We're now a week into having two of our three kids out of the house, and with the unexpected passing of my dad on top of it, it's a hard season, to say the least. While some might need to take to their bed for a few weeks, I quite honestly welcome the distraction of visually updating a few spaces in my own home including our sons' rooms. I think of it as reverse nesting, the other side of raising kids, and I'm leaning into it wholeheartedly to make sure I don't end up under the covers for weeks :)
We are deep in the middle of a big transition and life change, after being caretakers of our two oldest bambinos for 18 years. The next time they come home, they'll have been adulting for months - not fully formed, but adults nonetheless. I plan on retiring some of their childhood artwork, moving their desks out to give more elbow room, and updating their pillows and bedding to make their rooms feel still familiar, but elevated. We want them to feel welcome as they come to visit over the next few years, and for decades to come hopefully, and know that we truly see that they have grown up, and we acknowledge that with their spaces.
If you're about to send your little (big) people out into the world, I will share advice a friend of mine shared with me - spend a few nights away from the house once you have dropped them off. Don't go directly back home. You're going to come back to a quiet, emptier home, and you have the rest of your life to experience that. We spent a few days at one of our favorite hotels close enough to campus to be available for last minute Target trips and anything else they might need, and then headed back home.
I consider myself lucky to have strategically planned a slower summer that allowed us to spend quality time together (when they gave me the time of day, ha). As bittersweet as this whole new phase of life is, I am so grateful for these kind, intelligent, and good hearted young men we've been blessed to raise. I won't miss the messes, but I will miss their presence in our home more than I can say. I have three more years with our last kid at home, and I will relish it so, so much.
In the meantime, I'm busying myself by doing things I love during my newly found free time on weekends, planning their room refreshes and at least one other major update to our abode. More on that another day. It may sound strange but I've been decluttering daily, a little at a time. Its soothingly cathartic to me...closets, drawers and cabinets, no space is off limits.
If you're going through this transition too, all I can say is just be good to yourself. Chances are you've spent the past 18+ years not putting your own oxygen mask on enough so now is your time to treat yourself! Take a class, join a club (pickleball, mahjong, name your game!), put yourself out there and learn something new. The world is your oyster, now go own it! And if you also welcome a distraction and need someone to commiserate with, send me a DM. Or if you're ready to revamp your home or plan your next design project, reach out to us. We can reverse nest together!