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Life after kids are out of the house


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9 hours ago, PeterPan said:

<snip>

Don't most women end up with grand kids that they care for and teach? That's how it worked out for some women I know. Others go back to work or volunteer. 

Most women end up teaching their grandchildren? Really? I have not observed that at all. 

Or do you mean most women who homeschooled their kids, and these kids now have children that they are having Grandma homeschool? 

 

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Once dh is retired and the kids are grown, I can envision that life and look forward to it.  While we are still healthy enough, I think we will have many adventures together.  I used to worry about the in-between years, though.  My “career” is motherhood, and I did not like the idea of trying to figure out what to do with myself while I am “retired” and dh is still working.  But then, I was looking forward at launching my youngest when I am 46 and dh is 51, and likely a long space of time between then and retirement for dh.  Now I know that I will have a ten-year-old then, and a ds18 who may still need a great deal of parental help with managing his medical care and could possibly have his launch into adult independence delayed by medical necessity. I do fully intend, though, that once my son is independent and his health stable, we are going to travel and have some adventures together if we can in any way manage it.  The baby can just be the lucky youngest who gets taken along on all kinds of things we couldn’t do with the olders.

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I've got another year or two of homeschooling.  Youngest is 16 and the last one at home, the other two are launched and married.

Husband has worked from home for almost 25 years now. We buy houses and created a family culture around that. We moved across the country 3 years ago in preparation for our empty nesting.  We've been part time permaculturists (permies) during that time and I'll be full time when youngest is at community college.  We've been building our 1/4 acre food forest since we moved in: French drains, fruit trees, hugulkultures, vertical gardening structures, fencing, raised beds, etc. The next phase is water harvesting.

We also have an ornamental woodland garden on the property we've been cultivating: cutting down cat briar, removing dead trees, putting in ornamental/fragrant trees, bushes, bulbs, flowers, stumperies, rockeries, climbing vines, solar lighting, refurbished wrought iron patio furniture, etc.

I'm saving up to build a stocked pond with ornamental plants.

I'll do a lot of volunteering and maybe some writing.

Also, I'm 2 years away from being eligible to join the Red Hatters!

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I don't know that I will ever be an empty nester.   I have 3+1 with special needs.  Youngest did and her husband live 2 miles away but I get calls from them almost daily for help.....today it was an overflowing toilet and a cracked screen on a cell phone.   Then other did called and she cracked a front  tooth.  And da needed something.

All I tried to do was go away hiking with a friend for a few hours.

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Put it off for 10yrs by having a caboose baby.  I was just starting to look at what I might want to do after when we found out about youngest.  It also is looking more and more like we will have one more major move before Empty nest that will effect some of the possibilities.  

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On 7/28/2021 at 11:44 PM, Ellie said:

One of my goals as a parent was to help my dc grow up and be productive, happy adults. I was young when they were born, so I was young-ish when I became and empty nester (only two dc). When younger dd was about 14 and older dd was working full time and going to college, it dawned on me that younger dd wouldn't need me for much longer; she was doing Highland dance, so weekly practices, and almost monthly competitions between May and October, and I took her to all of those. But at 16 she would get her driver license and could take herself to classes,  and maybe to competitions that were close to home. Then what would I do? So I started going to Scottish Country dance classes, which would also give me reason to go to the Highland Games alone (and with Mr. Ellie, of course). Then I became a member of the South Bay Scottish Society, then the Seanachie (secretary) of the Society, then Chief. And I continued doing my homeschool newsletter, and administering the umbrella school I owned. I also got a job when older dd got married; I only worked for a little over three years, though, because working for someone else is a pain in the patooty. I've been a super-volunteer at church. I organized a family reunion. I've put on five little homeschool conventions. Last year I helped organize a statewide homeschool association, 501(c)(3) and everything. I have also joined a Sweet Adelines group, and am also part of a quartet.

So the short story is that I saw empty-nesting coming at me, and prepared to meet it head on.

Yes, this is good!  DH and I were first time older parents and when DD was turning 8 was diagnosed with epilepsy so everything else took a rear seat to her doctor's (several different ones) appts.  But, when dd was around 17 or so we joined English Country Dancing!  LOVE this!   She stopped and I had to because of the pandemic but love these dance routines!  

Adding;  I'm in the middle.  I enjoyed having our only child around immensely but now it's the 2 of us and DH and I are able to focus on us!  

 

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My youngest is 16 now. He gets his drivers license next month. Then I domt have to chauffer him to all the places. That alone seems crazy. This is our last year of full time homeschool.  Next year we will still do part time but he will primarily be doing DE for next year and a super senior year (gotta take advantage of those paid college classes!) He plans to go to a local school and commute for two years after that so... we wont be empty nested for a bit but also wont have the full demands of parenting younger children.

I already volunteer several days a week at a local museum.  And I have hobbies and I travel at least once a year with friends (scrapbook retreats, trip to Disney, trip to Palm Springs) .. 

Dh plans on early retirement to focus on his hobbies and travel. 

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I'm not excited about it, but I've prepared ahead of time so that I will have lots of things to keep me busy. I went back to grad school and started a diploma program that has now led to a nice full-time job in the new field. I also have several physical activities (tennis, paddling, walking and cycling) that also include social connections with dh and friends. Despite all this, I'm going to miss having a house full of dc. It's been really great to have all 4 dc home during Covid this last year. I will miss that. It's hard to shake off those wonderful years of homeschooling. 😉 They were amazing.

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It depends on the relationship. I am hoping for grandkids and such before my youngest moves out. My husband is already distant. He never wants to spend with the kids and when I suggest family time, he says “I just wanted to spend time with MY wife, what’s so wrong with that?”  But in reality, he simply refuses to spend time with his kids.  He also keeps telling me how well behaved the kids were while I was out of town and how clean the house was. But in reality, he actually spent time with the kids and really focused on them during those few days I was gone. And he didn’t have to homeschool them and he didn’t have to pay the bills and he didn’t have to take care of the yard or clean the garage or do any of the other stuff that I do during that time. Now I’m back and he’s back to his usual. I have a feeling that once the kids are gone, since I largely parent them alone, I will just make my own life for myself.

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I can only dream . . . three are out, two of them own homes.  1ds is out, and finishing school he is dreaming of a real job and buying his own house.

2ds isn't showing much sign of budging - though he is interested in doing something different (he doesn't want to be a CPA.) to make more money so he can afford buying his own real estate here.

then there is dudeling  . . . 

only one is married - and she lives on the other side of the country.  I fly down there twice a year (I just came back - and caught their colds.  I now have barotrauma in my right ear from flying . . . .and am on antibiotics. ).  we skype periodically. This year she's coming in sep/oct.  last time she was here was christmas 2019.

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I just don’t know. I feel like in the past 29 years of marriage, I’ve grown a lot as a person. A lot. I’m very different from how I was before children. And I don’t get the sense that my husband has changed much at all.  So, parts of us are familiar to each other, but there are times when I’m frustrated that he hasn’t grown the same way that I have. We haven’t grown apart exactly, but we’re both a bit more different from each other than we used to be 20 years ago.

So, I’m not sure what it will be like to be just the two of us alone. It won’t be like before we had kids, because I’m not the same person I was back then. I’m hoping that as we have more alone time together, we’ll reconnect in new ways. But right now, I don’t know exactly what that will look like.

I’ll miss my kids like crazy when they’re gone. Like, super miss them like crazy. I’m not looking forward to that part. I’m pretty sure there will be some grief and loss and I’ll have some very low days, missing them.  But at the same time, I think it’ll be nice not to have the full weight of responsibility for Everything About Their Lives on my shoulders. I think it will be a confusing mixture of emotions.

So…I just don’t know! I really hope that when the kids are completely gone, that DH and I reconnect in a new way. I think it’ll be fine at the end of the day, but there will probably be a few bumps in the road as we sort out how to live together as just two people and not four.

So, I’m neither anxious nor excited. Just…waiting to see what unfolds. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Garga said:

I just don’t know. I feel like in the past 29 years of marriage, I’ve grown a lot as a person. A lot. I’m very different from how I was before children. And I don’t get the sense that my husband has changed much at all.  So, parts of us are familiar to each other, but there are times when I’m frustrated that he hasn’t grown the same way that I have. We haven’t grown apart exactly, but we’re both a bit more different from each other than we used to be 20 years ago.

So, I’m not sure what it will be like to be just the two of us alone. It won’t be like before we had kids, because I’m not the same person I was back then. I’m hoping that as we have more alone time together, we’ll reconnect in new ways. But right now, I don’t know exactly what that will look like.

I’ll miss my kids like crazy when they’re gone. Like, super miss them like crazy. I’m not looking forward to that part. I’m pretty sure there will be some grief and loss and I’ll have some very low days, missing them.  But at the same time, I think it’ll be nice not to have the full weight of responsibility for Everything About Their Lives on my shoulders. I think it will be a confusing mixture of emotions.

So…I just don’t know! I really hope that when the kids are completely gone, that DH and I reconnect in a new way. I think it’ll be fine at the end of the day, but there will probably be a few bumps in the road as we sort out how to live together as just two people and not four.

So, I’m neither anxious nor excited. Just…waiting to see what unfolds. 

 

 

 

I get it! I could have written almost exactly except that I've been with my DH for only 23 years.  🙂    I am 100% not the same person I was when I got married, and while DH isn't either, he is definitely more like that 26 year old kid than he probably should be.   I expect reconnection and getting to know each other all over again will happen, but I might just want to take my time getting to that point.  I'm sort of enjoying the idea of getting to know and be myself for a while.   Since neither of us are near retirement age,  I kind of feel like this empty nest time will be a series of many years of trying to figure out what we might want to do when retirement arrives.  Or I'll just work for forever so that I can avoid spending time with him.  😛

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3 hours ago, Janeway said:

It depends on the relationship. I am hoping for grandkids and such before my youngest moves out. My husband is already distant. He never wants to spend with the kids and when I suggest family time, he says “I just wanted to spend time with MY wife, what’s so wrong with that?”  But in reality, he simply refuses to spend time with his kids.  He also keeps telling me how well behaved the kids were while I was out of town and how clean the house was. But in reality, he actually spent time with the kids and really focused on them during those few days I was gone. And he didn’t have to homeschool them and he didn’t have to pay the bills and he didn’t have to take care of the yard or clean the garage or do any of the other stuff that I do during that time. Now I’m back and he’s back to his usual. I have a feeling that once the kids are gone, since I largely parent them alone, I will just make my own life for myself.

Are you able to do some stuff now just you and dh....date nights, overnights, etc?   Is he open to working on that now so that when the kids are out of the house it won't just be you and him as Individuals, but rather as a couple?

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1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

Are you able to do some stuff now just you and dh....date nights, overnights, etc?   Is he open to working on that now so that when the kids are out of the house it won't just be you and him as Individuals, but rather as a couple?

We do a lot together as a couple. But we are extremely different people and that has only been magnified by having children and as life goes by. When we married, I admit my biological clock was ticking. If I went back in time, I likely would not marry him. We have not been fit for each other at all. So, when the kids are grown, it is not like we are going to find that love we once had. Don't get me wrong, I love him and appreciate him. But we got married because we were both at a place in our lives where we wanted to settle down and we found each other and that was just about the only thing we had in common.  However, I do feel that God put us here for a reason, together for a reason, and I am committed to my marriage. 

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This post resonated with me.  I had these grand ideas of transitioning to this post-kids life gracefully with my wonderful friends and carve out some sort of consulting career.  Well, K got sick and my youngest went to high school part-time and moved away from the homeschooling lifestyle and I found that my community disappeared (homeschooling acquaintances, friends, family, church, etc.)  So much of my energy was spent on keeping K alive and shielding my youngest from that that I didn't have time to work on me and my future plans.  Dh is a wonderful man, but he is an engineer who gets most of his socialization at work.  Plus, we aren't interested in the same things.  We have to work to find things to do together because we naturally gravitate to different things.  (And I've sat through way too many movies that I couldn't stand, just to be with him, but I no longer desire to do that.)  

During youngest dd's junior year, all I saw was an empty chasm in front of me.  I tried to cultivate new friendships, but no one was interested in anything more than "once a month lunch" which would mean once a year in reality.  I tried volunteering, but I was so emotionally spent from dealing with K's issues and anticipatory grief, that I just couldn't make myself commit.  I needed a stronger motivation to get out of the house and do something other than take dd to her activities.  When we were looking at colleges and I made too many jokes about how much nicer these dorms were and how I would move to college with her, dd told me, in no uncertain terms, that the joke was getting old (a little too close to the truth), that I was not moving to college with her and that I needed to get my own life.  She really got to the core of things.  I didn't have my own life.  I had to let her go and figure out my next phase.  

Like Regentrude said, there was much grieving involved.  

I was at a graduation party of a fellow homeschooler's son and I became overwhelmed with the enormity of my losses and the emptiness of the future and started crying.  Another mom there was a counselor at our local community college and she invited me to see her to look at options.  That was 4 years ago.  I began taking classes to apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.  I wanted something that made me think, and that had a good return on investment in terms of time and money since I was already on the back side of my 50s. 

After much sweat and tears, I graduated with an associates degree and finished my clinicals last Thursday.  I start a new job in 10 days.  I think this process saved my life.  It gave me a renewed sense of purpose.  In addition, the process was so arduous and all-encompassing, that it was a good distraction from the grief.  

As far as grandchildren go ...
K may never be self-supporting due to mental illness.  And she has no interest in a family life or kids.  My oldest doesn't appear to be moving toward marriage and family any time soon.  He had his heart broken his senior year of college by his only girlfriend and I haven't heard him mention anyone since.  DD is still young, but has stated she really doesn't want to get married and doesn't want to bring children into this "messed up world."  So, I can't count on grandchildren.  But that grieving will have to wait.  

Dh and I are working on reconnecting, especially since I am done with school and only have one more board exam to take.  He has been incredibly patient during this whole journey.  

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My oldest is 15 and youngest nine, so I still have awhile. However, we were the host family for two 19yr olds this summer and they leave in the morning. I am going to absolutely bawl. I don’t know how I will do it when my own kids leave!

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13 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

After much sweat and tears, I graduated with an associates degree and finished my clinicals last Thursday.  I start a new job in 10 days. 

Congratulations!!!!  What an inspiring story!

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

 

After much sweat and tears, I graduated with an associates degree and finished my clinicals last Thursday.  I start a new job in 10 days.  I think this process saved my life.  

You rock. I’m so impressed and always have been. You’ve been one of my favorites here for years. I’m so glad for the new road you have chosen. 

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10 hours ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

I was at a graduation party of a fellow homeschooler's son and I became overwhelmed with the enormity of my losses and the emptiness of the future and started crying.  Another mom there was a counselor at our local community college and she invited me to see her to look at options.  That was 4 years ago.  I began taking classes to apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.  I wanted something that made me think, and that had a good return on investment in terms of time and money since I was already on the back side of my 50s. 

After much sweat and tears, I graduated with an associates degree and finished my clinicals last Thursday.  I start a new job in 10 days.  I think this process saved my life.  It gave me a renewed sense of purpose.  In addition, the process was so arduous and all-encompassing, that it was a good distraction from the grief.   

I'm so glad you found that person at the right moment to guide you. That is huge.

Congratulations on finding that new purpose and on following it through!

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10 hours ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

This post resonated with me.  I had these grand ideas of transitioning to this post-kids life gracefully with my wonderful friends and carve out some sort of consulting career.  Well, K got sick and my youngest went to high school part-time and moved away from the homeschooling lifestyle and I found that my community disappeared (homeschooling acquaintances, friends, family, church, etc.)  So much of my energy was spent on keeping K alive and shielding my youngest from that that I didn't have time to work on me and my future plans.  Dh is a wonderful man, but he is an engineer who gets most of his socialization at work.  Plus, we aren't interested in the same things.  We have to work to find things to do together because we naturally gravitate to different things.  (And I've sat through way too many movies that I couldn't stand, just to be with him, but I no longer desire to do that.)  

During youngest dd's junior year, all I saw was an empty chasm in front of me.  I tried to cultivate new friendships, but no one was interested in anything more than "once a month lunch" which would mean once a year in reality.  I tried volunteering, but I was so emotionally spent from dealing with K's issues and anticipatory grief, that I just couldn't make myself commit.  I needed a stronger motivation to get out of the house and do something other than take dd to her activities.  When we were looking at colleges and I made too many jokes about how much nicer these dorms were and how I would move to college with her, dd told me, in no uncertain terms, that the joke was getting old (a little too close to the truth), that I was not moving to college with her and that I needed to get my own life.  She really got to the core of things.  I didn't have my own life.  I had to let her go and figure out my next phase.  

Like Regentrude said, there was much grieving involved.  

I was at a graduation party of a fellow homeschooler's son and I became overwhelmed with the enormity of my losses and the emptiness of the future and started crying.  Another mom there was a counselor at our local community college and she invited me to see her to look at options.  That was 4 years ago.  I began taking classes to apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.  I wanted something that made me think, and that had a good return on investment in terms of time and money since I was already on the back side of my 50s. 

After much sweat and tears, I graduated with an associates degree and finished my clinicals last Thursday.  I start a new job in 10 days.  I think this process saved my life.  It gave me a renewed sense of purpose.  In addition, the process was so arduous and all-encompassing, that it was a good distraction from the grief.  

As far as grandchildren go ...
K may never be self-supporting due to mental illness.  And she has no interest in a family life or kids.  My oldest doesn't appear to be moving toward marriage and family any time soon.  He had his heart broken his senior year of college by his only girlfriend and I haven't heard him mention anyone since.  DD is still young, but has stated she really doesn't want to get married and doesn't want to bring children into this "messed up world."  So, I can't count on grandchildren.  But that grieving will have to wait.  

Dh and I are working on reconnecting, especially since I am done with school and only have one more board exam to take.  He has been incredibly patient during this whole journey.  

This is an amazing update!  Thank you so much for sharing.  I have always had a soft spot for you over the years and I have felt so so bad for you dealing with K's mental illness.  So thankful you found some purpose and that you are feeling better.

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I loved raising my kids and homeschooling them was a challenging and satisfying addition to that.  There definitely was a bit of grieving when the last one left for college.  However, I also had a lot of other things I wanted to do and I got busy doing them.  I really think that’s the key - finding activities that will satisfy you in the next stage of life.

 

Anne

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2 hours ago, Anne said:

I loved raising my kids and homeschooling them was a challenging and satisfying addition to that.  There definitely was a bit of grieving when the last one left for college.  However, I also had a lot of other things I wanted to do and I got busy doing them.  I really think that’s the key - finding activities that will satisfy you in the next stage of life.

 

Anne

I'm sorry, Anne. I'm not picking on you, I promise. I'm glad you've found things that do satisfy you. I just wish I knew how to find those activities. It's been seven years for me and I don't feel any closer. In fact, in some ways I feel less hopeful that those activities exist for me, because I haven't found them after seven years of looking and trying.

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On 7/29/2021 at 9:24 AM, Jann in TX said:

Drs have no idea why--no medication to stop them and no disability benefits because this is not epilepsy--

 

I apologize if I've asked this already in another thread, but has she consulted a disability lawyer? Her siezures should not need to be caused by epilepsy in order to qualify.

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7 hours ago, katilac said:

I apologize if I've asked this already in another thread, but has she consulted a disability lawyer? Her siezures should not need to be caused by epilepsy in order to qualify.

Yes, this.  Appeal the decision, again and again if needed.   Likely it was made by someone lower without a lot of medical knowledge.  I had to get a disability lawyer (free through Legal Aid) for my dd's case.....and we won after 2 1/2 years....and she got back pay.

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It’s not the same situation, but my husband had to do a second appointment for a disability-related thing.  The first appointment  person came up with something totally opposite to every other person who ever saw my husband.  
 

It can be worth it to keep trying.  
 

It is pretty disappointing that it can be this way!  

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Dh and I have discussed this a lot. Thankfully, we are on the same page. Our goals were two fold. 1 was to be near our grandsons and be involved in their childhood. So we just bought a home for multi a generational use near them. We have our own guest suite, and there is guest bedroom space for both of the elderly grandmothers as well as our young twenty-something bachelor sons. Ds and family have moved into it for four years while they save for a down payment on a place of their own. We have our suite set up, and since dh has a work remote contract, we will be frequently going back and forth. 

Part 2 is to travel a lot when he retires. We have a bucket list of National Parks, Forests, Historic sites, Nature Preserves that we want to see, and we want to travel at low cost and with privacy, cook our own food. So we have converted a 2008 Toyota Vienna minivan into a two person camper and are gearing up for VanLife when he retires in five years. We have already used it to take mini-vacations in Huron-Manistee National Forest at Lake Michigan Recreation Area, Hiawatha National Forest, Cooper's Rock State Forest, Indiana Dunes National Lake shore/Park, and New River Gorge National Park.

I am also interested in trying some very simple solo camping, and will be trying an excursion at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains, Upper Peninsula this fall.

The low cost travel will hopefully help us conserve money for the higher cost travel of visiting two of our three sons who hope to go to grad school in Germany and Denmark, and then reside there if possible. Plus, my sister lives in Cannes, France, and we want to see her every couple of years. Those trips will be much more expensive.

Prior to this, I took a job as a program director for community fine arts through a foundation locally. I began that job when my youngest graduated homeschooling and went to college. I loved it! Fantastic job. But covid gutted it, decimated it, steamrolled the finances (donations in the gutter), and the foundation has indefinitely furloughed the program. Bye bye job. I hate covid!!!!!!!!😠

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Well, we have conversations of oh we'll do this and that, and won't it be nice when the kids move out. Let's move here.

But the kids keep coming back lol. DS has his own family now and DD just graduated college and moved back home. Now our youngest does not want to go away to college, so we're pleased our kids still like us 😂 

We have decided we'll probably follow DS and his family wherever they go since they have the grandbaby. They are now expecting this and we all talk about. The joke is we are all going to end up in Florida. We like Florida. 

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25 minutes ago, MooCow said:

We have decided we'll probably follow DS and his family wherever they go since they have the grandbaby.

I'm just riffing off this comment. 

A  retired couple I know, who had lived in this area all their lives, packed up and moved to another state, where their married daughter and family live. They decided to do it even though they love this area, and even though they are not so old/infirm that they need care. But they wanted to be close to their kids and they wanted to do it while they were still young enough to get their own place, make their own friends... establish themselves as themselves. But also... to save their kids the struggles of having parents living far away, dealing with selling/moving house while living far way. All that stuff that can happen. I really admired that about them, just their foresight and willingness to do this thing while it was still easier for their kids, not easier for themselves. 

 

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As someone who spent @ least a decade taking care of a parent, there is no way I would ever put that on my kids. That's also why I'm now trying to be the best me, someone healthy who doesn't sap the life out if my kids. 

That's a great point @ marbel

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Cannot wait to 

1. Finish seminary!

2. Publish devotions, articles ( already done to a certain extent) and maybe a book.

3. Many, many mission trips.

4. Making Tea anywhere we want anytime we want. ( Really enjoyed that this past year before our youngest came back for the summer.)

5. So many fun trips: Route 66, Driving Alaskan Highway, Canadian Rockies, New England Fall Leaves Trip

6. Possibly starting an after school program modeled on the one in Central America, but in our own town.

 

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6 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

. Part 2 is to travel a lot when he retires. We have a bucket list of National Parks, Forests, Historic sites, Nature Preserves that we want to see, and we want to travel at low cost and with privacy, cook our own food. So we have converted a 2008 Toyota Vienna minivan into a two person camper and are gearing up for VanLife when he retires in five years. .

I would love a thread on how you did this van conversion.  Is it temporary?  My goal is to travel.

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On 8/3/2021 at 5:17 AM, Jenny in Florida said:

I'm sorry, Anne. I'm not picking on you, I promise. I'm glad you've found things that do satisfy you. I just wish I knew how to find those activities. It's been seven years for me and I don't feel any closer. In fact, in some ways I feel less hopeful that those activities exist for me, because I haven't found them after seven years of looking and trying.

Don't forget, though, you've had lots of additional health + family challenges over that time. It hasn't been a clear run. 

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5 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

It is temporary so that we can use the van for other purposes. 

Would you start another thread and maybe show us pictures and tell me about how it works?  Very interested.  I can backpack camp for a few days but this sounds nice too.

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I'm facing this now. My youngest child starts college in a few weeks. I am not as panicked as I would be because both of my daughters are attending a local college.  They are living in the dorms, but I know that they will also be stopping by at home a lot, so that definitely helps. Also, my younger daughter has had a really rough final three years of high school dealing with anxiety, depression, COVID, isolation, etc.  We shouldn't have homeschooled her for high school. Big mistake. So, I am very relieved that she will be going to college and making friends and having regular social interaction (hopefully this da*n Delta variant won't derail everything).  I am going to miss her terribly, but I am excited and happy for her to go on with her life.

As for me, I know that I will struggle. I feel like I have accomplished and done everything that I want in my life now. On one hand this is a good thing. If I were to die tomorrow, I would be satisfied and feel like I got to live long enough to achieve what I wanted. On the other hand, if I live for 30-40 more years, I don't know what I will do with myself.  I definitely don't want to get a job. My DH owns his own company and I will likely do some very part-time work for him. He works from home, so I will help him when he needs it. I don't have any hobbies or anything that I want to pursue. I like to read, but that's about it. I have always loved traveling, but in recent years have almost found it to be more trouble than it's worth. Also, I have been everywhere that I really wanted to go. Once again, if I died tomorrow, I would be satisfied and not wish that I had been able to _________.

I have never really been one of those people who have craved grandchildren, so that isn't anything that I would be anxiously awaiting. Don't get me wrong- I would love and spoil any grandchild that I had, but I wouldn't miss them if they didn't exist. Neither of my daughters seem super excited about the idea of having them and with the way the world is now and the significant issues coming up in the future, I wouldn't recommend that they have any kids (although I would never tell them that).

So, yeah. I really don't know what my future will look like. In the immediate future, I plan to spend a lot of time going through the whole house (we have a very large house) organizing, donating, throwing away, etc. That is going to be a huge project and will likely take months. I'm also going to try to lose 10-15 lbs.

On a positive note, I am looking forward to hopefully hearing that my daughters are having fun and enjoying life (especially my younger daughter who has struggled so much). I am looking forward to not having to figure out meals all of the time for all four of us (older daughter is a vegetarian now and younger daughter is sooooo picky). 

DH and I still get along pretty well. We do not agree politically anymore, so that's unfortunate.  We studiously avoid discussing any of those topics that we might disagree about and that works pretty well. I guess like everyone else, we will just have to see where our relationship goes once the kids are out of the house. 

 

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On 7/28/2021 at 11:12 PM, Joker2 said:

I’m excited!!! Both dc were supposed to be off at school this past fall but Covid changed things. They will both be moved into their own places by mid August this year though and dh and I are ready. We are all close and we will still see them super often but we are excited to just be the two of us again. 

Just popping in to quote myself and say that I’m now a blubbering mess because they move out in exactly one week (and they’ve started packing). 😢🤣

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Thank you to everyone who responded. I did read every comment. But underestimated just how little time I'd have to respond while my sister was visiting. 

I think spending time thinking about our future without kids helps dh and I connect while still having a house full of kids. We really cherish our time to ourselves and strive for two nights a week spent doing something we're both interested in like playing board games, watching a movie, playing a videogame, or going for a walk.

Today we went on a jog. We were only together for the first few minutes because I told him not to slow down for me. I can't wait until I'm back to my peak shape and can keep up with him. Maybe this time next year. But he waited outside until I got home and we stretched together. We used to work out a lot together and I can't wait to get back to that regularly.

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DS leaves for university is 3 weeks. I know I’m in for a roller coaster of emotions (well, a roller coaster in free fall, anyway), but last night while making dinner I was struck (again) with the realization of how quiet and *empty* the house is going to feel. DS was skipping out to a pool party after a full day of life guarding, and it hit me how weird dinner time is going to be. Starting when he was middle school we fell into a habit of watching tv together during dinner (something neither DH nor I could have ever imagined, but there you go). It’s been fun—we actually talk a lot, the shows provide lots of inside jokes and opportunities for further discussion and it’s been an opportunity for him to watch pop culture stuff he wouldn’t seek out on his own (Derry Girls and Schitt's Creek most recently—we are binging SC in order to finish before he leaves).

Anyway, DH and I don’t have many shows we watch together anymore, so now what? What in the world are we going to talk about (he works from home so we talk all day)? Are we going to sit in the formal dining room? I just can’t imagine, night after night after night…plus our favorite topic (DS, of course) won’t be providing much by way of conversations for us. In the moment it felt so…lonely. And quiet. And old. 😞 

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