Why I’m looking forward to being an empty nester

by Beth Graham

In just a few short months, my husband and I will officially be empty nesters (at least I hope so – never say never, right?). And while I love my children to the fullest extent, I’m ready for them to go. For them, and selfishly, for me.

I’ve spent the past 20 years tending (my husband would say “coddling”) their every need. Now it’s my time. (Between you and me, I think my time arrived a few years ago.)

I know many people who feel such great sadness when their little chicks fly the coop. Sure, there are times I miss them, but the sheer fact that they’re able to go off and create their own lives means I was successful, right?

But I’m not going to lie. Like that cheesy online dating ad on TV, I’m excited for our time. Time when my husband and I can enjoy time together, just the two of us, and have a conversation without getting interrupted to make some major decision (can I go backpacking in Colorado this summer?). I’m looking forward to playing golf again with my husband, something I haven’t done in 20 years. And traveling when we don’t feel obligated to take the kids. I’m looking forward to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner if I want – without feeling like I’m responsible for preparing a family dinner.

The truth is…I’ve missed my husband these past 20 years. We had five great years together before kids when there was an us – instead of an “all of us”. It’s kind of odd to me that our husband-wife relationships take a back seat when we have kids (let’s be honest, that occasional date night just isn’t the same as those care-free child-free early years). Of course I’ll miss family dinners around the big table, but if I want to eat a bowl of cereal in front of the TV, I’ve deserved it right?

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