I remember this time of year before my daughter left for school. I dreaded it. I was the kind of mom who made my kids call me before they crossed the street, long after other mothers set their kids free. I wasn’t a helicopter mom hovering over their every move but I have to admit that it was hard letting go. Luckily, my daughter and her friend house sat for their drama teacher during Spring break and part of the summer so I had practice by the time she truly moved out.

I have survived my empty nest for almost five years and so I feel that I am a seasoned expert. Today, my daughter still calls HERE home and yet I pretty much know that it might be where her heart is but her residence is four hours away and I am okay with that and would really want it no other way because if she came “home” it would mean that her dreams did not come true and I want her dreams to all come true.

I do have a bit of advice that might help, my very first suggestion is about keeping in touch. I have had so many mothers crying to me about how their kids don’t keep in touch. My suggestion is to set up your expectations ahead of time. When my daughter lived alone, I requested that I would get a text that she was home safe. It could be as simple as:  HOME . I was blessed to have my daughter always text I love you along with it but our rule was I didn’t get the text until she walked in the door and I trusted her and I believe that for the last four years she never missed a text.  Today she lives with someone and I have since calmed down. Though I stand firm in my beliefs that if you set up the expectations early, you can eliminate a lot of worry by agreeing on the texting rule. Especially if you pay the bill.

The next rule of thumb is when looking for your daughter’s residence, just keep in mind that if they have a car, you need a parking place!!!!! If there is no parking place, take my advice and MOVE ON!!! My daughter was told that parking was not a problem in one of her places, she signed a one year lease and was stuck circling the neighborhood and walking several blocks many nights and then having to get up many mornings to move her car because of parking signs. Scope out the neighborhood, look at NO parking signs, ask neighbors and read reviews! Don’t count on the leasing office to tell you about the problems. Talk to the leasers before signing the lease.

Try to find places that don’t have long leases. It is hard enough to let go and know that they are happy and excited to move out and start a life of their own. But if they are not happy, I think that it may be just as hard on the parents as it is on the baby bird! Room mates and living alone, all takes adjustments… be as aware as possible that they may move a few times. My daughter has moved five times in almost five years. Expect to help a few times…

Today, I love spending time with my baby. She will always be my very best friend. We have such fun times when we are together. I love our times when she comes home or I visit her. But honestly, each time, we say “see you later” it is bitter sweet. Her life is so busy and her dreams are all coming true and you know what? Mine are too. I am here to say that it was so hard to let go but it does end up to be okay. You WILL survive and find new dreams of your own. I promise!

One thought on “Preparing for the Empty Nest As your daughter Takes Flight

  1. I’m expecting the frequency of your posts to speed up or I’ll be up to date before I go to bed. If they get longer like this one I’ll start reading one or two each day. I suppose I should just start reading people’s stuff jumping on board from the current moment but at least for now I want to see how things develop.

    This post, the first two paragraphs are really warming and then you turn into a different person who is not as near interesting while giving and listing advice. If only one person had written this. 😉

    My sister and mother used to have a weekly phone call at a certain time. You are right to create some sort of pattern of keeping in touch or somehow you drift further and further apart.

    My wife and I question the notion of kids necessarily moving out to seek their fortune. Moving out before it is necessary is like throwing away a fortune, often literally. Stay home, save money, maybe build a house off on the property a comfortable ways off. Parents raise their kids and when the time comes the kids or grand kids are taking care of us. In Thailand it seemed common for the old people to be taken in by younger family when they could no longer take care of themselves. In many ways an old folks home is an abomination.

    Just throwing out the thoughts that come to mind. What might happen often is that I ramble here, copy and paste the comment into my blog file, and then when I have nothing to write about I pick one of those. My mother in the fancy old folks home is where this one will lead me.

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