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.
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.