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Natalie Caine
Empty Nest Support Services - The Founder

Since 1982, Natalie creates and facilitates women support groups in the areas of life changes, including dating, careers, marriage, divorce, parenting, illness, loss, and dreams coming true.

Empty Nesters Asked, What Now?

Parents have called from home and airports crying from the big hug goodbye at the college dorms. They say they can't believe how fast the daily parenting has gone and wonder what to do now with their feelings and free time.

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.” Gail Sheehy

Change makes us vulnerable. Part of the what now, question includes joys and challenges.

You have not been taught to make friends with the unknown. I know it isn't easy because we don't have practice or many conversations about making friends with the unknown. I feel it is key in handling changes/transitions in our lives.

Begin a dialogue with your inner world by saying, “I have no idea what is next for me and I feel nervous, anxious, sad, lonely, etc.” Saying what is up for you daily releases the tension and helps you deal with the unknown.

Remind yourself by saying, “I don't like feeling these feelings and being so out of control with what I will be doing with my life and I also know I have had to do this even before empty nest, so I will be ok.”

Acknowledge all the value you add in life. So often we hear we need to just do this or change that or get this…. We don't have to be on a journey of having to fix ourselves. We need to love the life we have today and still say the dreams out loud that we are hoping to reach.

Feel your feelings whenever and wherever they emerge. Feelings aren't monsters. They are feelings that all humans have and need to get support in expressing.

Practice putting you back in the center of your life. I mean focus on you now. What nurtures you? What invigorates you? Who do you like spending time with? What did you love to do before marriage, career, and children? Go back to those after school days and take a peak. Did you like to be outside, ride your bike, and have a friend over, play piano, write, doodle, fish, or daydream? There are clues from your past that will feed your question of now what.

Take good care,


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