The Best is yet to Come

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I love the view from my window in the summer πŸ™‚

Lately, I’ve been feeling a change in the air and I’m not sure I like it. Summer has always been my favourite time of year – the hotter the better. I’ve always especially loved August as it’s my birthday month so you’ll often find me gearing up for the big day by running through the cocktail list in every pub along the river. But somehow, this year feels different…

The pictures on Facebook and Instagram of happy family holidays – mums and dads splashing in the sea with their kids and social media statuses of relaxed mums making the most of no school runs with a leisurely coffee in the park with their offspring, all have me glowing inside. But that warm glow is tinged with sadness.

Because now that my children are older, I’m not sure I’ll ever have another holiday with all of us together again and this nest I’m sitting in isΒ starting to feel distinctly empty.Β 

The ticking of the clock while I’m tapping away at my laptop is a sound I’ve got used to. Silence is something I wished for while the kids were fighting each other, having a tantrum or banging the cupboard doors looking for food because ‘muuuuuuum, I’m staaaaaarving!’

I got that wish and how I now wish it hadn’t come around so quickly.

Sitting by the river with Stressed Husband at the weekend, we remembered the days of booking babysitters and counting down the years until our Actress could look after the younger ones and we could escape for some peace and quite…and more than a few glasses of wine.

Little did we know then, that in a blink of an eye The Actress would become old enough to babysit, then so would Uni Boy and even My Baby who is now a babysitter herself!Β 

Although the older two haven’t officially left home – Uni Boy is at Uni and The Actress is often staying at friends so it often feels like it. I still have My Baby. But she’s got a busier social life than Kate Middleton – only with less demure garden parties and more cider-glugging house parties. I see her slink into the kitchen for the occasional bagel with Nutella where I might just get a cursory smile and nod. And when she’s watched all the episodes of Love Island possible (what is that crap feeding into our teens’ brains?!) she’ll be out of the door, face contoured to perfection and jeans ripped in all the right places.

“So, you’ll be back for dinner with me and dad, yeah?” I shout after her hopefully.

“Nah. Having Wags (Wagamama) with the girls and I’ll probs stay at Lucy’s. I’ll text you plans. Laters!”

Yeah. Laters, baby.

So. It’s me, Stressed Husband and Fluff Baby, Troy, snuggled up on the sofa, watching TV and wondering where the time – and the noise – has gone.

But just before this becomes an even bigger ‘woe is me’ post, I recently came across this line that I read on a blog and it really struck a chord…

Staying stuck in the past could really hurt your chances of being happy now.

And this is something I’m trying to focus on to bring me out of the ‘almost empty nest’ doldrums and to help me realise that times do change, nothing can stay the same forever, no matter how much we want it to or how hard we may cling on to it. But, and this is the thing, all because things are changing, doesn’t mean they can’t be just as good. Just as happy. After all, just think of the grandkids! πŸ˜‰Β 

So, I’m going to buck up my ideas, text all the ‘kids’ to tell them I love them and remind them I want them all with me on my birthday (or there will be trouble) and I’ll leave you with the words of my husband from another life, Frank Sinatra…

The Best is Yet to Come.

 

Are you an empty nester or near empty nester? I’d love to hear how you coped with the kids growing up and moving on!

4 Comments

  1. Oh, this, this, this! I feel exactly the same. I’m so excited for my boys, seeing them strike out into the world (well, higher education at least) but a little voice in my head is saying ‘what about me?’. Someone told me recently that I’m kidding myself if I think that this is the last holiday we’ll have as a family as ‘they’ll always return to the nest for a free holiday’ so I’m bearing that in mind and trying to do exactly what you are, live in the here and now, focus on me (and the Mr) a bit and try and see all the positives. Big hugs, lovely lady!

  2. Aww Becky, thank you for making me feel I’m not alone! I keep telling myself I should be pleased because, like yours, mine are all on the brink of leaving home and have grown into healthy (touch wood), happy and likeable characters. But…but…that little ‘what about me?’ voice! I am trying to see the positives – food bill has gone down considerably πŸ™‚ but the upshot of them being grown up means all of the kids now have ‘serious’ partners, so when we go out as a family, they all come along too so Stressed Husband gets a bit more stressed at the bill at the end! haha! You’re spot on with the holiday thing though – I remember doing the same with my mum and dad, so I’m hoping I will have them all with me (with or without the partners and Stressed Husband’s empty wallet!). Good luck to you too fellow almost empty nester – and lots of hugs to you too, my love. xxx

  3. My eldest daughter is now 16 and off to college soon. I have also been feeling the unexpected sting of early ’empty nest syndrome’ of late. People say;’ Ooh but you have freedom now, enjoy it’ which is true, however I miss the days of them needed me! Selfish perhaps but I wish I’d have treasured them days more, as opposed to juggling work, childcare etc and missing out a little. On a positive, I have nieces now to utterly spoil and my girls are wonderful, clever young ladies despite a rough few years of loss and instability. I’m so very proud (and biased of course…) Much love x

    • Hi Lisa. Thank you for commenting! I think once they hit 16 (like My Baby is) it kind of hits home doesn’t it? You can see the change, the independence and you just know they’ll be flying the nest soon – if not literally, then metaphorically, like mine! Still left wondering where the time has gone. It’s not at all selfish to think about ourselves at this time though, is it? Because really, regardless of what other job you might do, bringing them up will always be the most rewarding and best job we could ever have. But as you say, you have wonderful, clever young ladies now and lots of lovely nieces to spoil πŸ™‚ Let’s make the most of it and pat ourselves on the back for giving them the wings that enable them to fly our nests! Much love xxx

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