Dear Monica, Our youngest has moved out of the house to start college and I am trying to figure out how my husband and I are going to adapt to being back to life as just the two of us. Do you have any advice? -G.G., Jenkintown
Being an empty nester is certainly a major transition. You are going from the dynamic of always being pulled in multiple directions to just focusing on your self and your spouse. Although this seems daunting after so many years, the reality is that these could be the best years of your married life. Here are some positives to focus on.
- Quiet: When was the last time there was peace and quiet in your house? No kids and friends keeping you up all hours of the night. No yelling about homework and grade portals, and no worrying about curfews and spotty cell phone reception. You can lay your head to rest on your pillow at night thinking that what is out of sight is out of mind.
- Having a Clean House: Laundry for two! The quick clean up after a meal for two! The joy of waking up on Sunday morning and not finding crushed soda cans (with the accompanying orange dust of Cheetos) all around your house! Now you can invite guests over without furious prep work.
- Every Night Is Saturday Night: When you get home from work and you want to see a movie and grab a bite to eat, you can do so without any logistical planning. You can now have quality, one-on-one time to discuss topics beyond the kids. There is a whole new world out there to explore!
- Vacations: You no longer have to travel at the highest rate over winter or spring break. You can plan your dream vacation during the non-black out dates and make use of your frequent flyer miles.You can also sit with your spouse on the plane as opposed to fighting over who gets the seat next to the kid who gets air sick.
- More Space and Kinkier Sex. Once the kids move out, the first things that moms do is take over the closets in their bedrooms. Why not take your cues from Christian Grey and spice things up a little bit? Make one of the rooms into your private play room. If you really want to go all out, take an afternoon trip to an adult toy store and plan your fantasy room together. This is the time to rekindle the spontaneity of your courtship years. Chances are that there has been some monotony when it comes to the sex department. Now that you don’t have to worry about having your bedroom door kicked in by little ones, you are not obliged to be doing it only late at night or first thing in the morning.
You and your spouse have been transported back in time to the days of love, lust and freedom. Yes, it is sad to see the kids go and realize that you are middle-aged, but you are embarking on a new phase of life. Think of the commercial where the two elderly people are holding hands walking as the younger couple passes them by. Be happy that you have someone to hold hands with down your new path.