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Moms and the Empty Nest Years - Why it's Never too Late to Design a Life You Love

business empty nest moms Mar 12, 2024

Your kids are getting older, or they’ve flown the nest, busy living their own lives. They need our guidance less and gradually, though it might feel quite sudden, we find ourselves disoriented.

Accustomed to reacting to needs at hand, we have few impulses for creating from within. We have to develop habits of thinking that take a new idea to fruition. We’ve been problem solvers and coordinators of other people’s dreams and needs for so long, our minds are not wired for contemplation about our own lives, or at least the synapses in place have not fired for awhile. The connections that make invention grow to something tangible are somewhat dormant. 

What if, in the quiet empty spaces, we dared to believe that dreams and ventures as beautiful as nurturing our children are waiting upon our action? What if God has plans for our lives in the empty nest years that just need tending to emerge? 

I spent time in the garden this past weekend, cleaning up the dead leaves and branches, pulling the hardy weeds that insisted through the winter frost, and covering the little plants and surrounding soil with 3 layers:

  1. Cardboard to keep out the weeds that will surely come.
  2. Compost to feed the soil, preparing it to sustain the herbs, flowers, and plants ready to emerge or be planted once the days warm.
  3. Mulch to insulate and protect.

When the intense days of mothering and managing end, it can feel like desolate winter. We wonder when spring will come and if the blooms will be as beautiful as the garden we remember. We’re not sure what to plant next. In theses times, it helps to have some help, fellowship and counsel. 

  1. Grief, uncertainty, and confusion will challenge us as we reinvent our lives. Having a covering of community and support to process these natural emotions is crucial. We need a friend, coffee dates, and deep conversations to navigate the new season.
  2. Encouragement, inspiration and guidance feed our hearts and minds, reminding us that we have so much to give in this new chapter. All the wisdom, experience, skills and strength we gained over the years can be put to good use, nurturing in a new way if we can discern it.
  3. Prayer, camaraderie, and new learning guard us from discouragement as we grow.

Using my imagination and taking lessons from nature always helps me to clarify what’s going on in my heart and mind. I hope this image of the garden resonates with you today and encourages you that this season of becoming a new woman in many ways is a normal part of life. Nothing has gone wrong. It’s just a new season. Pushing up from the cold ground to eventually bloom is not easy but it is meant to be. We were made to bloom, even if the garden looks different.

You are not alone, though the quiet house and, dare I admit, boredom, suggest otherwise. Truth is, we need each other. Just as we encouraged our children and lent our confidence to them, now we need that same care.

So reach out to a friend today. Start a mastermind of moms with big kids, go on a treasure hunt to find all the meaningful activities you CAN do now, all the gifts, passions and skills you CAN bring to the world just in new ways.

 If you know you want to start a new business or ministry, join the Design your Business Workshop which starts again on March 25. It’s a special opportunity to get 6 weeks of 1:1 coaching with me and walk through a process of developing your idea in a way that will bring clarity and confidence.

You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

The amazing thing about the cardboard, compost, mulch layering is that eventually, water, weather and time melt them together. Instead of awkward, sliding layers of stiff cardboard, dusty compost and shifting bits of wood, they settle into a rich layer, feeding the soil, loosening it, bringing abundant worms and feeding the growing plants. Turns out, blooming where you are planted is so much more fruitful when you give yourself what you always gave so generously to your children. 

Click image below to find out more about the Design your Business Workshop!