Yep, they both left for college and we are officially empty nesters now. How did this happen?????
We had our kids very close together (11 months 0 days apart – to be exact) and they were both born in the same year. Simon was born in January, while we lived in Kansas, and we moved back to South Africa before Sidney was born in December.
Now, what makes this scenario so interesting, is that in South Africa, kids start 1st Grade in the year in which they turn seven. So both our kids were supposed to start 1st Grade together (and then go off to college together). Of course, the gap between them was still so big back then. We decided to send Sidney to 1st Grade a year later (with permission from the school board) and in doing so, gave them both a bit of space and bought ourselves an extra year to prepare for our Empty Nest.
An Empty Nest
And that time is now. Sidney is in Milledgeville starting her Freshman (first) year of College and Simon is in Statesboro starting his Sophomore (second) year of College. And Pieter and I are home all by ourselves (if you don’t count the dog and two cats, of course). But yes, it is our first year as official empty nesters.
How are we going to cope with this change in dynamics???
I can only cope the way I always cope with things – by making a list. So here I have my list of how we are going to start our Empty Nest year, with things we are going to do together:
- Once a Week
- Take a Walk
- Cook a New Meal Together
- Try a New Restaurant for Dinner
- Visit with Friends or Family
- Once a Month
- Take a Road Trip (can be even a day trip)
- See a local Show or Play
- Start (and finish) a DIY project (Pieter will looooove me for this one)
Of course, with this type of plan, we will have to let you know how it works out for us! And we’ll have to learn how to take better selfies!
While I know this is a brand new phase of our lives and will revolve less around the kids now, I have to see it as an opportunity to Do Something Different again. Yes, there will be fewer family vacations, but at the same time, there will be more couple vacations. I have to NOT focus on all that is going away but on what we will be gaining from this next phase.
Of course, there will be our full-time jobs (since we did not win the 1.2 billion dollar lottery the other day). You’re not putting two kids through college at the same time without working your butts off…
I know this is an exciting time for both kids and I’m happy for them, I truly am. But I think this is also an exciting time for the two of us as parents and as a couple. We’ve worked hard to raise the kids and we’ve tried to turn them into “good humans”. I am very happy with how they have turned out and I look forward to seeing what all of us will achieve next.
Good luck to all my fellow Empty Nesters! Let me know how you are holding up!