The Fullness of Empty

After being a stay-at-home mom for 20+ years with the constant tornado of days cooking, keeping house, running kids around, laundry, dealing with school stuff, and working from home part-time; the transition to an empty, quiet home has been a difficult one.  My husband travels a lot for work, which leaves me alone with the dogs more often than I’d like.  It has been a struggle to find purpose in this phase of life.  I’d love to share what has helped me fill the emptiness.

Redefine Yourself

After spending so many years as “mom”, it’s time to get back to my old name, Mendy.  It’s time to figure out who she is.  I spent much of the time journaling and praying for God to reveal what my purpose is moving forward.  A great message from my pastor a year ago, “What is God’s will for my life? Live by the Spirit!”  I tend to try to complicate things and figure it out when in reality, I just need to listen to the Holy Spirit guiding me each and every day. My identity is in Christ and He will reveal more to me in His own time.  However, He has given things to me that I am passionate about; family, relationships, home.  Happy Empty After is my new baby to encompass all of those things.

Rebuild Your Relationship with Your Spouse

It’s easy to have your life revolve around your kids while they are growing up, but when they leave the nest sometimes you need to figure out a new relationship with your spouse.  I have seen all too often marriages fail and fall apart when there is not a solid foundation. For my husband and I, our relationship is built on our faith and commitment.  But even Christian marriages can struggle and have difficulties when the kids leave home.  We have to make a conscious effort to practice being just a couple again.  We take neighborhood walks, we enjoy cooking together, talking on our porch, planning a short trip or vacation, have a regular date night.  Fortunately, we still enjoy each other’s company, so this has been pretty easy!

Reconnect with Girlfriends, Make New Ones

For the nights my husband travels for work, and to fill my empty days, I make an effort to spend time with my girlfriends and develop new friendships.  These relationships can be lifesavers! Keep in mind, to have good friends, you must first be a good friend. Be a good listener, don’t just focus on your life and issues but know about their life, make an effort to reach out on a regular basis, be honest and transparent with your struggles, Be Trustworthy and Confidential!

Some of the ways I stay connected:

  • meet with a different girlfriend for lunch each week
  • host a morning coffee
  • attend weekly bible study
  • join a bunco or card club
  • host a book club
  • plan a girl’s night out

Reserve Quiet Time

Even though the point of this article is about how to fill the empty, it’s also important to embrace the quiet.  I love sitting on my back porch with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, listening to the birds, soaking in the sunshine, and just being still.  It reminds me to be content in this season of life, to be grateful with the life I have been given, to appreciate the men my boys have grown into, to know in my heart that so far, it’s been a job well done ~ the fullness of empty.

 

14 Replies to “The Fullness of Empty”

  • My heart was so full as I read this post, especially the last paragraph. I am a stay-at-home mom in the thick of it! My kiddos are 9 and 7 and we homeschool, so life is definitely a whirlwind. It both encouraged me (that there will be a new season to come), as well as gave me a heads up that it will be a transition and I can begin being intentional about my time with my husband now so maybe that part of the transition will be easier later. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom.

    • Remember to enjoy every season of your kid’s lives. It goes SO fast!! But our boys are so fun now to hang with, watching them make adult decisions, plan their future. It truly is a gift! We’re planning an Alaskan cruise with them next summer.

  • I enjoyed this- I have two that have “flown” and one who is a sophomore in high school. I’m looking forward to having an empty nest some day!

  • I’m in the thick of being a SAHM. I look forward to this someday but also know I’m going to miss all the chaos. I hope you get some time to have fun and enjoy it!

  • Thank you for this. I am trying to find my new happiness after leaving my home in Japan for 5 years. I am struggling to find and I suffer from depression every day. It has been tough but I will take some of your tips and tailor them to my situation!

  • The hardest part for me is that I’m ready for an empty nest, but I have 4 to 5 years until it happens. My challenge is to savor these last year’s before they all grow up.

  • This is beautiful and I have been able to watch you reach this happy, and content part of your life! You go sister!!

  • Love this Mendy! You touched in all the areas I’ve been working on since having an empty nest! God is faithful in directing our path even after kids have left the best. We can always expect our lives to be rich and full of blessings when we lean into our Lord! Keep the blogging coming, its fun to read💕

  • Hi Mendy! So glad I found your blog through Janet’s Facebook post! This is a great read. I too am trying to ‘reinvent’ myself after being SAHM for 22 years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • I have been so very busy getting back to the things I have always loved doing, and getting around to so many things I never had time for, I haven’t even thought about finding purpose. Purpose has found me. However, I have had great difficulty finding people to join me, or me and my husband, in the active life we love. Unfortunately I am still working and can’t find the time to seek new groups that may suit our active lifestyle. Hoping that might happen soon though.

    • It’s difficult to juggle time for doing what you love, and meeting new people. I have found in my own life that friend groups may change based on the season of life. We love to host last-minute get-togethers simply by sending out a group text. Sometimes we invite multiple people from different friend groups just to see who shows up.

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