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The Five Stages of Empty Nesting: An Addendum

Momservation: Designating your room for reassignment doesn’t mean we don’t love you anymore. It just means the heart is healing. And mommy needs room for her Peloton.

♥          ♥          ♥

Two years ago I came up with The Five Stages of Nesting:

  1. Grief
  2. Shock
  3. Ambivalence
  4. Acceptance
  5. Euphoria

I have an important addendum. But first, let’s reflect back to when I created this post.

I was one month in to having left the second of my two children at college only a year apart—Logan was deposited in Boise in 2018 and Whitney was just nestled into Santa Barbara in 2019. (Little did we know everything would implode a few short months later with a global pandemic. Talk about God laughing while you’re busy making other plans…)

I had promised my loyal Momservations® readers I wouldn’t leave them hanging now that the Actively Parenting portion of raising kids was over. (Even though I had literally closed the book by publishing a “greatest hits” collection of my family columns and blogs in DON’T FORGET YOUR LUNCH, Diapers to Diploma Parenting Wisdom.)

I had moved on to the Empty Nesting portion of the event and was reporting back what I had seen, experienced, and surmised what was ahead for those of us embarking on this new, trepidatious journey. (As if no one had ever had their kids leave home before. Hey, when it happens to you, it feels novel and eye-opening.)

We bonded in communal trauma of leaving our first born off at college in Going Full Golden, Part I & II. We rolled around in the struggles of letting those babies go with So Here It Is, First Birthday Without You, The Breakup With My Son, and First Day of Empty Nesting and It Ain’t Pretty. And hope of survival began to dawn with Take Two Steps Back for a Better View and Designated for Reassignment.

I was starting to get my sea legs for this Empty Nesting thing (and also realized that if I looked around I would, in fact, see I was surrounding by happy, functioning parents of adult children. So it was going to be okay.) I even felt like I might actually be becoming an expert at it. I was booked to do my first virtual speaking engagement as a parenting expert (HA!) where I talked about The View from the Other Side. And with Trust Me On This and I Think I Might Be an Expert on This, I was gaining confidence in the possibilities for this new land I had found and looked promising for settling. (Okay, I was going a little Christopher Columbus on all the other Empty Nesters who had long staked claim to the land, but it was new to me.)

And there were perks! Because they were Adulting: It’s Your Problem to Solve Now not ours. And after pivoting because of a global pandemic, Hubby and I are vaccinated, emancipated and motivated to make up for lost time and having fun doing Empty Nesting Take 2.

Which finally leads us to the great addendum to The Five Stages of Empty Nesting, which is actually Six Stages:

  1. Remodeling/Redecorating

You know you have Accepted your kids are gone when you remodel or redecorate their room. When you are ready and Euphoric to designate their museum-status room for reassignment…you are successfully Empty Nesting.

Logan’s room looks amazing, BTW. I can’t post a picture because it’s a surprise for when he comes home for Thanksgiving. But while we were at it, we did the master bedroom as well. LOVE IT! (Look out Whitney, your room is next!)

#EmptyNesting  #SixStagesOfEmptyNesting  #EnjoyTheJourney

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