Isn’t Empty Nesting just an easy transition? What’s the big deal?

Nov 05, 2023 by Anthony Damaschino
Hump Day Q&A - The Empty Nest Blueprint
For some, an Empty Nest transition perhaps is easy. I mean, if you have a great relationship with your child and they feel the same about you. And you have a great relationship with your spouse and they feel the same about you. And if everyone’s mental health is good in your immediate family and each of you is on the same wavelength around communication, control, and expectations. And if you are happy with your life, and relationships, have little to no anxiety. And if you have a fun and exciting plan for the future mapped out where you can do and explore what you want, and again your spouse and family are on the same page, then sure…Empty Nesting is super easy!
In my conversations with parents on this topic, and trust me, I have had many of them, I have yet to meet the parent who has everything lined up and is 100% ready for their Empty Nest journey. In most cases, their lack of readiness isn’t the end of the world, and I do not want to insinuate that there is some horrible situation lurking in the unknown. But it’s not ideal either. And don’t we all want the ideal? Having 70% of the ingredients for a recipe or being 80% ready for a presentation at work tomorrow would undoubtedly be anxiety-inducing. And potentially, both the thing you cooked and the presentation you gave would not turn out well. These are both simple examples. Now, apply readiness to any significant change in life; there are likely some personal anxieties, concerns, miscommunication, and unknowns. Any relationship-based change is inherently difficult. The pressure we put on ourselves to achieve, be healthy, or live purposefully can be a significant burden. Add the complexity of a spousal or partner relationship. Their wants, needs, and desires vs yours. And don’t forget that they are also going through the same inner pressure you are as they place their issues and burdens on themselves. Then there is your relationship with your child. Great or not, it will change. And even if their growth parallels yours, their safety, anxiety, and the pressure they put on themselves after they move out of the house is something you and they have to understand and be ready for.
Out of all the things I could have focused my time on and written a book about, for example, the mating habits of the Western Gray Squirrel, this topic was the topic I felt needed to be discussed and understood by parents. Is Empty Nesting a big deal? I unequivocally say YES! Is it just an easy transition? I unequivocally say NO! I agree it’s more challenging for some parents than others. But I have to say, and this is a big statement – It will be an easier transition for anyone who reads The Empty Nest Blueprint. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t have written it.
One last thing, did you know the Western Gray Squirrel has a bushy tail as long as the rest of its body? I now see book number two in my future.