Now that the kids are off to college, what now? What do you do with your time? The busy mom and dad who used to go to sporting events, drive kids to school, and to their friends house, does not have to hustle, and bustle anymore!
Loads of laundry are on the small setting on your washer now. The sink is clear of dirty dishes, the fridge is empty, cooking for the whole family is now down to cooking for 2. The house that was once the hub for all the kids’ friends is now silent. Loud music coming from your kids’ bedrooms are not heard anymore. How about picking up clothes on their bedroom floor? Trips to the doctors office and trips to the food store (almost every day).
I can go on and on. So, what do you do now? Seeing your child/children fly the nest is very difficult especially for a mother. We need to feel confident that we have raised them well.
It’s been all about your kids: Now it’s time for YOU!
Join a Fitness Club (if you don’t belong to one yet) Exercise. Try to attend some group exercise classes, I prefer Yoga and Pilates. I mix it up with some exercise using elliptical machines. Take time for yourself. Do the things that would make you feel good. A facial, a massage, a manicure and pedicure. Curl up with a book or listen to a motivational podcast. Just do things that contribute to your overall wellness.
Make time for Friends
Make sure you call a friend for coffee or ask a friend to go shopping with you at least once a week. Or simply go for a walk with a friend. Socializing is very healthy. Talking about how you feel and listening to others are very positive energy you are giving and receiving.
Be More Prayerful!
Go to church and be part of your church community. My husband is now a lector, and he and I are active in our church. It starts our week on a peaceful note.
Explore A New Hobby!
Something that can be your outlet. I decided to start this blog to channel my creativity. I am also learning how to operate a new digital camera I just bought. Never stop learning! Find a hobby. Anything where you can use it as your outlet.
Projects Around The House.
There are just so many! Now is the time to declutter! If you’re like me, you’d take advantage of this time to go through all your children’s childhood belongings. I have 4 boys. So what I did was…. I bought 4 huge rubber totes, I used a black marker and wrote their names on it. I went through all their belongings (projects, school memorabilia, etc.) I got rid of the ones I didn’t think was important and I’ve divided and organized the rest into the individual totes. This is just one of the many projects you can do around the house.
Get Together With Other Couples For Dinner
My husband and I go out almost every weekend. Aside from our date night, we make it a point to have dinner with our other couple friends. I look forward to unwind with good food, wine, and great company. Or invite your couple friends over to your house. I know it takes effort, but you’ll discover that it’s just a feel- good thing to do.
Try new Recipes
They say that cooking for 2 is a lot harder than cooking for 5 or 6. I really don’t think so. It’s just a matter of downsizing the amount of your grocery list. I’ll admit, it took me awhile, even when the kids weren’t home to eat, I found myself cooking the same amount in the beginning. But I got better as time went on. Sometimes my husband will request that I replicate something we have tried in a restaurant. I find it to be a challenge. Like grilled octopus or roasted brussel sprouts. It’s fun!
Give Yourself Permission.
I say this because I am still grieving from the loss of my mother. A lot of us are also dealing with death, sickness and aging parents. This is the time when our kids left home and our parents had also left us. It’s a terrible time for most of us. When we sometimes feel that we are not needed anymore. We need to allow ourselves to create space for the beautiful memories. This I find to be very helpful.
I’ve read once that the key to a lasting marriage is taking many short trips together. This could be an overnight stay somewhere. Getting out of the house and feeling like you are dating all over again. My husband and I have always enjoyed going for overnights in a Bed and Breakfast Inn. Now is the time to focus on your marriage.
Start Writing Down Your Bucket List
I don’t find this to be depressing. I find this to be motivating! I want to travel the world. I want to do things. Save up for it. Take this time to map out the years ahead. Plan for the future. I say DREAM ON!
Enjoy your new found freedom and the peace and quiet! 😊