Last week, our 14 month old started nursery two days a week alongside his three year old sister. Our six year old went back to school after the summer break. And for the first time in six years, I have an empty(ish) nest. For two days a week, anyway. Here’s some stuff I’ve discovered you can do if you’ve suddenly found yourself in the same boat.
Sit still. For as long as you like. You may find that you do this for several hours through sheer shock of being on your own. This is called the Empty Nest Freeze. It can cause partial paralysis as you come to terms with the fact that there is absolutely no one in the house but you. No noise. No one calling, ‘Mummeeeee.‘ Or asking for a glass of juice.
Drink a cup of coffee. HOT. Risk scalding your mouth, just for the hell of it. You’d forgotten that coffee was even meant to be served hot, hadn’t you?
Go for a wee. ON YOUR OWN. You will probably go to the toilet more than you need to, just because you can.
Decide to leave the house. Then leave it. Yes! Just like that. Pick up your bag and keys (which you can actually find) and walk out of the door. It’s a revelation. This is how normal people (without kids) leave the house every day. No shouting at small people to put their shoes on. No going back and forth for forgotten coats, shoes, comforters. They just walk out of the door! As with no. 3 you may find yourself doing this repeatedly for no reason whatsoever. Enjoy.
Use both hands AT THE SAME TIME. Don’t be concerned if you find yourself doing jazz hands all day. Even in public. People will think you’re weird but who cares? They haven’t had a child stuck to their hip for the past five years, have they?
Do stuff. Relish in the fact that you can finally do all the things you haven’t been able to do for the past few years. Organise your digital photos. Sort out the kids’ wardrobes. Get on top of the house admin.
Procrastinate. Realise that number 6 is actually really, really dull and momentarily wish the kids were at home so you had a valid excuse not to do any of it.
Flick through cookbooks. No more ready meals! You’ll be able to get a meal with real ingredients on the table each evening. This initiative will last for approximately two days as will most of the things you imagined you’d do, once you had some time to yourself.
Go to the gym/cinema/anywhere that isn’t child friendly. And prance around singing, ‘I have no children! I have no children!‘ as onlookers look slightly scared and move rapidly out of your path.
Have another baby. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Suddenly found yourself with an empty nest? Feeling a bit emosh? Or are you celebrating the hell out of finally having some freedom? Leave a comment. Like and share this post with fellow empty nesters. Do jazz hands ALL day. And come and brag about it over at Surviving Life and Motherhood.