Why We’re Rebranding Empty Nest
I know that Empty Nest is an actual thing. It happens when a parent’s last child leaves home and it’s a phrase that carries connotations of sadness and loss, depression and pain.
I recently dropped my last kids off at college and find myself in a house that bears my children’s certain imprint, without their presence. Is it sad? Yes (resoundingly yes!) and I will fully admit to more than one session of self-absorbed pity and, if I’m being honest, maybe even a good old-fashioned sob or two. But is this really the end of the world? Absolutely NOT! And thus I find myself ranting about the phrase Empty Nest. Frankly I find the phrase to be, well, pitiful. I’ve heard it a lot lately (why are people so obsessed with talking about it?) and nobody says it joyfully, instead they tilt their head to the side and assume a somber expression, like I’ve contracted some kind of terminal disease.
Which leaves me wondering, are we really meant to plummet into a dark hole of doom because our laundry rooms are actually clean for the first time in decades?
The Victory Lap
While I did find it tempting to plummet, what I ultimately realized is that our children leaving our house is really an occasion that calls for gratitude and joy. We’ve done our jobs as parents; we raised hard-working, conscientious, good willed humans who are independent and ready to tackle new challenges. We should be celebrating!
And so in our house, we’ve done away with the phrase Empty Nest and have made way for a new concept that we’re calling: The Victory Lap. It’s a phrase that conjures images of smiles and enthusiasm and, sometimes, even a little bit of a mischievous twinkle in the eye. At it’s core, The Victory Lap calls for a healthy dose of gratitude.
Again, I reiterate and fully acknowledge that it is sad when our final children leave the house – especially if, like me, you happen to like your kids. But it’s also time to celebrate them …and YOU! They are off on a new adventure, why shouldn’t we be as well? The good news is that we live in an amazing time when stay at home moms (or dads) can reinvent themselves. We can immerse ourselves in community or a forgotten career. There is more awareness than ever for non-profit efforts that promote goodness in the world and there are plenty of opportunities to pick up gig service.
Heck, if you’re really desperate, come work for us 🙂
So what are you going to do with your Victory Lap? (Spoiler alert, mine involves spending more time practicing gratitude!)