Pricey Empty Nester Mama,

You don’t know me, so let me introduce myself. I’m a 22-year-old daughter, the youngest of two. Just a few months after I graduated school, I moved from a small city in Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida. That’s 1,040 miles, of us. It was an thrilling and terrifying change.

Thrilling, as a result of I obtained my first job out of faculty and would get to reside with 13 different interns. Terrifying, as a result of I left my household, mates, and every part I knew to reside in an unfamiliar place.

And it was thrilling and terrifying for my mother, too.

4 Issues for the Empty Nester to Bear in mind

Possibly your entire children have moved out, and also you’ve already confronted the dreaded empty nest syndrome. Or possibly that is your first baby flying out on their very own.

You’ve invested 18+ years into your children—from altering their diapers to chauffeuring them between basketball video games and mates’ homes to watching their automotive pull out of the driveway for the primary time. Now that your child has left the nest, how do you develop your relationship along with your baby whereas encouraging their independence?

Empty Nester Mama, I’m writing to encourage you on this season of letting go, and to let you recognize your new function in your grownup baby’s life is so necessary. Listed below are 4 issues to recollect.

1. It’s okay to have blended feelings.

Tears crammed my eyes as I hugged my mother goodbye. I used to be taking a step towards new friendships and adventures, however I used to be additionally leaving my first neighborhood, the individuals who raised me, behind. My mother and I each felt blended feelings. She advised me she was pleased with me nevertheless it was actually exhausting to see me transfer so far-off.

Whereas there’s typically grief in transition, there can be pleasure in change. You lastly have time to begin that challenge you’ve been speaking about for years. You and your partner can use the additional time for actions—simply the 2 of you. Plus, you possibly can look ahead to rising in your friendship along with your baby.

It’s okay to be frightened of this variation. Letting go means releasing your child to deal with life’s challenges and tasks by themselves. Once I moved out final August, I used to be a trembling 21-year-old staring down the gate to an house advanced I hadn’t but realized to name house. I used to be 16 hours from the place I grew up, feeling misplaced and alone. It took some adjusting earlier than the novelty grew to become acquainted.

2. This is a chance to your children to depend upon God.

Once I moved, I assumed I used to be the one one searching for me now. In any case, I used to be shopping for my groceries, paying my payments, taking my automotive to the mechanic, scheduling my appointments. However relaxation assured, protecting mamas: God did one thing huge in my anxious coronary heart.

Letting your children face the tasks of maturity helps them be taught to depend upon God for provision. That couldn’t be extra true for me.

Earlier than tackling a frightening activity, I’d ask God for peace and a way of His presence. With every step out of my consolation zone, I knew He was with me. These steps confirmed me I might depend on God to be there for me and that I used to be extra succesful than I assumed.

3. Transition brings wholesome progress.

I additionally grew to be extra interdependent. New mates invited me to exit for ice cream, have fun birthdays, or go to amusement parks. I discovered a church the place I felt welcome and spiritually fed. Orlando started to really feel like house.

As we speak, I’m extra assured that I can sort out the tasks of life. Not as a result of I consider I’m absolutely succesful, however as a result of I’ve seen God present. And I do know I’ve help from the individuals round me. There will likely be ache, tears, and errors, however I’m rising in knowledge and expertise. The teachings I’m studying will assist me be robust—like my very own wonderful mom.

Your baby is rising, too—by way of all of the nerves and trial-and-error classes. I’m certain it’s tough to let go of the particular person you’ve spent a lot power defending, educating, and guiding, nevertheless it’s time for them to use all you’ve taught them. If and once they make choices that don’t line up with Scripture, it’s okay to set boundaries with the quantity of help you give them. Simply keep in mind to let your baby know there’s not a mistake they might make that may separate them from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39)—or yours.

4. Empty Nester Mama, your children will all the time want you.

I not want my mother to tie my sneakers or train me how one can drive, however I’ll all the time want her knowledge. Since I moved out, she’s given me recommendation on courting, jury obligation, and the way lengthy to cook dinner a lasagna.

I additionally want her as a buddy and confidant. I really like video calls with my mother. Her voice comforts me, and he or she listens and asks about my life. I look ahead to listening to about her job, the house tasks she and Dad are engaged on, and our cat’s newest mischievous episode. And actually, I’m already planning out all of the particular locations I wish to present my dad and mom once they come to go to this summer time.

However greater than the rest, I would like my mother due to who God made her to be. I really like her—from her caring and nurturing persona to all her acquainted methods of doing issues. Her function in my life is irreplaceable.

Empty Nester Mama, know that your function in your children’ lives is irreplaceable, too.

Copyright © 2021 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Alex McMurray is a writing intern for FamilyLife at Cru headquarters in Orlando. She graduated from Cedarville College with a bachelor’s diploma in Psychology and a focus in baby and household research. She grew up in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania together with her dad and mom and older brother. In her free time, she enjoys outside adventures together with her mates and taking part in card video games.