A Plea to Empty Nesters (and Those Soon To Be)

It’s graduation season and my Facebook feed is filled with congratulatory posts and sentimental memories from friends and acquaintances with older children (read: kids graduating from high school or college).  Each one of these posts is eloquent and heart-felt, filled with emotional remembrances and remarks of children growing up in the blink of an eye.  It’s touching and beautiful, but I can’t fully relate because I’m not there yet.  My boys are still in grade school and middle school, respectively, so right now I’m still in the weeds.  With two kids under the legal driving age, my life is mostly dictated by their schedules, needs and desires.  At this point in time, life with kids can still be time-consuming and exhausting, mundane and thankless, even infuriating much of the time.

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Truth!

I love my boys and I love doing for them, but I’m also not afraid to admit aloud that having young children sucks sometimes.  Granted, it’s easier than having babies (I do not long for those days, as I attested to last year around this time — read about it here), but it can still be onerous.  So to all you soon-to-be empty nesters, please stop telling me to “enjoy this time” and “cherish the moments” because “they grow up so fast” because — and let’s be honest here — when you were in the thick of it, you didn’t want to hear that either.

Think back … You remember the drudgery and monotony, the sheer exhaustion and the utter frustration of life before your children were grown, don’t you?  All those nights fighting about homework?  All those hours driving to and from practice?  All those weekends sitting for hours at a ball field somewhere, secretly wishing for a rain-out or tournament elimination every now and then just to get a break?  I’m sure when your kids were young, you just wanted to live through another day, another phase, another sports season, another school year, just like me.  But now as your offspring are getting ready to fly the coop, you’ve romanticized those early memories, remembering only the triumphs and successes, the honors and awards, the sweet snuggles and adorable little faces.  I don’t blame you.  As a matter of fact, I envy your ability to focus only on the positive recollections and blur out those less-than-stellar times.  Someday, I’ll be able to do that, too … But not today.

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I couldn’t have said it better myself — although, I would’ve used proper punctuation.

In a few short years, when I join your empty nesters club, I’m sure I’ll be just as sappy and nostalgic as the next mom.  But right now, I’m just trying to survive puberty and travel lacrosse season, hoping it goes by quickly and painlessly.  Wish me luck!

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– LJDT

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