December 1, 2015

A Surprising Twist

As I was getting the house prepared for Thanksgiving, I was reminded of just how much time it takes to get it all done. The cooking, the cleaning, and for us, the decorating just a day later. It's a lot to do. Not to mention the pick-ups (David picked up both girls because I was cooking) and the drop-offs (we split it this time). We had a very full extended weekend.

Whenever the girls come home, I make sure I wash their sheets, vacuum their room, and try to have as many goodies on hand as possible. But that's what mothers do, we nest. Especially during the holidays. And most especially when their daughters haven't been home for over a month.

Everything got a good workoutthe washing machine, the oven, the dishwasher. And then it dawned on me. David and I hadn't run the dishwasher in more than a week. The only reason the washer was used more than once was because I was washing sheets, not clothes. And I couldn't remember the last time I had to cook so much food. I can make a pot of whatever and have it last for days. We don't mind eating leftovers.

If there is any kind of bright side to this whole empty nest thing it's this: we are actually able to come home from work and do absolutely nothing if we want to.

I don't feel guilty about putting a full-course dinner on the table each night, and all of the daily cleaning I used to do has been pared down so much I often wonder if I'm neglecting my home.

I'm getting used to having the house clean all the time. I'm getting used to not having to cook every night. I'm getting used to the organized cabinets, the refrigerator not having to be fully stocked, the simplicity of our new nightly routine. The quiet.

No. I'm not getting used to the quiet. I liked the house filled with familiar voices. Especially female voices.

There may be a tiny upside to this whole empty nest thing, but I would gladly trade in my tidy, organized, semi-quiet house for the one filled with shoes and clothes strewn about, and giggly girls talking the night away.

P.S. You may also like A Magical Journey and Hiding Out.

Photo: Jake Stimpson


Karen said...

I'm struggling with an empty nest too. I don't like it one bit, but I've been reading your posts and finding a bit of comfort. All of the other blogs I read seem to talk about young children. You don't stop being a mother once your children grow up.


Anonymous said...

When my youngest left, I was terrified. It took a long time, but I too found a bit of light. I started to take care of me instead of taking care of everyone else. (Even though I love taking care of everyone else too.)


Wendy E Wrzos said...

My daughter is still home, but as she gets older I find myself nesting more and more, and trying to cherish the time with her, instead of sweating the small annoyances that crop up with a teenager.
I truly love being a mom, and while the times apart make me happy to be able to do what I want (or nothing at all) when she comes back, I appreciate the time together even more.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts (and family) with us.


Kimberly Merritt said...

Well, ladies. I can tell you this. I struggled with it before they left, after they left, and I imagine it will always will a struggle in one form or another. I wish you all well on your own journey's and I hope they always come back to you. :)