Relationships: My Empty Nest
I remember my reactions when my oldest went off to college, and I was no longer involved in her life on a daily basis. The empty spot inside me was palpable, even though we talked almost daily – she calling me, and me calling her.
Her movement into adulthood was rapid, with her opinions becoming more solid, her thought processes changing and her behavior becoming more genuinely her own. She no longer was working hard to fit in with her perceptions of what we, as her parents, wanted her to do each day, and was sorting through her expectations of herself. My role as mother moved more solidly into friend rather than protector/caretaker.
Now, at the age of 34, she calls home every 2 or 3 weeks, generally after I have left a message for her with a question or checking in with her on our activities. This becomes difficult at times, and I miss her. I know I am the first person she turns to when she is hurting, particularly if it is more than her husband can help her with. But, her everyday activities, thoughts, hopes and dreams are no longer mine to share. She is fully adult and has lived far away from us for a long time. The empty spot is once again palpable, and I enter another stage of parent to an adult child, with my role yet to be defined.
Stephanie Seigh says in her book, Keeping Our Promises: How to Be A Guilt-Free Mother, “my experience of my children has been the cause of my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow. “ As much as we would like to externalize our feelings, another human cannot cause us to feel anything. We have a choice in how we respond to all situations and people. We can respond in fear or we can choose to believe that all is well. By choosing to believe that all is well, my role will be defined by what I have to offer out of a place of joy, contributing the best of me to both of my children, and perhaps to other mothers who are transitioning to an empty nest.
Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a life transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She specializes in career and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life. Georgia is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. Her website is http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where she blogs about business and career, and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion. Georgia can be reached at (402) 484-8098.