Thriving in the Empty Nest: A Guide to Post-Parenting Life

Quiet. Calm. A feeling of emptiness. Sound familiar? This very silence of an empty nest can be a stark contrast to the busyness of life that once filled your home. The constant buzz of children’s laughter, the never-ending cycle of school runs, homework, and sport practices, the impromptu get-togethers, and the ceaseless whirl of parenthood.

The Feeling of an Empty Nest

The house which used to be a bustling hub of activity, now echoes with quietness. Your role, that of a full-time parent, constantly busy, always needed, now feels different. This is the reality for many when they encounter the ’empty nest.’ But what if we told you that this silence, this emptiness, could be the key to finding your purpose in life? The next chapter of your life.

That’s what an empty nest can feel like. When the kids have grown and flown, they leave behind a silence that can be startling. But what if we told you that this emptiness could be the key to finding your purpose?

Redefining the Term Empty Nest

Let’s redefine the term ’empty nest syndrome.’ It’s not a syndrome, but a phase of later life filled with opportunity. When the noise and chaos of raising children subside, it’s time to rediscover yourself.

I have firsthand experience with this. Our children’s age spread kept our family home bustling for over 30 years. This meant we adhered to an unending school routine, answered countless questions, and constantly coaxed them to complete tasks. We always had a string of destinations, be it school, sports events, friends’ houses, or holiday planning. Not to mention the endless baking for both home and events.

When my youngest son left home at 18, it left me with a sense of emptiness, but also a newfound freedom. I now held the space to do what I wanted when I wanted. It could be kickstarting my business, enjoying breakfast at my convenience, and bidding farewell to battling school traffic. This was a freedom I’d been looking forward to for a long time.

Reflections of an Empty Nest

Consider this – for years, your children demanded your attention. Now, you finally have the freedom to concentrate on yourself. It’s time to reshape your identity for the post-children-at-home phase.

Defining the ‘at-home’ part is crucial, as your kids never truly leave you, they just move out from under the same roof. They’re cultivating their independence, making their own decisions, and maturing. Yet, they will forever remain your children.

After all, haven’t you spent their entire lives preparing for this? You’ve been teaching them to be independent and make choices that, as adults, they can be proud of. Now, it’s time to give yourself a hearty pat on the back and breathe a sigh of relief. You’ve successfully navigated through the most challenging part of your life.

Feeling Lost with an Empty Nest

With an empty nest, it’s common to feel lost initially. But remember, feeling lost is the first step to finding your way. Embrace this phase as a chance to explore new interests and passions for life’s second act.

Start by asking yourself: What have I always wanted to do? Maybe it’s a hobby you’ve put on hold or a career, a business or even donating your time that you’ve always dreamt about. With an empty nest, now is your chance to express yourself.

X twitterWith an empty nest, it’s common to feel lost initially. But remember, feeling lost is the first step to finding your way in your next chapter.
Gayle Maree
(Click to Tweet quote)

Finding Purpose in an Empty Nest

But how do you go about finding your purpose in the empty nest? Here are some tips:


Self-reflection is a powerful tool during this time of transition. Allocate quiet moments to delve deep into your core.

  1. What are the interests that you’ve kept on hold?
  2. Determine the values you hold dear
  3. Define the activities that bring you joy and fulfillment

Reflecting on these questions can help you understand your true aspirations and can guide your next steps. This introspective journey can also help you appreciate your individuality outside the roles you’ve been playing, particularly as a parent.


An empty nest gives you the freedom to experiment with new activities and experiences. Ever wanted to learn to paint, join a book club, or start a fitness routine? Now’s your chance. Allow yourself to try new things and push your boundaries. You may discover a new hobby, passion, or even a new career path. The key is to remain open-minded and embrace this opportunity to learn and grow.

Mental Health:

Transitioning into an empty nest can be emotionally challenging. It’s normal to grieve the end of a significant phase of your life. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to experience them. However, it’s equally important to focus on your mental wellness during this time. Engage in activities that uplift your mood, practice mindfulness, and consider seeking professional help if feelings of sadness persist. Remember, it’s okay to say goodbye to one phase while welcoming the next.


Sharing your experiences, fears, and hopes with others going through the same phase can be immensely comforting. Join support groups or online communities for empty nesters. These platforms not only provide you with a space to express your feelings but also allow you to gain inspiration and insights from others’ experiences. Connecting with peers can make you feel less isolated and provide a sense of camaraderie during this transition.


With more time and space in your life, you have a wonderful opportunity to explore and redefine your identity. You are more than just a parent – you’re an individual with unique interests, strengths, and dreams. Use this time to rediscover who you are. Envision your life beyond parenthood and take steps towards creating a life that aligns with this new identity. Whether it’s pursuing a long-forgotten dream, embarking on a new career, or dedicating time to a cause you’re passionate about, this is your time to explore and embrace your true self.

An Empty Nest Symbolizes New Beginnings

Remember, an empty nest doesn’t signify an empty life. It’s just the beginning of a new, exciting chapter where you get to focus on you. So, embrace this transition with optimism and curiosity, and you’ll find it can be a rewarding and enriching journey.

The empty nest phase is an opportunity for self-discovery and growth. It’s a chance to redefine your identity and find your purpose. This isn’t the end of your story, but the start of a new chapter.

So, embrace the silence of the empty nest. It’s not a sign of emptiness, but a symbol of opportunity. An opportunity to rediscover yourself, to find your purpose, and to redefine your identity. The empty nest is not a syndrome, but a gateway to a new, fulfilling life.

Gayle Maree soul guidance

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