Are you a stay-at-home mom who’s now an empty nester?
After listening to dozens of women like us—clients, interview subjects, friends—here is what I hear time and again about our struggle…
My kids are gone. I feel their loss in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like a piece of my heart has been torn out of my chest. Like I’m gasping for air.
The house is so quiet; it’s deafening. Sometimes I walk into my child’s room and sit among the things he’s left behind: an old high school trophy, a favorite stuffed animal, stacks of comic books… I feel a crashing wave of sadness and longing.
I’m exhausted, both physically and emotionally—and menopause is not helping. One day stretches into the next, in an endless emptiness. I try to keep busy—workouts, lunches with friends, errands, volunteering, to do lists—but sometimes I find myself just staring into space.
I feel guilty for being sad. Such first-world problems. I am a woman of privilege, having had the luxury of staying home to raise my children. Now they’re going off to college or starting their careers. Their lives are truly beginning, but mine feels like it’s slowly ending. Still, it’s the natural order of things, so what right do I have to complain?
I feel so alone. Even my husband doesn’t get it. Sure, he misses the kids, but he’s got his career. He wants me to be happy but he’s not sure how to help me. We struggle to find things to talk about at the dinner table. Sometimes I feel we’re so disconnected, I wonder how we’re going to make it, just the two of us.
I want to talk to my girlfriends, but I’m afraid they won’t understand. I look at their Facebook posts and they seem so happy and busy in their new child-free lives. How much of my struggle can I share with them? Will they judge me? Will they tell me I’m lucky while reminding me of someone else’s child who can’t leave because of depression or some other problem? So I keep quiet about my pain.
Sometimes I just don’t want to feel anything anymore. So I numb the pain with food, alcohol, drugs, shopping…
I’m scared. Will I ever experience the same calling I felt when I was raising my kids? Will I ever find another community of women who share my struggles and passions? If I’m not a full-time mom, who am I?
I’ve got plenty of good years ahead of me and I’m not ready to retire into a life of leisure or irrelevance. I still feel young inside. I’m not finished living. But what am I supposed to do now?
I feel pressure to get a job, but what can I possibly do after leaving my career behind so many years ago? What expertise, what credentials, do I have to offer? Who would hire me? And would I really want to go back to that line of work? I am a totally different person today.
I’m starting to feel like I’m fading away, slowly turning invisible.
If any of this is you, I can help.
Contact me for a complimentary session where you can speak your truth
and I can help you see a way out, a way forward.
You want to matter again. I get it. I’ve been there.
You’re pondering the big questions: Why am I here? What am I meant to do on this earth? You’re looking for purpose beyond being a mother, a wife, a volunteer.
You believe, truly, that age is just a number. You’re yearning to continue learning and growing, every day.
You look in the mirror and see more than wrinkles and extra pounds. You’re ready to honor and nurture your body, no matter the scars and sags that mark your decades.
You’re ready to accept yourself, gifts and flaws both. You’ve finally arrived to a place where you care less about living up to others’ expectations and more about being true to yourself.
You’re tired of regrets and ready to forgive yourself the mistakes of the past. While there are roads you wish you’d taken, choices you wish you hadn’t made, you’re done wringing your hands over those.
You’re feeling more creative, more open to new opportunities. You’re more courageous than you used to be, willing to try new things, less worried about failure and rejection. You understand that growth doesn’t happen without some measure of risk taking, some potential disappointment.
You appreciate your girlfriends now more than ever. You know who they are; they’ve had your back. You’re tired of the drama and eager to ditch any remaining toxic relationships: If spending time with someone leaves you feeling worse about yourself, you’re ready to let that person go.
You have a lot to say. Your filter is going; you’re speaking your mind, damn the consequences. You’re letting your personality show in every way, from your appearance to your hobbies and habits. You might even let yourself, proudly, go gray!
You’ve accumulated the strength and wisdom that only come with life experience—whether celebrating successes or learning from disappointments, enjoying lucky breaks or struggling through obstacles.
You want—no, you demand—more. Today, and every day moving forward. You’re ready to take charge of the rest of your life and craft a fulfilling future. Because you’ve got a lot of living to do.