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 is starting to feel distinctly empty.
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!
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! 😉
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!