My husband and I have three grown children, and I was a stay-at-home mom. When my middle daughter was nine years old, I was offered a part time temporary position at the local university for two hours a day, two days a week. In going through some old photo albums, I found a picture of a message she had written to me on her easel. It said “I love my mom. No job for Mommy.”
My daughter was upset when I told her about the job offer, even though I explained that she wouldn’t even miss me, since she would be at school when I was working. She said to me, “Well, I’ll be at school thinking about you at work and I’ll miss you.” I sensed that seeing other kids with moms who worked gave her a fear that I wouldn’t be there for her. Even though I never questioned my decision to stay home with my kids, that message she created really hit home as to just how valuable I was to my children in their everyday life.
Now that they’re grown and out, people assume I’m having a hard time with living in an empty nest, since I spent so much time with my kids when they were growing up. On the contrary, I am proud to see them able to function on their own as adults. They are hard-working, polite, good people, and I was there to watch all those moments growing into who they all are today. I can’t feel “empty nest syndrome” when I’m so happy for them out there making their own lives.
Why I’m Proud to Have an Empty Nest
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast