My Five Favorite Things About Life as an Empty Nester

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

woman standing in a pool and throwing water into the air

Everyone knows that the busy season for retailers is the holidays. And if you’re an accountant, it’s tax season. When you’re an empty nest blogger, it’s late July and August! My email inbox and social media DMs are full of messages from new empty nesters who are struggling as they face the transition. I get it.

I started Empty Nest Blessed after seeing my friends struggle with how to move forward once their nests emptied. Oh, there’s the initial grief, of course, but even after the tears dried, many of them had a challenging time moving forward. My mission at Empty Nest Blessed is to bless, encourage, and inspire empty nesters as they seek to live lives of purpose and meaning after their kids leave the nest. Motherhood is a sacred task, and in some ways, it never really ends. But just as our kids move on and grow, we have the opportunity to do that too. When your nest empties, life opens up in ways you never imagined! I promise.

woman dipping her feet in the pool

If you’re a new empty nester, I’ve got lots of resources here on Empty Nest Blessed to help you and point you in the right direction as you transition into this phase of your life. First of all, you’ll want to check out the New Empty Nesters resource page I’ve put together. It’s full of great books that I’ve found helpful as I’ve faced life in the empty nest. Next, be sure to browse the articles in the Empty Nest section of my blog. All of the posts I’ve written related to life in the empty nest are there, and you should find lots there to encourage and inspire you. Finally, I’ve had several of my articles about life as an empty nester published on other websites, and those might interest you as well. You can find the links HERE.

woman kicking her feet in the pool

This year, our last child graduated from college. That means we’ve been empty nesters now for four years! Those four years have given me a new perspective on life, new goals and aspirations, and a new focus as I’ve adjusted to this new normal. And I’ve found lots to love about life in the empty nest. Today, I’m sharing my five favorite things about being an empty nester.

The Quiet & Calm of an Empty House

Ironically, the quiet was one of the hardest things to get used to when my kids left.  But then, a funny thing happened. I started to love it! A quiet house offers me the ability to think more deeply and work through ideas and issues in a tranquil setting. It also allows me the opportunity to spend more time in prayer for my kids, which I find such a precious privilege. Of course, if I want some noise, I can always turn on music, podcasts (this one is my current fave), or stream something. And no one’s there to make fun of my dancing, or my taste in shows!

A Flexible Schedule & the Freedom to Come and Go

My husband’s motto for life in the empty nest is, “We can go where we want, whenever we want, and stay as long as we want!” It’s pretty much true (stamina notwithstanding!). With no one at home who needs you and no one to monitor your comings and goings, feel free to take in a late-night movie, a long walk after dinner, or even a weekend getaway! Speaking of getaways, be sure to take advantage of the incredible deals you can get on off-peak travel now that you’re not tied to the kids’ school schedule. Travelocity has an entire section of its website devoted to Travel Deals which are updated daily. Need ideas? The Things to Do section of Travelocity’s website will provide all the inspiration you need. You can also check out the Travel section of Empty Nest Blessed to see where we’ve been. One of our favorite empty nester getaways was to Walt Disney World. It was an entirely different experience doing it without kids! Need help planning? Shannon Leyerle, an empty nester herself, is a certified Disney vacation specialist who is an expert at planning empty nester getaways to Disney! Her services are completely free, and she knows the ins and outs of all the Parks, so she can score you the best deals as she helps you plan your trip. You can check out her website HERE.

You Can Give Attention to What Needs Your Attention

When our kids left the nest, I realized that I had unconsciously been using them as something of an “excuse.” Unwittingly, I was letting my (rightful) focus on them take my attention away from things like my health and spiritual growth. Now that your little excuses have moved out, there’s no more procrastinating! You may have realized that you’ve been neglecting your marriage, your fitness, or even something as simple as keeping up with technology! I hear from a lot of empty nesters who would like to get back out into the workforce or go back to school, but they already feel behind because they don’t even know how to use Instagram. If that’s you, it’s okay! Google and YouTube are excellent resources, and I have an ongoing series here on Empty Nest Blessed called Tackling Your Tech that can help! If your marriage is struggling, give it some attention, pronto. You might find it helpful to browse the Marriage section of my site to check out the articles I’ve written on nurturing your marriage in the empty nest. If you’ve neglected your beauty routine, or you need fashion help, I’ve got lots of info on those topics as well.

You Get to Watch Your Kids Navigate Adulthood

Seeing my kids grow into the people that they were meant to be has brought me great joy in the empty nest! One pursued an advanced degree and is now happily working as an attorney, one is married, and a homeowner (!), and one is doing what she loves by traveling and performing in musical theater. Watching them learn to “adult” is such fun, and we love getting their texts about everything from mortgages and health insurance to illness and dating. They’re not perfect, for sure, but we know we did our job as their parents prayerfully and to the best of our ability. Learning to be the parent of an adult involves an entirely different skill set than parenting did when they were younger, and the learning curve can be steep! I’ve shared my struggles and tips for success all along the way. (Click HERE for more.)

There are More Resources Available to You

As the kids moved out, we found that not only have we gained more time for ourselves, but we’ve also enjoyed that our financial resources have multiplied as well! Moving them “off the payroll,” one by one has left us more money for home improvement, travel, leisure activities, and to give awaysomething we love to do! Lots of empty nesters find that they can make do with less, and they can’t wait to downsize and simplify. Others do things like buying a lake house or a condo in Florida (guilty!), so they can spend more time relaxing.

skirt of a woman's dress and tory burch rose gold miller sandals beside a pool

woman in cabana life dress standing in the pool

Tassel Shift Dress (UPF 50+) | Rose Gold Flip Flops (photo above) | Rose Gold Earrings

What are your favorite things about life as an empty nester? Let me know!

P.S. Know someone who’s becoming an empty nester this year? I’d love it if you’d share this post with them! You can use the handy dandy icons below to do just that. (It’s honestly the sweetest thing you could ever do for me!) Want to Pin this post to Pinterest for future reference? Here ya’ go!

empty nester woman standing in a pool and throwing water into the air

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Suzy Mighell

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  1. I love this post, Suzy. These are all the things I love about my empty nest life, too. I especially love watching my kids be the adults they were meant to be, too. Up until recently we lived a long ways from both of our children, but knowing that they are where they are supposed to be doing what they were created to do makes the distance quite bearable. I’ve also really liked investing more in and enjoying my marriage.

    1. Kay,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for your comment! Yes, yes, yes! I’m right there with you! I’m enjoying my marriage so much in the empty nest too! (Although I do have to hear all of the sports analysis, now that our boys don’t live at home ????!)
      xoxo Suzy

  2. Thank you for this post. I’m getting ready to drop my youngest off at college on Sunday! The grief is hitting me hard right now. I actually found your blog one night at 3 am when I couldn’t sleep thinking about lol the big changes we had coming up in our life. I already have my Disney trip planned for October ???? and have consciously tried to plan something fun for my husband and I to do together each month this fall. I will enjoy reading your articles and exploring the resources you linked. Thanks again!

    1. Angie,
      Your precious comment made me teary! My heart goes out to you and I totally understand what you are feeling right now. Hang in there , Mama! Finish strong, don’t fall apart when your kid can see you, and give it time. You can do it! I’ll be praying for you, and I’m so glad you found Empty Nest Blessed. Thank you for taking the time to share your story! (Oh, and you’re going to have a BLAST at Disney!)

      1. Thanks for your kind reply. Your blog is just what the doctor ordered and I will share it with some of my dear friends who are walking this road right now with me. My husband and I are Disney fanatics, but this will be our first time there without kids. I know it will be a great time to reconnect and just have fun. I read that your mission was to encourage and inspire empty nesters and you are doing just that. Thanks so much!

        1. Angie,
          Aw, you must have the gift of encouragement! You made my day! Thank you!????
          xoxo Suzy

  3. OH My! Where do I begin? Quiet CLEAN house. Laundry only once a week. Freedom! I don’t have to cook–Steve is happy eating whatever. I don’t have to feel guilty about going to a fun place to read and drink coffee. I love the Watermark church lobby and porch. AND as you said, more resources to travel and take all our adult kids on trips.

    1. Wendy,
      I say “AMEN” to everything you just said. I know I, for one, woefully underestimated how much I would love it! At first, I think I equated enjoying the empty nest to being a bad mom who didn’t miss her kids or something. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am so happy you love it as much as I do! Hugs to you!
      xoxo Suzy

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