I recently went through the poignant and often painful process of letting my adult children go as they forge their own paths out in the world. Facing an empty nest can be a confusing and conflicting time. As always, it’s helpful to know you’re not alone on this journey. Here’s a bit of mine…
Facing An Empty Nest
Letting children go is the part of parenting no one can fully prepare you for.
As I witness my beloved children fly from the nest, this new year brings feelings of excitement, and at the same time, feelings of deep melancholy.
Of course, my children’s exciting new beginnings are exactly what I as a parent have hoped for!
Yet the heaviness in my heart, and occasional leaky tears, speak to the ongoing inevitable aspect of parenting – letting go.
Empty Nesting and the Deeper Grief Beneath the Surface
I’ve also come to recognize there’s a deeper element of sadness beneath this particular moment of letting go.
A grief of sorts, which I’ve come to see is the grief of losing the younger versions of my children.
This newly empty nest, brought about the realization that my children are never going to be those little ones again.
The little ones I made mud pies with, baked morning pancakes for, and read nightly bedtime stories to.
I adored those days.
“Makes sense,” my hubby recently commented. “You taught kindergarten and second grade for 10 years.“
Indeed, he is right. I love the innocence and inherent wonder of those ages.
And yet here they are, my grown children, these beautiful young adults, carrying those amazing, younger versions of themselves within, prepared to share themselves with the world.
Leaving me with this empty nest and the opportunity for my new beginning.
I adore the wisdom of this quote on parenting from Khalil Gibran –
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
That quote is exactly the reminder of what is most important for me in this moment – Trust.
I must trust and let my children go as I continue to hold them close in my heart.
An Empty Nest is also the time and opportunity for me to turn my focus back on myself. What about you?
Empty Nesting and Doubling Down on Self-Care
As I move into this new arena of empty nesting, I recognize that now more than ever it is a time to practice what I preach in my coaching practice .
I must meet myself where I am and honor all that I am feeling – the uncertainty, the grief, the worry, the possibility, the loneliness and any and all the other emotions that arise during this time of transition.
Also, I’ve come to recognize that this is a time to double-down on my self-care practice.
What does that look like for me?
Most of all, as I move into this new world of empty nesting, I intend to focus on all that I love that brings Magic into my days.
Are You Facing an Empty Nest? Now, or Sometime in the Future?
If so, what does self-care look like for you?
Remember, you don’t have to wait to move into the empty nesting phase of parenting to focus on self-care!
Everyday is an opportunity to focus on You and invite more Magic into your days!
So…how will you take the best care of YOU as you move through this new year?
I would be so honored to hear.