Confessions of Empty Nesters


The empty nester time is approaching and your little “chick” is leaving the nest. I’m sure you’ve heard rumors about how you would feel or better yet how you should feel during this time and what your confessions will be.

There definitely seems to be politically correct versions of confessions of your thoughts and feelings about becoming an empty nester.

Many women I’ve spoken to can’t hold back the tears in their eyes as they go on about, “what am I going to do now?” They are then typically given a great deal of sympathy, a hug and told, “You will be ok.”  You may even get a few family members bringing prepared meals over post-college “drop-off.” Does this sound familiar?

Many of those same women…ok, including myself…also have additional confessions about becoming empty nesters.  Here are a few confessions that you may be able to identify with.

  • “I can’t wait to open the fridge and there’s actually food in it!”
  • “I don’t have to cook a thing if I don’t want to (with a devilish grin on your face).”
  • “Maybe I could convert the chick’s bedroom into a scrapbooking room – as long as it has a futon in it right?”
  • “I get to drink my morning coffee in peace without looking for half-done homework and the chick’s favorite shirt that gets lost weekly.”
  • “No more smelly laundry to wash!” (Seriously, there should be a “special” chemical wash for the football stuff!)
  • “I get to go and come as I please without the third degree of my whereabouts (knowing you’ve already booked your first solo vacation weeks ago).”
These are the type of confessions that, if spoken, are almost whispered for the fear of possible “mommy backlash.”

That is the dreadful gasp you hear from other mothers that evoke feelings of shame and guilt.  It’s the gasp that has you questioning, “what kind of mother am I?”  The answer to that question is…. you’re a great mother!  It is very normal to experience a wide range of thoughts and emotions during the empty nest transition. So, whether your smiling or crying as you read this blog, you’re ok!

What’s most important is to find a safe space you can be honest and express your feelings.

Written By: Porsha Jones, LMFT