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5 Benefits of the Empty Nest

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The empty nest is a strange time of adjustment – we go from having a house full of kids who are coming and going, eating, sleeping, talking, driving, socialising, arguing, and generally driving us crazy… a house that is just the two of us with all those demands gone and an uncanny amount of space and time suddenly available.

What do we do about it? Do we mourn the fact that the noise and action have departed and wait for the occasional visits? Do we look at each other and wonder who we are and how we got here? Or do we stop and appreciate all that is returning to us and start building afresh on that foundation?

For me, it’s a matter of letting go constantly and reminding myself of the benefits that come from having our house and lives returned to us. Today I’m sharing five blessings that the empty nest brings.


5 benefits of the empty nest - it's not all doom and gloom - peace and quiet


One of the biggest changes for us is the quiet that comes from two people and two cats sharing a largish house. No one shouts, no one has the TV going at mega-decibels, no one is calling out for something, all is calm, all is pleasant.

I love the peace and the sense of serentity that just being the two of us brings. It’s lovely when it’s interrupted for periods of time when we have visitors, but the return to our tranquil way of life is always so relaxing and stress-free.


5 benefits of the empty nest - it's not all doom and gloom - gaining extra family

We only have two children – a boy and a girl. We thought about having four at the beginning, but realized our limitations and coping ability and called it quits at two. When the kids left the nest and made their own way in the world, they met the loves of their lives and settled down and got married.

Bonus for us was gaining two new family members – young people who love our kids and who extend our family perimeters. It’s not always easy – there are adjustments for everyone to make and the way can be a little bumpy at times. But, that’s life and the benefits far outweigh the tweaks needed to make our larger family work.


5 benefits of the empty nest - it's not all doom and gloom - grandbabies
Nothing beats grandbabies! The nest might be empty, but those grown and flown children are building nests of their own. Part of that whole process means starting their own families and producing lovely little people who we are related to, love beyond measure, and get to share special moments with.
There is a completely different feeling with grandchildren than there is when you were a parent with  your own kids. You get the joys without the responsibilities. You get to have baby snuggles, and baby giggles, and playtime and even a nappy change or two, but then you leave them in the care of their parents and go home with a smile – bliss!



5 benefits of the empty nest - it's not all doom and gloom - finding your partner again
It’s a bit scary when the kids leave the nest and you turn around and look at the person you’ve been married to for 30 years and think “now what?” My husband and I hit a real snag part way through the process, trying to figure out who we were as a couple, and what we had left that connected us. You don’t notice that you’ve drifted over the years until it’s time to re-establish the relationship and launch off as just a couple again.
Fortunately for us, we found each other before we made the mistake of walking away. We re-discovered time together, talking, just being in each other’s company. We remembered that we actually really like each other and what we each bring to the relationship. The empty nest gave us the time and space to do that without the intrusion of others, and now it’s where we share our life together.


5 benefits of the empty nest - it's not all doom and gloom - finding yourself again

I’ve said it many times on this blog – Midlife and the empty nest have been the places where I’ve started to find myself again. It’s where there has been the time and space to think about what I actually want out of life and to figure out how I’m going to get there. I am a work in progress – sometimes I think I’ve worked it out, then I find I’m back a few steps and re-jigging things.

There is time, lots of time to find myself. I don’t think I’ve ever really understood who I was separate to all the people in my life – now is the time to find that person. You can’t be interesting and engaging if you don’t know what interests you and how to invest and share that with others. I don’t want to be a sad echo of my younger self, I want to be alive and vibrant and looking at the years ahead with anticipation – the empty nest is my place to nurture the process.

What do you love about the empty nest? Did you down-size, up-size, follow the kids, move further away? It’s different for everyone, but there is still joy in the midst of the changes that the empty nest brings isn’t there?
Article credit: Cresting The Hill – Leanne –