Today marks the last day of tempty nesting (temporary empty nesting). The daughter will return later this evening, and I will officially go back to being Mom on call. Here are my random thoughts on the experience.
- Tempty nesting is exhausting. The husband and I had lots of dates, both just ourselves and with other couples. We laughed a lot, stayed out late, and drank a bit too much (it’s actually a little scary how quickly I’m regaining my tolerance for alcohol- I was a one drink and done for the past 14 years, now, Ok, I’ll finish off that bottle) We originally planned on going out last night, our last night of parental freedom, but we looked at each other in the morning, and we knew. We knew we needed a night to play remote roulette, maybe a game of backgammon, and just sit on the couch.
- Tempty nesting needs to have a cohesive plan of attack. You must find the right balance of couple time, double date time, alone time and time with friends other than your spouse. This is crucial. You need to find balance in a life not dependent on needs of offspring, or frankly, your spouse. Your spouse can not be your only source of entertainment.
- Tempty nesting requires a hobby that requires the use of your hands. You need your fingers to have an outlet other than texting your child. I used my hands to take photos of random things that I never before saw the beauty of.
- Tempty nesters need to realign their perspective. You’re allowed to see yourself as an individual, not just a Mom or Dad. Though you will always keep the parent hat in your arsenal, you are allowed to change to a cap or a beret or, heaven help us, a hipster beanie.
- It’s really nice not to have to worry about dietary needs of a teenager. My daughter is a very adventurous eater and not picky, but she has chosen not to eat chicken, beef or pork. This would be great if I liked fish….
- Quiet is nice- there is no such thing as quiet when you live with a teen- (OK, to be fair, the Husband is quite loquacious, the only quiet time was when I was completely alone)
- As my daughter routinely empties both the litter box and the dishwasher (not at the same time) I feel that I’m going to need to hire someone to do those chores when she leaves for good.
I am thrilled that I survived Tempty Nest 2017. And I know that the actual empty nest will be a bit harder- but I like a challenge. I’ll never be ready for her to leave home, but I know I will survive it.