It is officially Graduation time. It is a time to celebrate young adults achieving their goals and encouraging them to strive for their dreams. Proud parents we are and will continue to be.

But what now?

For the past 18 years our lives have revolved around our children and their activities.   Now there is empty spots at the dinner table, no sports events to cheer at, no late night projects, no more bickering over chores, and no goodnight hugs.

As parents we will have feelings of loneliness, regret, and bitterness. Sounds all sad but it doesn’t have to be. Our children are not abandoning us they are becoming strong independent adults just like we raised them to be.   It is time to become an individual with our own interest and life again. Where do we begin?

As I am going through this myself I will share with you the top 11 Empty Nest suggestions:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings – We must know it is okay to have these feelings. If you don’t have someone you can talk to write them down or keep a journal.
  2. Let them Go – Don’t hold your child back because of your fears. Have confidence in your parenting. Remember as parents we gave them the foundation to be successful.
  3. Don’t hibernate – Go out. Plan outings, activities, and or volunteer. It is important to get out of the house and meet people.
  4. Try new things – If you don’t have a bucket list, it is time to make one. Conquer your list. Update your closet, get that trendy hairstyle you always wanted, and do the crazy adventure you didn’t have time for before.
  5. Be all about you – For 18 years it has been about your children, now it is time to be all about yourself. You deserve it! When was the last time you had a whole conversation about yourself? It is time that your friends and family learn about you as an individual.
  6. Make friends – If you are like me my friends consisted of the parents that were in the same activities as my children, which became more distant once my child left for school. Find friends that complement you, push you to try new things, and you enjoy being around.
  7. Get healthy – You are an empty nester take advantage of it. You can eat the healthy stuff without out hearing the kids complain. You have time to meditate, take yoga, or join a book club.
  8. Reevaluate – Financially things are going to change so you need to adjust for them. This may be a good time to contribute more to your retirement and budget for your new activities.
  9. Smile and laugh – Studies prove that smiling helps perk up your day and the people around you. Try it!
  10. Be Proud – The past 18 years was hard work, be proud of your successes, and it’s okay to pat yourself on the back.
  11. It’s not over– As parents we need to remember we will always be parents.   We may not see our children as much but they still need us.

The next time you walk into your childs empty room walk out smiling, feeling proud, and on your way to do something fun with friends. Enjoy every minute of it you deserve it!

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