Everyone knows the term empty nesters. It usually means when the children go to college or move out the house permanently. This usually leaves the parents looking at each other in a way they haven’t looked at each other in a long time asking the question what shall we do now because, the majority of the married life has been spent caring for, providing for, talking about and loving the children. Also if you two were, say in your 20’s when you got married like my husband and myself you have been growing along with the children and are not the same person you were when you got married. So when the children are not the topic of conversation some couples have nothing to talk about they no longer have anything in common, because they have forgotten the couple they were before children.
I would say at this time my husband and I are semi empty nesters. Our oldest daughter lives at home full time but because of school, work and social obligations she is rarely at home. Our youngest daughter is in college and lives on campus and comes home only on weekends because of work. So most of the time the house is empty, that’s why I call us semi empty nesters. No doubt I’m gonna miss them terribly when they are gone permanently living their own life however, I know it is the natural progression of life. For us we enjoy our alone time and we secretly say to each other won’t it be great when it’s like this all the time. Then we look at each other and smile thinking to ourselves what we will be able to do and be uninhibited. Haha.
Unfortunately everyone’s experience is not like that, when the children are gone they find they have nothing in common anymore. The children were their whole focus so now they don’t know themselves anymore, because their identity got lost in the children. I’m not saying the children should not be your number one priority because they absolutely should be because they depend on you completely. However, there has to be a balance so the couple doesn’t get lost. There has to be date nights without the children it may sound crazy but, parents who have alone time with each other are actually better parents because it’s good to be in adult company away from the home environment have something to look forward to, and talk about something other than children. It’s also a good time to talk about the growth that has taken place, such as your dreams and direction of your life.So when you’re back at parenting, you have refueled yourself and are ready to be your best self for the children. When the children see a loving close relationship between their parents it teaches them what to expect in a future husband or wife.
Believe it or not children mirror the relationship they see growing up in their home. ( but I digress) back to the parents, having date nights keep the couple talking about something something other than the children also every time you look in each other’s eyes you are reminded why you love this person. I personally feel that when you spend time together as a couple while the children are young you won’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of work, children and bills. You will remember why you love each other and why you got married which is important when the children are gone and living their own life.
Moral of the story, try to have a good balance between work, children and marriage because when the children are gone you all you got and if you play it right it can be the best of times..