5 Joys of Being an Empty-Nester

I have to be honest. I was a reluctant empty-nester. Cheryl and I love our boys and them being at home was one of our greatest joys in life. Walking in the door and being handed a football to throw or a soccer ball to kick was often the best part of my day.

Thankfully, we were intentional as parents and in our marriage. Now, we are reaping the reward of that intentionality. We raised our boys to be independent and they are doing it well. They still “need” us, but they aren’t dependent on us.

At the same time, we protected our relationship, so we truly enjoy our time together – always have – still do.

As hard as it was for me to see our boys leave home, I’m now learning to adjust to and actually enjoy being an empty-nester.

This is written with those who still have children at home and may be dreading the day they leave. I’d encourage you to build your family with this day in mind. One day they will and it will be okay. 

In fact – it’s kind of fun.

Here are 5 joys of being an empty-nester:

Spontaneous living – Cheryl and I can now change plans on a dime. Someone asks us to dinner, but they are leaving “now” – no problem. Suddenly deciding to go out of town for a few days – why not? Late night walk around the block – yea!

More time for ministry – We are busier in ministry than ever before. Cheryl ministers to multiple women in the church, leads bible studies and assists me on my ministry. And, my ministry in and outside my home church has never been busier. We love serving others and now we have more time to do it.

Planned chaos – Cheryl and I live a crazy life. When the boys were home we tried to do dinner every night. Now there may be weeks we aren’t home and nights, but we have the freedom within craziness to adjust our schedule as we see fit. When children are in the house, much of your schedule is dictated by their activities. Now, we decide what is going to control our time. We can never anticipate what’s going to happen, but we have the freedom to adjust to it as we choose.

Rekindled relationship – Cheryl and I have always loved our life together. As I said, we continued to date throughout our parenting days, so our relationship remained strong. Now, we are in a new season in our relationship. It’s a good season. We love our time together. And, dating isn’t limited to one night a week.

Unbridled future – We keep saying to each other we can do anything we want. We are free to walk by faith as God leads. It’s a very good feeling. Let’s do it God! What’s next?

Let me be clear, if you have children at home, enjoy them now. It will pass fast. You’ll miss them, but if you continue to work on your relationship – and you prepare your children to stand on their own – you’ll one day get to enjoy the blessings of being a joyful empty-nester.

Any empty-nesters out there? What do you like about this season of life?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • […] 5 Joys of Being an Empty Nester—Ron Edmondson […]

  • Yankeedan says:

    I have a question, do any of you have any pets?

  • Mike W says:

    Ah yes, the blessed season between when the kids move out and the parents move in 🙂

  • It's a struggle here Ron!

    Parents in India (especially from rural areas) expect their offspring to always with them. They expect their sons to take care of them in their old age.

    I beleive American parents are brave enough to face their life lonely once their kids grow up. Great!

    • ronedmondson says:

      There is certainly some of that expectation here as well, but it is probably far less formal.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • Shelia says:

    We are recent empty nesters as well. Having been married before, we became an instant family when we married and were blessed with two more amazing children. So having never been 'alone' we are loving this new season and our time together. We learned many years ago to work on our marriage every day – because Satan does – and that doesn't stop when the kids leave home. And we also love when our kids visit and fill our home! It really makes us realize how special the time is that we spend with our own parents.

  • Rocky says:

    We are empty nesters and love it! We can be more spontaeous; however, we both have jobs so we are limited by that.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Yea, we both have jobs too, working more than ever, but we are creative with our time!
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • Jennifer says:

    You really do get to enjoy each other more! We were foster parents of older teens and YOUNG empty nesters as they are now on their own – we're in mid-30s, was a great season. Now expecting our first little one – the empty nest months were special, looking forward to a new journey!

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