Adjusting to being empty nesters can be a challenge. I’m sharing some of my top tips for empty nesters to help make the transition easier.
We have officially had an empty nest for six years now and I’m still not sure if I’m used to it yet. I often have people who follow me on Instagram comment on how fun I make empty nesting look. Well, everything looks fun on Instagram, right!? Since we’ve been doing this empty nester thing for six years now we’ve learned a few things and have discovered that being an empty nester can be fun!
For those of you who won’t be empty nesters for a long time, go ahead and pin this post for future reference, share it with your parents or with an empty nester friend. For all of you empty nesters out there, I’d love to hear what you have to say about being an empty nester. Leave me a comment below and give me your best tips for surviving the empty nest!
Top Tips for Empty Nesters
Eat dinner together
I am a big supporter of the family dinner table. We worked hard to eat dinner together as often as possible when the kids were home even with their crazy schedules. As empty nesters, it’s easy to get away from that. We eat dinner together every night, at the table. The one rule we have had to enforce was you can’t come to the dinner table in your pajamas. One of the first nights we were empty nesters my husband showed up in his pajamas for dinner. I made him go upstairs and change. We eat dinner in our clothes! It’s kind of a joke now as he’ll ask me if we can please eat dinner so he can put on his pajamas. Learning to cook for just two people was also an adjustment. It took me a few years to figure out how to make salad for just two people!
Cooking on a regular basis is more of a challenge as an empty nester also. The incentive to cook each night just isn’t as strong when there are only two of you to feed. My husband is very grateful for this blog because he knows it keeps me cooking! I do have a repertoire of quick and easy meal ideas and I also have a You Tube channel devoted to small batch recipes.
My husband is a big sports fan and even though I am not, we do enjoy attending ballgames for the local high school and for our children’s college alma maters (which also happens to be our alma mater). We love supporting our neighborhood kids who now play on the high school teams our children use to play on.
When my children were at home, I put a lot of time and effort into their Halloween costumes. I never even thought about dressing up. When our youngest left home, I decided it was time for my husband and I to start dressing up. Each year I pick a famous couple and put together costumes for us. It is so much fun and now our friends and neighbors can’t wait to see who we will be each year. You can see this year’s costume here. We also host an adult Halloween dinner party each year. We invite our other empty nester friends to dress up and join us for dinner.
Borrow the Neighbor Kids
When we miss our kids we borrow the neighbors kids. None of our children or grandchildren live near us. So, we love to play grandma and grandpa to the neighbor kids. Each Halloween we host a Halloweenie Roast for all the neighbor kids. At Christmas we invite them to a Breakfast with Santa at our house. We also let them come over and pick produce from the garden, play in the yard and my husband even volunteers to babysit! They are also the lucky recipients of all the goodies I make for the blog!
Date Night Tips for Empty Nesters
Even though every night becomes date night when you are empty nesters, be sure you have official “date nights.” Whether it be to the discount movie on Tuesday night, a picnic and concert in the park or a dinner date on Friday night, call it a date. We love to invite other empty nesters to join us on dates, because, honestly it’s just nice to have someone else to talk to! One of our favorite empty nester dates is going out to breakfast on Saturday morning. In the summer it is usually to the Farmer’s Market but the rest of the year we love finding new places in Portland for breakfast.
Being an empty nester definitely takes some getting used to and it takes some work and effort, but there is life after children and it can be amazing!