keeps our minds focused in the wrong place. If our hearts, souls, and minds are out of whack, we have difficulty accomplishing our strengthening goals.

We may even add harmful habits to distract us from our hearts, souls, and minds. Think about what business you need to take care of. What to you need to do to keep your body healthy? How are you spending your money? Are you taking care of the home you are blessed with?

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Luke 11:36: “Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Ephesians 4:1: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”

Put your goals in writing.

 The FREE PRINTABLE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION WORKBOOK is a great place to write down your goals for 2020. 

 

Run some tests.

  • Is it realistic? Is the goal reasonable and accomplish-able or is it just a fantasy?
  • Is it measurable? Should it be measurable? How will you know if you have accomplished your goal or not? Some goals are easy to measure. Did you clean out the closet and give unneeded items to charity or sell them as part of your financial goals? Others are not easily measured, like relationships. While there are concrete, measurable steps that can be taken in your relationships, in the end, only you will know if you are at peace in your relationships.
  • Is it about bananas? Is it a fad or a narrow dictate from an article or book? I reference the lowly banana because periodically I see an article citing the diabolical consequences of eating bananas. Having spent 7 years attending high school cross country and track meets observing thousands of abnormally skinny kids consume millions of pounds of bananas, I can assure you that banana peels make a mess, but they are not the sole cause of an expanding waistline. Realize that certain items, like health and finances, can not be improved with one gimmicky change.
  • Is it a good use of resources and time? There are things that are not worth your time or resources and can become an obsession.

Make a plan – a real one.

Write it down! All the steps! Write them down!

 Be accountable.   

I'm not talking about bearing your soul to everyone on Facebook; just decide who or what is going to spur you on.

 Finally, be patient with yourself.

Resolve to love the person God created and not the one you wished he had created. Just keep moving forward. You can do it.

A new year is a time for self-reflection and planning. Following the instructions for How to Make New Year's Resolutions Using Mark 12:30 as a guide will help you keep your plans and goals in perspective of the ultimate goal. May you be blessed in the new year.

More From Almost Empty Nest:

10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

 The 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

 

I have read a whole lot of empty nester books preparing for this post and only one was completely terrible. (I opted not to include it in this list.) Each of these 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters offers something different – some are about the grief of an empty nest, some are about parenting adult children, some aren't really about empty nesting at all, but are so relevant for our stage of life.

For more empty nest resources and ideas:

What is Empty Nest Syndrome? (And what to do about it)

Over 50 Empty Nest Hobbies

10 Things I Love About Being An Empty Nester

The 10 Best Empty Nest Books

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar.  

Best Books for Empty Nest Syndrome

“Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest” by Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates

Best quote from the book:  “It is helpful to articulate the challenges and then choose to focus on the blessings of each distinct season. When we define the challenges and discuss them with others, we discover that we are normal! When we are intentional in looking for the blessings, we discover the joys that God has prepared for us. It's important to remember that no season lasts forever. We want to really live in each unique time and miss nothing.”

Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates are both involved in Christian ministry. The outline for this book was developed from a gathering they hosted inviting women to come and “join in a lively discussion of the season of the empty nest.” The 23 attendees “ranged from  a mother whose oldest was a sophomore in high school to a young widow whose kids were grown.” 

This book is a very practical guide covering topics like parenting your adult children, menopause, marriage, and “what's next?” It has a small group and study guide in the back of the book. The book gives practical tips and steps to take in working through the transition to an empty nest including plans for empty nest celebrations with just your husband or with your girl friends.

“Release My Grip” by Kami Gilmore

Best quote from the book:

“…the person I need to keep pointing him (her son) to as he faces these big life choices is not me, it's God. That is the greatest contribution I can give him as his mother.”

“Release My Grip” is a workbook for Christian mothers to help us release our tightly held grips on our children and entrust our children to God. A friend of mine said this in an empty nest facebook group: “I am not sure who recommended the book, ‘Release My Grip,' but I wanted to say ‘thank you.' It was a really good read.”

Each chapter of this book includes a touching and sometimes humorous story by the author. She also includes journal prompts, other activities and prayers. One chapter even deals with what to do when your child calls and is out of money. Allowing our child some financial discomfort is not something we are immediately comfortable with.

Kami says in the introduction, “The stories in this book are a collection of ‘aha' moments I journaled while standing knee-deep in the season of releasing my grip as my daughter left the nest followed by my son a few years later.”

“A View from an Empty Nest” by Bonnie Beth Sparrman

Best Quote in the Book: 

“And give yourself time. You didn't adjust to motherhood overnight, and the same is true for letting them go.”

“A View from an Empty Nest” is a small devotional book and would make a great gift for a new empty nest mom. There are 42 chapters that are short and can be read in less than 5 minutes. Her subtitle is “Surprising, Poignant, Wonderful Things on the Horizon.”

Bonnie aims through her devotionals to lead the empty nester to a peaceful, happy, and fulfilled life. She encourages us to work on our marriages and to lean on God during this transition.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul”

I don't have a quote from this book because it is a different sort of book. It is a collection of stories written by many authors about their empty nest experiences. Many are quite touching and tear-jerking, so if you are in the throws of grief, this may not be the book for you. The book gives you empathy and lets you know others feel like you do, but it does not give tips to get past the grief.

I enjoyed many of the stories as they are so well written and not preachy. I appreciated that there were also stories from parents whose nests will never be empty because their children have disabilities. This book is appropriate for people of all faiths.

Best Books for Parenting Adult Children

“Empty Nest, Full Life” by Jill Savage

Best Quote in the Book: 

“What if you did not think of it as ‘too late' but rather as ‘just in time' to make a difference in the second half of your marriage, or in your ability to have a healthy relationship with your adult kids, or to influence young lives as a grandparent, or for you to experience the freedom you long for?”

I had a hard time coming up with just one quote because this book contained so many. It is the deepest, most vulnerable, and raw of all of the books I read. The first half of the book concerns relationships with adult children. She has truly struggled and come out the other side including loving her homosexual son and his friends and dealing with mental illness in another son. Her insight into what drives us as parents to try to control our adult children and beat ourselves up if they do not “turn out” like we would have wanted is unmatched in any of the other books I read.

Another quote:

“… I'd made my children's behavior an idol. I was using them to define myself. In order to have a healthy relationship with my kids, I had to let go of my idols.”

The second half of the book is about the empty nest, our relationships with our spouses, and how we plan to live out the rest of our lives. She is very encouraging and gives many practical tips for a “full life.”

“Doing Life with Your Adult Children” by Jim Burns

Best Quote in the Book: 

“No parent wants to see a child end up homeless, make unwise decisions, or lead a negative lifestyle. But this is where parents must face their fears and decide what is best for their child in the long run.”

“Doing Life with your Adult Children” is a practical guide to having good relationships with your grown children. He covers topics such as when to insert your opinion, avoiding entitlement, in-laws, and stepfamilies, grandchildren, and financial planning (including estate planning) with your kids.

Other Helpful Empty Nest Books

“Back Roads to Belonging” by Kristen Strong

Best Quote in the Book: 

“Could it be, in those dark times of change, when we long to belong in a larger place but see no evidence of growth there, that the growth is moving in a downward direction? That growth is happening where roots reach and spread and become stronger? Yes, because growth still happens in the dark, and good things grow from lowly, dark places”

Kristen Strong is no stranger to change, having moved many times during her husband's military career. Kristen's experiences of having to find new places to belong every few years shadow the life of a new empty nester looking for new places to belong now that the years of finding friends in booster clubs and chaperoning youth group are over. Her words are soothing and inspiring and give practical tips for finding your place after big changes.

“The Happiness Dare” by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Best Quote in the Book: 

“Happiness isn't apart from God. It is a part of him.”

“The Happiness Dare” takes on the often held Christian belief that God is not interested in our happiness. As empty nesters finding new avenues of joy and happiness is essential to our health. I shared insight from this book in the post Why an Empty Nest Makes Us Sad. She absolutely nails what sometimes robs us of joy as our children leave.

“Slay Like a Mother” by Katherine Wintsch

Best Quote from the Book:

“The negative voice in your head is an overly dramatic interpretation of what's going on in your life, as told by the most fragile parts of your ego.”

One of the most moving experiences of the last few months for me involved this book. I attended a blogging conference and Katherine Wintsch was one of the speakers.

We each entered the room to find a copy of “Slay Like a Mother” in our chairs. I did not know many people at the conference and I sat down next to a very young woman on the end of an aisle. The lights went down in the room and a video began to play. The video was of women reading the last negative thing they had said to themselves off of index cards. Then pairs of women told each other what they had written down. In each case the women embraced each other and encouraged the other that she was better than what was on that card. There was not a dry eye in the room.

Then the lights came up and Katherine told us to turn to the person next to us and tell her the last negative thing we had said to ourselves. I said, “I can't do this” – meaning the conference. I was scared out of my mind because the people there were BIG TIME and had sponsors and the speakers were bloggers with STAFFS!! I am a small one gal operation. The girl next to me then said, “Everyone would be better off without me.”

I immediately hugged her and tears came down my cheeks because, Girl, I have thought that way more times than I would like to admit. And I know it is NOT TRUE, but sometimes we women are that down on ourselves.

I recommend this book with full disclosure that IT IS NOT A CHRISTIAN BOOK. However, as women who have reached midlife, we often have issues that we have struggled with for 30+ years that we have never dealt with and it may be time to deal. I am taking advantage of having more time than ever by reading books like this, seeing a therapist, and listening to positive books and podcasts. If you have even one “issue,” I encourage you to read “Slay Like a Mother.”

It is actually written for younger mothers, but the principals are the same. We all need to learn “How to Destroy What's Holding You Back so You Can Live the Life You Want.”

 

“All My Friends Have Issues” by Amanda Anderson

Best Quote from the Book:

I listened to this book on Audible, so it is hard to go back and find the BEST quote, but here is the first line of the first chapter.

“Bathrooms, though unhygienic and accident-likely places to use one's phone, are often where I make and receive important, authentic communications.”

Amanda Anderson writes a funny and poignant book about friendships (and why we need them even if everyone we meet is imperfect). As empty nesters we often have to find new friends. She encourages us that it is worth the effort. I enjoyed listening to this book because it is read by the author and she is genuinely funny!! I have now ordered the paperback version of “All My Friends Have Issues,” so I can go back and highlight everything that you can't highlight while you are driving a car. I am also thinking about using it for a small group I am in.

 

These are my Top 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters. I would love to know if you have read any books that would give encouragement to women who are empty nesters. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

 

What is Your

Empty Nest Super Power?

How to Own Your Nest, Live your Passion, and Love your Life!

 

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8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

 

Are you on Instagram? If not, then grab yourself an account and start following these 8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters. Instagram is different than Facebook in that every post has a picture. It is very visual and is more about inspiring you than the sharing of opinions. (In that way alone, it can be a refuge from an onslaught of politics and other news when you need an escape from it.)

For more Empty Nest Resources:

Why Does an Empty Nest Make us Sad (and what to do about it)

The 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

10 Things I Love About Being an Empty Nester

8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

The accounts below are accounts I follow and enjoy seeing what the owners are up to with their posts. Below I share what makes these accounts the best Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters.

  • Empty Nest Blessed

    I love Suzy of Empty Nest Blessed. She shares fashion looks for women in our age group. She is as cute as can be and shares fun photos of herself wearing the clothes in different environments – sometimes in front of the mirror in her bedroom, sometimes around Dallas, Texas, and sometimes on her travels.

 

  • Fabulous After 40

    Deborah of Fabulous After 40 is from Canada and wowza! I want to look like her when I grown up. She is some kinda gorgeous and her fashion sense is flawless.  Her look is very high end, but many of the clothes come from Amazon and Nordstrom Rack. She even has a story highlight with looks from Walmart.

 

  • Feathered Empty Nest

    Lisa of Feathered Empty Nest is very relatable. She is sharing her journey of going gray and she is rocking it!! She shares pictures of her family and her hobby of axe throwing. (I may need to add that one toEmpty Nest Hobbies post.) One of her story highlights is of the “downsized” empty nest home she and her husband recently built.

 

  • Jill Savage

    Jill Savage is the author of the book “Empty Nest, Full Life: Discovering God's Best for Your Next.” I am currently reading this book and it is awesome! (Full review to come.) Her feed is full of encouragement and pictures of her with her husband and grown children.

     

     

  • Grown and Flown

    Grown and Flown is well known as one of the go to places for advice on parenting teens and college students. They often share posts from their readers in their feed. Their posts are usually touched with a bit of humor and the sense that “they have been there” and understand what you are going through.

     

     

  • Care Package Cult

    Care Package Cult is a new account. They want to share care package ideas. There are a lot of accounts with care packages that you can follow, but they are usually selling them – nothing wrong with that – but if you just want ideas, Care Package Cult is sharing pictures of ideas that they find.

     

 

  • Enneagram and Coffee

    Enneagram and Coffee has nothing to do with being an Empty Nester, but it is my very FAVORITE Instagram account. It makes me laugh and I find it spot on for myself and others. Take an Enneagram test, find your number, and join the fun!

 

  • Almost Empty Nest

    Yes, this is my account! I would love to have you as a follower and interact with you. I like to post pictures of my family and news of what is going on at Almost Empty Nest. Don't miss the latest happenings around here.

 

Join the Instagram fun and follow these Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters with me!

 

 

 

What is Your

Empty Nest Super Power?

How to Own Your Nest, Live your Passion, and Love your Life!

 

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What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

What is Empty Nest Syndrome (and What To Do About It)

 

Empty Nest syndrome is something many women (and men) experience after their last child has left home. I have read through many threads in empty nest Facebook groups with comment after comment stating just how sad and miserable the commenter is in their empty nest.

The basic reason why we might be sad is that our children have left home and there is a whole new life to adjust to. But there are several more layers underneath the adjustment causing empty nest syndrome.

More Empty Nest Resources:

The 10 Best Empty Nest Books

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

A quick “google” of empty nest syndrome will tell you that empty nest syndrome is the “sadness or emotional distress affecting parents whose children have grown up and left home.”

I came to a better understanding of what causes it after reading “The Happiness Dare” by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Ms. Lee writes:

After much research and testing, I concluded that there are five major determinants of happiness. They are:

  • Believing that one's life has purpose
  • Having a sense of belonging
  • Culling happiness from moments and experiences
  • Helping others feel loved and cherished
  • Using the power of our minds to learn, play, and dream”

Eureka! I shouted when I read this. These are exactly the things a parent loses if they have not determined in advance from where they will derive these determinants of happiness once their children leave home.

If all of your purpose, sense of belonging, moments, experiences, love, and dreams are wrapped up in your children, you will have none of these things left when they leave.

So, sister, her list is where you need to start to get your life back. You must find new purposes. You must find new places to belong. You must find moments and experiences that do not involve your children. You must find others to love and cherish. And you must find new things for your mind to learn, play, and dream.

Is that an easy task?

Not usually.

But, with some effort you can do it. Here are some steps.

  1. Start with your interests. Take the Empty Nest Super Power Quiz. The quiz will help you determine areas of interest and places to focus your time and mind.
  2. Read through your results and follow the Empty Nest Super Power Guide.
  3. Keep researching, reading, and listening to positive sources of inspiration.
  4. Get help if you need it. If you are so low that you have lost interest in even trying to find new purposes, get help. A good place to start is with your primary care physician. They can help you determine if you have a deeper depression. They can then recommend counseling and/or medication that will help you adjust to your new circumstances.
  5. Most importantly, do not give up.

No one ever promised that dropping your last child off at college or helping them move into their first place was going to be easy, but it is not impossible either. Empty Nest Syndrome can be overcome. You just have to take the first step. If your nest is not yet empty, prepare in advance by exploring your interests and new places to belong once your nest is empty.

 

 

What is Your

Empty Nest Super Power?

How to Own Your Nest, Live your Passion, and Love your Life!

 

More from Almost Empty Nest:

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Empty Nest Hobbies: Blogging

Empty Nest Hobbies: Blogging

Empty Nest Hobbies: Blogging

 

The first line I ever wrote as I began my blogging hobby was, “I left my first-born on the sidewalk in front of a Shipley's Donuts in Waco, TX.” I wrote it a few months after dropping him off at college. Something had happened as we pulled out of the donut shop parking lot by the Baylor University campus that day. I realized that in 5 years I would have dropped off all three of my children at college.

I also realized that meant I had 5 years to figure out what I wanted to do with myself once my children were gone. On a whim I googled “how to start a blog” and my empty nest hobby of blogging was born.

For over 50 more Empty Nest Hobby Ideas: Empty Nest Hobbies

For more Empty Nest Resources: Why Does an Empty Nest Make us Sad (and what to do about it)

Empty Nest Hobbies: Blogging

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

My blogging journey has been rewarding and challenging. It has engaged every part of my brain, forced me to learn some creative skills I did not previously possess, and has brought wonderful and supportive friends into my life. If you love to write or have a skill, adventure, message or anything else you would like to share with the world and don't mind a challenge, blogging may be the empty nest hobby for you. 

 

How I started Blogging:

I had always wanted to write and constantly walked around with ideas swirling around in my head about what I wanted to write about.  After just concluding my son's senior year, the college preparation and application process, and dropping him off, I suddenly knew what I wanted to write about. I wanted to help other moms who were in my same shoes and just as clueless as I had been about how everything college worked. I also wanted to write about my own journey from a full nest of chicks to an empty nest and encourage other moms through the process. The name “Almost Empty Nest” came to me and the domain was available and my blog was born!

If you would like to start blogging, here are the steps:

Name your Blog

  • The first thing you need is a domain (the name of your website). Depending on your plans, the name should either be your own name or have a name that someone might google if they are looking for information on your topic. I do not suggest choosing something that is too cute or that will not be relevant in a few years. (I notice gals naming their blogs things like “diapers and tantrums” and such. Unless you really want to write about diapers and tantrums for the rest of your blogging life, it is not a good name.) 
  • If you are looking at more of a writing and/or speaking career, it is recommended that you blog under your own name.
  • Before settling on a name, find out what social media handles are available. I did not do this, so I do not have “almost empty nest” consistently across all of the social media platforms. If you can find one name that is available as a domain and on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest you have struck gold.
  • I purchase and maintain my domains with Siteground. They are also my host. To me it is convenient to have both my domain ownership and my hosting in one place.

 Decide on Hosting

  • You will need a host for your website. You can blog completely for free with several platforms, but you will not own your name.
  • If you want something that you own, you will have to pay for a host. I use Siteground. Many people will recommend Blue Host. They recommend Blue Host because they have a great referral program. Blue Host is cheap, but you will quickly need to upgrade your service with them and that is costly. I used Blue Host at first and ran into problems which were going to require an upgrade to correct. On the advice of more experienced bloggers, I switched to Siteground and have been with them for almost 4 years. 

 Install WordPress

  • There are website platforms other than wordpress, but I can't imagine using them. WordPress is the gold standard in the industry. WordPress is free. Use the instructions from your host to install it.

 Choose a Theme

  • You can start with a free WordPress theme. Your theme is the beginnings of how your website looks. You can browse through the free WordPress themes and pick one you like. Once you have been blogging a while and figure out all the things you want your website to do that cannot be done with a free theme (or a significant knowledge of coding), you can upgrade to a premium theme and/or hire someone to design your website for you. I use DIVI by Elegant Themes for my theme.

 Start Your Blog

  • You are ready for your first post! Write it and send it out to all of your friends and family and ask them to subscribe to your blog. There are a number of free options like Mailchimp for setting up newsletters. If you blog for a while and love it and want a top of the line email service, I use Convert Kit.

 Blogging Education

  • There are an unlimited number of folks who will try to sell you blogging courses with the promise of teaching you how to make gobs of money online. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Blogging for profit is HARD WORK and is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. 
  • Only purchase courses from experienced bloggers who have actually accomplished what you want to accomplish.
  • Be wary of courses taught by bloggers who only “blog about blogging.”
  • Here is a list of courses I have taken that I believe are worth every penny. I have no financial interest in your purchase of any of these courses.
    • Elite Blog Academy:  I was fortunate enough to buy this course several years ago when the course cost much, much less. It is the most comprehensive course I am aware of on blogging. It will eat your lunch! It took me over a year to complete it. BUT, it will lay down the basics and beyond of what it takes to share your work with more than your friends and family and to start making some money.
    • Pin Practical Masterclass: This course will teach you everything you need to know about Pinterest. It is the only course recommended by Kate Ahl, who is basically the guru of all things Pinterest. I purchased this course for my daughter so she could quickly get up to speed on Pinterest and help me with my account.
    • Dominate the Search Engines: I met the gals who wrote this course at a blogging conference. They teach everything about helping your content rank on Google. 

 Podcasts

  • Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn while you drive around in your car or are at home and the best part is that they are FREE! If the host offers courses and other paid services, their podcast will let you get to know them for as long as you want before diving into their paid products.
  • The number one Podcast I recommend is the Simple Pin Podcast by Kate Ahl. I learned almost everything I know about Pinterest from this Podcast.
  • Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher: She has a fun, relaxed, and authentic tone that is easy to listen to and is educational.
  • Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield: Another solid blogging podcast with a great host.

 

Join Me

  • If you do start a blog, write me and let me know. I will feature any blogs started as an empty nest hobby on this post!

 

What is Your

Empty Nest Super Power?

How to Own Your Nest, Live your Passion, and Love your Life!

 

More from Almost Empty Nest:

crockpot meals for two

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