Musings on an Empty Nester Mother’s Day

Ah, it’s Mother’s Day. This was always the day that I could count on a full-day of help in the yard (with minimal grumbling from the kids) getting my garden and flower beds ready for the summer. But alas, my favorite weeders have moved out, and both have sworn that they’ll NEVER have a garden or flower beds that need to be weeded. (We’ll see about that!)

This year, I’m not even working in the yard. Instead, we’re traveling to visit our baby boy, who’s now a young man with a house and a career (it’s so weird).

Life has changed SO MUCH this past year.

My website hobby has actually morphed into a business, and it’s a blast. I’m now working from home and love the freedom that comes with being able to set my own schedule – work hard and take breaks on my own terms.

I’ve gone from being a teacher of 120+ students per year to working closely with my clients on their websites. I thought I’d left “teaching” but have come to the realization that, well, I’m a teacher. It’s what I do. I spend a TON of time teaching my clients about their websites, tech, copywriting, and even online business strategy. And I love it.

I even added “Website Coaching” as an offering because I realized how much I like the teaching part of what I do, and there are so many people who want to do it themselves but just need a little help.

Possibly the biggest change for me is that I finally, FINALLY, published The Overlander’s Daughter.(What? It only took six years?!?)

But I can happily say that “Yes, I’m published.” No, I’m not on a best seller list….yet, but my book IS available for purchase, AND (even more amazing), people are not only reading it but LIKING it!

While an empty nest definitely takes some getting used to (and I’m super excited Haley’s coming home for the summer), the extra time to read, workout, meditate, do whatever you feel like is pretty great.

So, this is the third mother’s day in a row that I haven’t had my “weeding team” at home with me. But one of the things I love about being a mom is watching them at each stage, see what they’ll do, who they’re becoming.

And, in some ways, I feel like we’ve joined them – life feels pretty spacious right now.

A few weeks ago a friend asked me what our “five year & ten year plan” was. Huh? I had a momentary panic as it hit me.

I don’t have a five year plan...for the first time EVER. My life was always “planned” for me with kids’ activities/schedules. But not any more! What?!?

Sure, I’ve got goals, but those are no longer constrained by an impending soccer or hockey season.

It feels crazy, but it also feels really good to get here, to a whole new stage of life, one that doesn’t have every moment scheduled. It’s like when you graduate from high school and you can BE whoever you want and DO whatever you want. But this time it’s better. I already KNOW who I am (and thank God I don’t have to figure out that again), and we can really do whatever we want!

We “launched” our kids out into the world, and the wide open space that was left at first felt really lonely and sad. But not anymore. It’s actually pretty awesome!!

If you’re reading this from your bed with a plate of burnt toast, a cup of cold coffee (cuz they poured it before they started cooking), and a few super excited little guys cuz they just made their beloved mama breakfast in bed, you might be dreaming of maybe an HOUR of quiet much less an empty house.

My only thought is that I’ve learned that life is so much happier if we can embrace and love where we are. Even if it’s spending days, weeks, months in a hospital room or with a dying parent. I will be forever grateful for the last weeks, days, and moments I spent with my dad.

Grab those little quiet spaces you have now. Take those times for yourself. Embrace the crazy moments, and enjoy the ride. Life truly does go SO fast – it’s a cliche but it’s true (and now I feel like Lucy in The Peanuts – I think she charged 25¢ for “sound advice”).

In any case, have a Happy Mother’s Day!

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

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