With school having just started back, there is a lot of talk about the empty nest. Everyone knows the empty nest begins when the last little chick leaves the nest. A few months before that child leaves, they start worrying about it and focusing on what in their world it is going to be like when they are all alone with just their spouse.
Have you ever noticed how many marriages seem to fall apart when the last child leaves? Have you thought about why that happens?
Many, many years ago, I attended a women’s conference. One of the sessions talked about this – at least I guess that was the subject. That is certainly what I got out of it! I wish I could remember the speaker, so I could credit her here. She reminded us that you started out as a couple and you would hopefully end up as a couple.
She cautioned us about putting the children in such a prominent place in the relationship that the couple relationship suffered. Have you ever seen couple who are so wrapped up with their children and their children’s activities that they don’t seem to have a relationship anymore? Mom goes one way and Dad goes another. They might back up late at night when they are tired from work, housework, and playing taxi driver, coach, sponsor . . . and the list goes on.
She encouraged us to keep the couple relationship first after your relationship with God. I have a question for all of you married couples with kids still at home. Do you go out on dates with your spouse? Do you talk about things other than your children on those dates? This is one thing we tried to do regularly. When our church offered childcare, we took advantage of that to date. If that was not an option, we often bartered babysitting with our friends. While on these dates, we made a conscious effort not to talk about the kids. Maybe this is something you need to implement – a date night to focus on just the two of you. Count these dates as good practice for the empty nest.
Maintaining your marriage relationship as a priority is beneficial to your children. I hope that it will help our children build stronger marriages as they follow in our footsteps. I think it teaches them to be less selfish – to know that your world doesn’t revolve around them.
As the blog continues, I hope to offer some sound guidance for those who are on the journey to the empty nest as well as for those are experiencing it as we are. I hope you are Rocking’ Your Empty Nest, too!
Here is a little history about our nest and the journey to being empty.
Dean and I met at church in 1979. The first time I saw him, I told my mom he was who I was going to marry (even though we had yet to be introduced.) I was the newbie in the crowd. He was already at college, so he wasn’t around a whole lot. When he was, he was dating someone else from the church 😉 I just patiently waited. Those that know me, know I am not always patient. In November of 1980, he was home for the weekend, and we met up at a Friday night skating party. We had our first date in December. That was 32 years ago.
This is us sometime before we got married – notice the senior ring on the necklace and the high wasted jeans. And yes, we both have our names on our belts 🙂
We married on June 5, 1982.
We lived in 5 different houses over the next year until he graduated from Louisiana Tech. After he graduated, we moved to Tyler, TX. We were in the Tyler area for about ten years.
While we were there, we had Eric in 1987
and Joy Anna in 1992.
Ten years after the wedding, our nest was officially full – at least the way the world sees it.
Stick around for more on the journey!