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Empty Nest—The Count Down

Empty Nest — The Count Down

By Natalie Caine M.A.
NABBW’s Empty Nest Expert

Packing them up, checking the list, finalizing details, as your children are almost in the dorm.

You are shocked that this life you have had with your precious one has gone so fast.

Empty nest is not for long because they do come back, but for now, that is not what you are thinking and feeling.

It is so normal to feel tearful, even having the ugly cries. The role you love is instantly going to change when you come back home from that hug at the dorm.College-articleLarge

You know the role you played as a parent and who they were as your child will be different. Change is lonely and scary at times.

For now, plan for you:

  • Focus on what you need when the house is silent.
  • Get some videos.
  • Have coffee and talk time scheduled with a friend.
  • Get nurtured and rest.
  • Put a flowering plant in your bedroom.
  • Start your journal.
  • Pause before you text or instant message them. Do you need to call a friend for comfort and let your child be?
  • Ask a friend to email you in the mornings and evenings just to have some connection and not isolation the first week.
  • Write a list of what is fun for you and what you are good at when you have the energy to dream again.

At first, you might be feeling immobile and simply grieving. Normal for sure. Ask for help.

Take good care of yourself and be gentle in this major transition.

One last thing: These days, many colleges realize how hard this transition can be for parents. Many of them even have formal “parting ceremonies” for families experiencing this major life transition. Check if your student\’s college offers one.)


Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What\’s Next?

Empty Nest Support Services

(800) 446-3310 or (818) 763-0188

Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.



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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.

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