Rebuilding your nest after the children have left

The three transitioning stages of an empty nest

There are three transitioning stages involved in moving to an empty nest :

  1. Shock
  2. Pulling yourself together
  3. It’s OK ….and I can make it even better

The first stage is the Shock Stage. This happens straight after your kids leave home for the first time.

Your life changes dramatically as you start letting go of the parental responsibilities and start focusing on yourself again. This is the start of your new way of life and it may take a while to adjust.

But don’t worry, you will adjust.

That’s when you move on to the next phase, pulling yourself together.

During this stage, you’re getting used to your kids not being around and needing your attention.

No more mum’s taxi. If you’ve got used to being known as David’s mum or Ruth’s dad, this can be hard. Almost like you’ve been made redundant. And now you have to look for a new job (title).

No more cooking big family meals. Now it’s just meals for one or two. You’ll probably find yourself still cooking large meals until you get used to preparing less vegetables and smaller portions.

This is also the stage to start planning what you want to do next, if you haven’t already done so. Think about what you like doing already and what new adventures you’d like to try. You don’t have to worry about leaving the kids at home alone, so now is the time to go for it….whatever “it” is to you.

By the third stage of empty nest you’ve reached a point where you feel OK. And you probably have ideas on how to make your life even better. You will have started making plans that include things that interest you and give you happiness. You will have started carrying those plans out and adding to the list.

Time to dust off your Bucket List and start ticking it off.

Photo of empty nest by Evelyn
Photo by Evelyn on


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