10 Reasons to Celebrate My Empty Nest

by | Jun 21, 2017 | Inspiration


For almost 28 years I’ve been mothering. Complete with the sleepless nights, runny noses, dirty diapers, teething, potty training, fit throwing, sibling quarrels, starting school, running late for school, homework for 8,640 days of school, teenage drama, acne, braces, puberty, the awkward years, puppy love, driving cars,  wrecking cars, dating, first loves, heartache from first loves, stitches, broken bones, broken hearts,  graduations, jobs, loosing jobs, tattoos, piercings, getting apartments, getting married… You get the idea. It’s a trip and it ain’t for sissies.

For these past 28 years I’ve identified myself as a mother and that’s pretty much it. Raising four kids will that to ya. I have dedicated every minute, hour, day, week, month and year to being Colton, Kelsey, Cassady and Caleb’s mom. Although parenting is the single hardest job in the world, it is also the most rewarding, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Now that we have all of the niceties out of the way, let’s get down to the real point of this post.

The empty nest.

Last week our youngest daughter got married to her prince charming. Soon, they will be moving to Iowa and leaving me. Four weeks ago our baby graduated from high school. Soon he will be moving to work with his brother is Burleson Texas and leaving me. Last week our oldest daughter left me to embark on a new adventure that will keep her away for at least a year.

So where does that leave me?

With an empty nest.

Can I just say that I don’t really like the term “empty nest”…or maybe I don’t like when it’s used in such a negative or depressing way. Last spring a little mamma bird decided to build her nest in a hanging fern on my front porch. For days on end I watched her work her little heart out with such dedication and determination until she had built the perfect place to raise her babies. Soon thereafter, five little eggs could be found nestled amongst the intricate tapestry of leaves and twigs. In no time the eggs were replaced with five hungry mouths to feed. By the end of the summer season, the birds had left the nest, the momma had moved on and the fern was on its last leg. When I took the fern down to throw it away, I remembered the nest. Like an archeologist, I thoughtfully pealed back the dead and dried foliage. There it was. The empty nest. But you know what? It wasn’t a sad sight at all. It was actually very heartwarming. That little empty nest symbolized love, dedication, devotion, growth, challenges and victories. It was a symbol of time well spent. It was a symbol of a job well done.

In just a few short months, I will be staring down my own empty nest. So, instead of feeling sad and lost I have decided to celebrate it and start doing all the things I haven’t been able to do for the past 28 years

Reason Number 1: Much less worrying! Halleluiah! Yeah I know it is a momma’s job to worry about her kids until the day she draws her last breath BUT it has to be easier when they are not right under your nose right? Please don’t take this away from me. Just nod politely and agree.

Reason Number 2: My house will stay clean. I cannot even imagine what it’s going to feel like to clean my house and then it stay that way. Seriously, I cannot wrap my brain around the sensation but I’m sure will to give it a try.

Reason Number 3: I get to eat ice cream. Anytime, anywhere. When pillaging teenagers live in your home no food is sacred or safe. If it looks good, they eat it. If it doesn’t look good they eat it. If it’s moldy and green they eat it. If you hide it, they sniff it out and then they eat it. As soon as the last kid moves out, I am buying the most expensive ice cream I can find…and eat it.

Reason Number 4: I get to play chase with Mr. wonderful. Anytime, anywhere ☺ no explanation required.

Reason Number 5: I can exercise without my kids making fun of me or telling me how to do it better. I should have a beach body in no time.

Reason Number 6: I get to take trips! Short trips, long trips, spur of the moment trips. Trips to see Hot Springs, to Gulf Shores, to Texas to see my grand babies, Weekend trips with Mr. wonderful and road trips with girlfriends…you get the idea…lots of trips.

Reason Number 7: More stuff for me. Now, I know this probably sounds pretty selfish on my part. That’s because it is! I have been un-selfish for 28 years so now I am going to make up for lost time and do some selfish things. My daughter has only been married a week and I have already bought a new Michael Kors bag and my first iPhone. It is red. Selfish red. Stay tuned…

Reason Number 8: In keeping with the selfish them e, an empty nest means more data for me. That’s right, we do not have unlimited data. We live where data is like gold so we all been on a strict limited data allowance. We even have our very own data police officer that keeps track of our daily usage. So, my hope is that Netflix, streaming music and you tube cooking videos are in my near future.

Reason Number 9: Anticipation about the next chapter. There is nothing more exciting than knowing something good is about to happen. How do I know something good is in my future? Because God’s word tells us that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord.  As one door shuts, another door always opens, and I am excited about what door God has prepared for me to walk through next. That door has not been revealed to me yet but I know It’s going to be perfect because everything He does is perfect. So exciting!

Reason Number 10: These humans.


These are my humans. They are the four best things that have ever happened to me outside of Mr. Wonderful. They fulfill me, challenge me, surprise me, stretch me, confuse me, excite me and love me. They also make me laugh my face off. Colton, Kelsey, Cassady and Caleb are the reason I can celebrate. Because of them, I lay my head on my pillow at night and know that I have deposited four amazing people into this world. And they make this world a better place.

Thanks for reading, Tonya


Tonya is a mother of four, a wife of 32 years, and always finds the laughter in everyday life. Learn more.