The kids are coming home to fill the Empty Nest for Thanksgiving.

Here is a reality check to make the weekend fun and connected:

  • They aren\’t who they were when they left.
  • They have gotten more autonomous.
  • They want time with their friends.
  • They don\’t want to plan far ahead.
  • They haven\’t slept much.
  • They ate lousy food.
  • They have homework.
  • They don\’t like a lot of questions.
  • They love the comfort and memories of home sweet home.
  • They love you deeply.
  • You are cleaning, looking at recipes, marketing, cooking, and adding beauty to your home.
  • You are so excited that work is slipping in the background.
  • Your other kids want time with their big sis or big brother and are nagging you.
  • Your pets are feeling the change and a little angry that she/he went away.
  • You have a list of chores that you expect done.
  • You have fears of battles about curfew, time with the family, sharing the car, cleaning up, and not being awakened with loud music and friends over.
  • You have memories of playing games, singing, cooking and baking together, shooting hoops, and watching the games.
  • You miss love ones who are no longer here.
  • You feel tearful that it could be grandma or grandpa\’s last Thanksgiving.
  • You love your kids so much that you singing in the shower, again.
  • Bottom line is : THANK GOODNESS FOR TIME TOGETHER.. Talk with your precious ones before they get home about some of your top needs, even if you have to send it via email because they are too busy to chat.

    In the moment, pause, look around, and take in the beauty and love of your family.

    Practice letting the little issues drop and the big appreciation rise to what really matters in the moment.

    We aren\’t the Cleavers and we aren\’t Martha. We are unique families on the path of learning to love and be loved.


  • Keep a basket of cards, pick up stixs, jacks
  • Choose three favorite CD\’s to play
  • Make a basket of quotations to pass around the table. Each person reads one out loud and they also get to not read if they choose not to. They keep their quotation.
  • Have a container of balls outside
  • Extra keys for the front door and car
  • IF NO ONE IS COMING HOME and you are feeling the blues for good reason:

    • Get movies to watch at home
    • Read your local paper and see what the community is offering.
    • Make holiday cards ahead of time
    • Go outside and read a book you can get lost in for inspiration.
    • Light a candle every evening.
    • Shift your perception when you can that maybe this holiday is just for you and you are being spared some drama.
    • Write on the message board of and you will have support there for sure.
    • Keep Kleenex with aloe in it and let those tears fall. They won\’t drop forever.


    • Send your story to me:
    • Invite me to speak in your community
    • Check the web for new contests and prizes in December.
    • Post your favorite gifts that you gave and got
    • Where are you going on vacation?
    • Forward this newsletter to a friend


    Thank you for being part of our growing empty nest support community

    Natalie Caine Founder of Empty Nest Support Services

    Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.