If you’re like me, your sweet babies have just left for school again. Leaving you to an empty house. I, not so lovingly, refer to this as our “seasonal empty nest.”
A traditional empty nest is when the children are grown and out of the house leaving the parents to go through a sort of mourning/period of confusion as to what to do with an empty house, and the “seasonal empty nest” is very similar. The “seasonal empty nest” is when you’re in a long distance blended family and only have your stepchildren for certain periods of time during the year leaving you to go through periods of transition from having a full house back to just the two of you as a couple.
This transition is one of the worst parts of being in a long distance blended family.
I know, for me, this is a really hard transition. It takes me quite awhile to go from a busy schedule with two kids, to just me and Dan.
The mornings get calmer. The nights get quieter. The mood seems to get a little dimmer.
I would like to say that it gets easier after a few transitions, but, at least for me, it hasn’t gotten any easier yet.
But I have a few tricks that Dan and I have found make the transition period a little more bearable. Hopefully these will be able to help you with the seasonal empty nest blues.
For us, the kids normally leave on a Saturday morning. So, we have found that our best way to keep from moping around the house that whole weekend is to plan something the same weekend the kids go back. That way we have something to get us out of the house, and we usually make it something we couldn’t do with the kids. That way we get something to look forward to. For example, in the past we have planned to have dinner and drinks at our favorite local bar, a romantic evening at the winery, or go to the movies and see a movie that’s not animated! Lol Having something planned that we can look forward to makes the weekend a little less miserable. (Even if you end up talking about the kids the entire time, at least you can’t break down and ugly cry in public.)
Be with People
During the first little bit without the kids I like to make sure we are surrounded by people who love us. We may not have our sweet babies for a little while, but it is nice to know how many people you still have around you that want you to be happy. So go get your nails done with your mom. Go to dinner with your in-laws. Have a paint party with your girlfriends. Invite your couple friends over for football on a Saturday. Just find something to do with people you enjoy being around. Remember that life goes on, and you need to make the most of it. This means to laugh and be happy. It may not feel like it for a little while, but life does goes on. You want the kids to always enjoy life (whether it’s during your time or not), so you need to do the same.
Have Wine Ready
My last little tip – make sure your wine rack is full and have a big bag of chocolates handy. (Or your fav thing to indulge in.) Cause trust me, you’re gonna need it. When you break down in the middle of their bedroom floor after putting up their last little bit of laundry left. When you find a hidden toy tucked in the couch cushions and it brings all those emotions flooding back. You are going to want to let all those tears flow and let the sadness out. And you are going to want a glass of wine (or bottle) handy.
Stepmama, you got this.
It’s going to be hard. It’s going to suck.
But eventually, it does get better.
You get back into the routine of life without them there.
Just hang in there.
Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.
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