5 Ways To Learn To Love Your Empty Nest

Going from a full house to an empty nest can be a shock for some parents. We put so much focus on getting our kids to the point of being “grown and flown” that when the day actually comes, we aren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. But this can be a great new chapter of life, a time of self-discovery, adventure and positive changes. With the kids off spreading their wings in their new lives, there’s no reason you can’t spread your own wings as well.

Date Your Spouse

Life with kids is hectic at best, and it’s easy for spouses to get caught up in the day-to-day chaos that is carpooling, school sports or crying babies. Now’s the time to take a breath and rediscover that person you fell in love with. Whether it’s just making time to go out to dinner together on occasion or taking up a new hobby as a couple, this is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the romance that brought you together in the first place.

Travel

Always wanted to see the world but never got further than taking your kids on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland? Well, now’s your chance to go on that amazing trip you’ve been putting off. With the advent of websites like Airbnb and VRBO, or airfare tracking apps like Hopper, it’s actually pretty affordable to travel these days as long as you plan ahead. You can take that dream vacation, enjoy a second honeymoon or maybe go on a real cruise instead of a Disney ride.

Go Back To School

Your kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from higher education. Now that they’re off to school and on their own, this could be the perfect time for you to pursue your own future. Many colleges offer continuing education classes or degree completion programs, as well as certificate programs for certain career paths. You’ll be able to not only keep your mind active, but getting a degree could also lead you to a new career or improve the career you already have.

Volunteer

If you find yourself with too much time on your hands, there are plenty of worthwhile causes that would love to have you share that time with them. From museums to hospitals to nursing homes, you can find volunteer opportunities to fit your schedule and availability. You can read to the elderly, help out at the neighborhood soup kitchen or mentor youth who might need a bit of direction. Many sporting events and other nonprofit groups also need volunteers, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you think you’d like to help. 

Follow Your Passions

If you always wanted to do something creative with your life but had to put those dreams on the back burner, becoming an empty-nester means you can now revisit those passion projects and see where they take you. Start painting again, take up guitar or break out those dance shoes you tossed in the back of the closet when your children were born. Exploring new interests and seeking out new experiences is a great way to expand both knowledge and skill, and even if you don’t find your way to fame, taking the time to feed the artistic side of you is good for both body and soul.