In 2010, my oldest daughter, Lindsay, packed up her little Toyota Corolla and headed off to California to create a life for herself. I wept for months. She was the first to leave the nest. My youngest daughter, Stephanie, left the nest in 2014 with a short drive to Prescott Valley. This wasn’t as difficult as Lindsay’s move. I knew Stephanie was close, and it was comforting.
Fast forward to present time, we have three wonderful grandsons with our daughters and their families. For an extensive time, Stephanie, her husband and our two grandsons were living with us. Stephanie helped cook a minimum of three meals a week for all of us. The boys would run to me with a hug, yelling, “Grammy!” It was the best part of my day. Now, they have all moved out. Double empty nest syndrome! This is the most difficult time I have experienced in years.
I asked local business owner Carrie Ann Apap of Prescott Hypnosis about her experience with empty nest and she said, “For me, it seemed like a natural progression. My oldest son stayed home to go to college and left when he graduated and my younger son left when he went to college. My youngest came back and lived with us in the summer and a few short stays afterward. Something I always told my boys was that there were no wrong choices, only lessons. I am a believer in allowing them to follow their own guidance system, so they were pretty independent in that way. It was time to re-establish my relationship with Chuck and begin new adventures, like studying hypnotherapy.”
Janet Boehland, mother of Dr. Robert Boehland at Cornerstone Family Chiropractic, shared with me, “Mostly what changed for us once we realized we didn’t have two kids to take care of anymore was being okay with finding our own traditions while embracing their new lives and the people they chose to make their forever happiness with. My favorite recipe for the empty nest is a bottle of wine with a charcuterie board for two over a great uninterrupted conversation. Every day is a gift. Since grandkids though – they are hands-down our favorite activity! Experiencing life with them is God’s amazing love.”
The common thread to both of these women’s experiences was to be with their husbands and start new routines and adventures.
I know I need to give myself permission to heal. I need to create new healthy habits. I need to reconnect with my husband and business partner. I need to reconnect with myself. This is a new phase in my life and it has been tough. I look forward to my new roles and new sense of normal.
So, here are my next steps and ideas to grow through this process:
Try out new recipes. As a culinary specialist, I love to cook. Heck, as a caterer, that is our job. I will try out new recipes that perhaps the kids may not have enjoyed. These could become favorites with our catering company at Goods from the Garden.
Schedule date night. Go out to dinner at a local restaurant or one that the family may not have wanted to go to. I definitely have some favorites in mind.
Invite other couples over for dinner. Enjoy each other’s company with game nights or simple laughter. We have a beautiful venue at the Garden Event Center, located the Prescott Gateway Mall. What a great place to start!
Have the right attitude. I feel hopeful this adjustment and healing process will wind up being even better than I expected. QCBN
By Debbie Maranville, QCBN
Debbie Maranville is the co-owner of Goods from the Garden and The Natural Healing Garden. She can be reached at 928-237-3214/ email@example.com
Contact Goods from the Garden, Catering and Events for recipes and ideas. We are here to support your catering needs. We have great resources to assist you. We are located at the Prescott Gateway Mall. 3250 Gateway Blvd. #516 Prescott, AZ 86303 928-237-3214 firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook Page.