August marks not only back-to-school time but also college campus kickoff. This time of year invokes many emotions in me as I gear up for empty nest, the second year. From the bittersweet pang in my heart that is swirled with excitement, to readjusting to two living at home, my feelings are all over the place. And I know this is all part of the new norm with the comings and goings of parenting adult kids.
Summer gave us some time to reconnect as a family, while allowing our sons some much needed downtime and brother time. Much of the break was filled with part-time jobs, dental, doctor, and eye appointments along with car maintenance/repair. And the next thing you know, the kids are loading up their cars and taking off again.
I guess empty nest wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t coincide with perimenopause and turning 50 (soon). My hormonal imbalance holds my emotions hostage making me mourn for my youth, mourn for the days of motherhood, mourn for the hectic schedule of raising a family. One moment you are fine; the next, you find yourself blubbering over an item at the grocery store, not even sure why this internal battle of heartache is being fought.
Small streaks of sadness spread over me as I watch with envy a young mother pushing a stroller, talking on her cell phone, not breaking a stride, sweat, nor breath, as she breezes past me. Those early days of being a young mother may be behind me but the memories of raising rough and tumble boys into young men are close in my heart and just waiting to spill out when conversation allows or when someone asks for parenting advice.
The emotional roller coaster of a middle-aged mother is real. From the highs of being a mom to the lows of letting go and rediscovering who you are in between, seems to happen in no time flat. One second you are waving goodbye to your child on the first day of school; the next you are wondering where the time has gone, as your young adult ventures off into the world.
Re-enter the empty nest blues. For me, year two is becoming that all too familiar cycle of tears, acceptance, and finally adjustment. Back to a cleaner house, less cooking, cheaper utility bills, and more “me” time. But only temporarily for this too shall pass, or at least until their next visit!