Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday Feature: Not-so-Empty Nest

Lately, grouchy has been my go-to mood more often than I care to admit. I’d grown accustomed to a sort of ownership of the house when everyone else was at school or at work but, until recently, our small house has been full on a daily basis.

At first, I was grateful for every day that my husband worked from home and thrilled to have our daughter safely back under our roof. I’m still glad we’re all here together, but, some days, I struggle with what that means for my daily rhythms, especially since fall semester started and my deadline-driven work intensified.

As it turns out, I'm not selfish and spoiled (well, maybe a little), nor am I alone. Way back in April, Oprah magazine published an article about how empty nest parents and their young adult children were adjusting to all being under the same roof again. What I love most about this article is that it opens with the obvious -- the love is there -- but that doesn't mean the adjustments are simple.

When my daughter left for college (and things were simpler), I couldn't think about never having her home again. It took several years to baby step myself into that reality until, as her wings grew in full and strong (figuratively, of course), I became comfortable with it. 

And now we're in a new reality.

I'm grateful for every day we wake up healthy and together but now, I also understand that I'm not alone in that which makes me grouchy. Even better, perhaps I can expend the energy I was wasting on guilt and self-disgust on something more useful.

As soon as my husband stops rattling the plastic bag every time he reaches in for another bite of his snack.

Some things don't change.

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