Life After Kids

When Veronica and I began to think about our life after raising kids one of the first things we did was Google “empty nesters.”

We wanted to see if anyone else was looking at this the same way that we were. With a feeling of “isn’t it great that the kids have moved out, and we’ll have life to ourselves again?” To be untethered and free. To wander the globe. To be GypsyNesters instead of empty-nesters.

But no, just about everything we could find was lamenting how terrible it is that the kids aren’t around anymore. Even worse, the biggest item on the first page we clicked into was an enormous ad for an… CONTINUE READING >>

GypsyNester Love Birds

When Veronica and I began to think about our lives after raising kids, one of the first things we did was Google “empty nesters.”

We wanted to see if anyone else was looking at this the same way that we were. With a feeling of “isn’t it great that the kids have moved out and we’ll have life to ourselves again?” To be untethered and free. To wander the globe. To be GypsyNesters instead of empty-nesters.

But no, just about everything we could find was lamenting how terrible it is that the kids aren’t around anymore. A lot of self-help, and self-pity (not that we haven’t gone there ourselves as proven here and here). We don’t personally respond well to self-help, we prefer a kick in the butt.

Even worse, the biggest item on the first page we clicked into was an enormous ad for an Alzheimer’s patch.

Holy crap! We just finished raising our kids, we’re not dying! If twenty some odd years of child rearing has caused some memory loss (or eyesight, hearing, mobility or… um… I forget…) by golly, let’s count it as a plus and learn to like it.

Do we really want to remember every battle fought along the way? I think not. We’ll gladly let our memories fade just enough to color the overall picture, and recall it all as pretty good stuff.

Raising kids is hard work and we couldn’t comprehend all of these people grieving the end of the task. Granted, continuation of the species is one of life’s prime motivations. Humans are after all, animals. But unlike the other critters, when we have finished the job of rearing the offspring, we’re able to have some fun. Accept a big pat on the back. Job well done.

Our kids have grown into full-sized Homo Sapiens fully capable of feeding themselves. The time has come to let them do their own hunting and gathering. Trust me, when they get hungry enough, they will find food. But they have to learn to do it for themselves, otherwise they’ll end up like zoo animals. If tigers get fed every day they never learn to hunt. Then when they’re released into the wild, they starve.

Personally, we taught our little cubs that if they get really hungry, they can always kill and eat a bag of Ramen noodles.

They’ve gotten pretty good at it too.

So now the chicks have flown and we enter a new phase of our lives. Of course we have any number of conflicting feelings, and these days even the smallest emotion or complaint must be labeled as a syndrome. It was right there on my screen, on Google, in bold type, EMPTY NEST SYNDROME.

How in the heck can kids moving on with their own lives be a syndrome? Shouldn’t that be like BREATHING OXYGEN SYNDROME? It’s so crazy that right this second several pharmaceutical giants are probably frantically retesting some drug that was originally intended to treat a truly dreadful disease, just so that they can market it as the only way to escape the treacherous death grip of EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. I mean seriously, does anyone believe an army of researchers ever originally set out to find a cure for the dreaded Restless Leg Syndrome or Chronic Dry Eye?

But I digress, (yet another syndrome perhaps?) let’s get back to the original dilemma. Shouldn’t we be excited about this portion of life? Most of us have made more than a few sacrifices to get here, so we say, stick a fork in us, we’re done.

It’s not selfish to take a little time out for ourselves after surviving three teenagers, it’s insane not to.

With this in mind we decided to sell the empty nest (and everything else we owned), set out on a journey, and chronicle our discoveries. Pulling the ripcord on the daily grind, we threw caution to the wind, quit our jobs, put on our vagabond shoes, and went gypsy.

As we go we are conquering old fears, seeing new sights, reestablishing bonds with family and friends, and transforming our relationships with our three grown children from parent-child to adult-to-adult.

Most importantly, by experiencing new things together, we have rediscovered in ourselves the fun-loving youngsters who fell in love three decades prior.

David, GypsyNester.com
Author of Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All

Your turn: What do you have to say? Do you agree or disagree with our philosophy? Let us know by leaving a comment!

171 thoughts on “Life After Kids”

  1. Loved your story? Do you think a 74 year old, not ready for a wheel chair, could write a successful Travel Blog?

  2. Woo Hoo! You are my newest role models!! We are in our early to mid 40s and we have two teens(13 and 15). Of course we love them so very very much–of course we have enjoyed the wonderful years of raising them–of course we will miss them terribly when they leave–of course we look at their baby pictures wistfully and think, “Where did the time go?”. BUT…We are now in the countdown phase: 3 years with the oldest and 5 years with the youngest, then it is OUR TIME!!! The goal is to get them raised to adulthood–the goal is to teach them to BE adults who stand on their own two feet–the goal is to get to the end of the job of parenting and LET GO!! We have very independent streaks that run deep inside us–we raised our kids the same way. We flew away from our families’ nests when we were “of age” and we never looked back–we want our kids to do the same thing! Soon it will be time for the next generation to fly away and begin lives of their own–and then we can get down to the business of living the REST of our lives!! Great blog!

  3. Hi gypsynester how refreshing to read a positive story on adults growing and leaving, my three are spread out in different places and I have just convinced the eighteen year old to consider a house share, I see this as a positive and feel he is not reaching his potential at home, he seems too comfortable and is not working but studying, it just seems right and we have a good relationship and have things we want to do. A lot of people have a real difficulty with our aim to empty the best and feel we should be keeping everyone at home or least a home for everyone. We are always there for them and happy to help out but feel this is our time. Thanks for the post

  4. Thank you…thank you, THANK YOU! Did I say, “thank you”, yet? lol- I have spent the last 34 years raising my six kids, the last one is 19 and moved out a few months ago. My husband and I, thankfully, have a wonderful relationship- although we can’t afford to retire…well, he can’t, haha- so there won’t be any ‘pulling up stakes and taking off for parts unknown’, although it would be awesome! I’m more at the point in my life now, where I’m trying to figure out who I am now- I’m not ‘Mom’ in the technical sense, not like I have been all these years- so now I’m trying to find the ‘me’ I was before I had kids…and it’s interesting, to be sure! Not easy, but…lol. It’s nice to see a site like this where it isn’t all about the ‘syndrome’ and all of the cures and pills for it- I’m sick to bits about a syndrome and a drug for all of the most normal, natural aspects of life, you know? So thanks again for putting this up- I was having a bit of a day today, and this was what I needed! Again…heh heh, thanks!

    1. Glad to have you along with us. We always say that you don’t need to be as crazy as we were and sell everything to take off around the world. Just try new things and enjoy life. There are always great attractions nearby too, that can make for a fantastic GypsyNester weekend getaway.

  5. I recently became an empty nester and have to say I am totally fine with it. I have always been of the belief that our job as parents is to give our kids the wings to spread and fly away. My husband had to wait until he was 66…what was he thinking marrying a significantly younger woman with two small children ??? Anyway, we were planning a big “no nest” adventure that was scheduled to begin this summer but had to delay it for at least a year. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out 🙂 Thanks for sharing via Midlife Bloggers !

  6. I wish my husband and I could not work and just travel and enjoy one another. I am in deep depression and not having children around to care for is making my depression worse. I gave my all to raising my four children. They are gone, for the most part — one still at home — age 20, having trouble finding his own path in life & my depression does not help. I have grandchildren, which I will be with all day tomorrow – but that really wears me out. I cannot seem to find my place, my gifting, nothing good about me to add to this world. We do not have money, so my husband works all the time: 12-14 hours days, usually 6 days a week. So, I am very lonely. Well, we moved from OH (where I lived all my life & had many friends) to FL 8 years ago. I had two terrible jobs and have now been unemployed for 3 years and don’t know what to do with myself, which brings on stress and depression. I sit alone in my apartment, lonely and isolated. My son sleeps most the time as I think he is also suffering depression. My other three are doing well. I do not like my life after children. I need to find my life. Otherwise, life really is not worth living. I wish it were different. I miss my children terribly and I miss my husband as I hardly get to spend time with him. Have had a hard time adjusting to FL. What to do? I want to move back to Ohio, but hubby says no because he loves the weather here. But I have friends and family in Ohio and one of my sons lives there and my daughter will soon be leaving FL to go back to Ohio as well. My grandchildren live in FL though. Money is a big problem, which puts a damper on everything. I should be working full time myself. Enough complaints. Just wishing I could find the answer to enjoying my life after children and when all my good friends live in Ohio and I live in FL.

    1. Hello Martha – are you seeking help for your depression? It’s hard to do at first, but is so worth it – you have so much to give and a beautiful family to enjoy. Some transitions in life are difficult to embrace without help – we’ve all had them. We’re going to send out messages to folks that can help you and we will be contacting you by email with some resources soon. Hang in there!

      1. Yes, by all means seek professional help. I did, years ago and it made all the difference. Life will always have ups and downs, but you don’t have to stay in the deep dark hole of depression. You can reach out.

        1. I have tried professional help for the past 18 years. They have put me on every drug out there. It just seems I trade one set of problems for another set. I want to be medication free!! I have had some therapy in the past that has helped some. Right now money and insurance is a problem and I cannot get any counseling or therapy. Still on some medication, but want to be free from it. It is very difficult to stop as I have tried 3 times recently. I almost feel as though I need to go to a rehab place for the depressed people stuck on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds!!

    2. Hi Martha, I think you are right about getting a job. You would meet new friends and have a purpose. Maybe you could get involved in something that you like to do or find something new. Hang in there!

    3. We sent you a private email with some specific resources we’ve found and here are some other ideas we have for you:

      Volunteering may be the thing for you at this time – you meet great people and we always get a boost by helping folks out: http://www.gypsynester.com/fcv.htm

      Also check out Life Reimagined, it’s a great online resource to help folks like us reach goals: http://lifereimagined.aarp.org/

      Here is an article that we like – there are some good points in it: http://www.wikihow.com/Recover-From-Empty-Nest-Syndrome

      Hang in there sweetie – we’re pulling for ya!

    4. Hi Martha,

      Sometimes the first step is the hardest. That first step may be finding a job that gets you out of the house and meeting new people…or volunteering…or going for a walk everyday to brighten your spirits. I wish you well and am pulling for you!

    5. Martha,
      Keep your chin up. Getting out of the house helps get your mind off thing and in a different direction.
      Florida is so beautiful! Travel locally to see some sites. You mention money is an issue. Maybe a few local field trips? These can be inexpensive and with some things free even.
      Remember.. You control your destiny and how you choose to feel. It doesn’t make you weak reaching out for help. It means you want to feel better.. You do this for yourself and then all the rest will fall into place. It’s time to focus on you, friend. You’ve raised beautiful children.. now take care of you.
      I wish you the very best! I know you can do this! ((Hugs))

    6. Martha, I was going to suggest volunteering, too. At first anyway. You can try out some different things, and one of them could lead to the perfect paying job. In the meantime you’re helping others and giving yourself the opportunity to recognize how fortunate you really are. Of course it’s hard to get up and do it. I’ve found 5HTP to help tremendously. It’s all natural and lifts the gray cloud just enough so you can imagine yourself going someplace. It’s the amino acid L-Tryptophan (yes, like in turkey, but it doesn’t make you sleepy because it’s pre-metabolized). Do your research and make sure there are no contraindications if you’re on other medications. I’m no doctor, but it’s helped me tremendously. 🙂 Wishing you well. You are not alone.

    7. Have you seen a doctor or clinic to get treatment for your depression? I developed depression years ago and in my case it was easily treated with medication. I moved from Boston to Florida 2 years ago and am finding it hard to adjust. I am single with no kids which is fine with me but it’s hard to make new friends in large part because I’m at the opposite end of the political and religious spectrum from most people in my community. I took a part-time job at one time when I was in a funk and it really helped. Ultimately I needed to quit so I could travel the way I want. I think seniors can get hired more easily in Florida than in other places I have lived so I hope you can muster the energy to try for a job which would probably help. But the most important thing to do first is to see a doctor. You don’t have to feel this way – there’s a lot of life ahead of you and you can find your way back to enjoying it.

    8. Martha, It sounds to me like what your experiencing is clinical depression. It’s an illness, just like any other. It does respond to treatment and the sufferers can get back to leading a full and happy life. I hope you’ll consider seeking help.
      Kimberly

      1. I have sought medical help for 18 years – unsuccessfully. I do not respond to the treatment I have received. I feel I have tried everything and every med that is out there. There has to be another way for me to be free.

    9. Martha, I am also an empty nester, missing my children. My husband couldn’t wait to leave our home of 21 years and move to this warm paradise. As much as I love it here, I also have days where I feel isolated. A few things that help me are exercise, writing down my feelings, getting outside and “positive affirmations”. I don’t pretend to know how to treat clinical depression, but you have been getting treatment for 18 years, so these little things can’t hurt.
      Go for a walk every day. Take your son. You’ll be outside and you’ll be exercising.Take in all the sights and sounds and experience them,don’t think about them. Do yoga and meditation. Focus on every thing you do and try to take pleasure in the little things. I love the suggestion to volunteer because it will help you make connections and get experience that could lead to a job, but also because it will give you that “helping others” experience that you miss from parenting.

  7. Glad to have read this, glad to see i’m not the only one excited the kids are gone. After being a single parent of 4 boys. I’m simply exstatic to be alone, my home will be clean..lol. But i’m finding venturing out on my own a task all on its own. so i’ve become accustomed to being home especially after working 10 hours a day. Trying to find strength I had for my kids and apply it to myself somehow. I’m just getting use to cooking for 1. That alone was a task..smile..
    Thanks for writing this, it was much needed to inspire me. I’d love to live the gypsy life, but wouldn’t know where to start.

    1. Hi Janae, celebrate your empty nest! Wwe always tell people that want to check out the gypsy lifestyle to start by looking for things right around their hometown. Most places have great attractions that we never visit while we are so busy with kids. Look nearby for day trips or overnights. We call it GypsyNesting in your own backyard. Have fun!

  8. Thanks so much for the opportunity to meet you and your family of children/editors/publishers/friends at your Book party. I have been trying to convince my husband to buy an RV for a couple of years, and just handed Gypsy Nesters to him to read (I love your spirit of adventure, and the great fun you are having). Hope I can convert him!

  9. We too sold or gave away everything when our youngest of four sons graduated high school ( N. of Chicago.) We headed for our first adventure in Nicaragua, Central America where we started a social and environmental impact business with bamboo. After six years we began a new chapter in S.E. Asia for a year living nomadically. Our kids also say “Where are you??” when we phone them. Take a look at our adventures: http://www.greenglobaltrek.com

  10. Agree!

    we love our new found freedom to come and go as we please. We live in Spain now, and do quite a fair amount of traveling.

    I saw an image that was shared on FB, and I would love for you to join my group “Global Photo Essays and Journal” and talk a bit about it. I think you two would be a good fit. The image is the one where wool is being dyed in big vats in Peru.
    Cheers! and happy traveling

  11. Wow, can’t believe I found this website today! I love it and love your life! Hubby and I have raised 3 great kids, one just graduated with her Masters, one just graduated high school and is on to college and the youngest, a boy, will be a sophomore in HS this fall. When they were all young I used to think, “when they are all grown and out of the house I will be devastated, no more bday parties, no more Room Mom, scouts, soccer, etc”…but after all of these wonderful, tiring years I have realized that there is a lot to look forward to and my husband and I need to make a life for us now and have fun. I became a home based travel agent a few years ago to make extra money and hopefully take it on the road with us, because, yes, we are “gypsys” and want to travel. We do not want the house commitment and all that goes with it anymore. We really want to travel all over the U.S. spending time in each area to really “experience” the area and people that live there. I want to start a blog also that ties in with it and my business. You have brightened my day, my week, my month with your great attitude for “life after kids” and life in general! Thank you and I really look forward to receiving your future posts.

  12. I’m soooo glad to have read this. My youngest is leaving for college in August, my older just graduated from college and is embarking on his first career and I am ECSTATIC! I can regain freedom I had prior to having kids. They were AWESOME and we did some traveling, but geez, I was a solo parent for 18 of those years and while it was fun and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world, I am joyful to be able to be a person with only my own agenda now.

    To see women (especially) whimper about the loss of their children moving on in life I say, I’m sorry, but there is more to you than your kids. I’m very close to my kids and facebook and cellphones keep me much more in touch with them than I was with my parents at the same age and into my 20’s and 30’s. You give your kids license to be who they were meant to be by not being attached to them into adulthood too. I feel very strongly that they will learn to be healthy individuals to see me transition smoothly to a fulfilling life. I have an elderly mother who is frail and I have an obligation and a desire to help her, but it would be pure hell if she had made me feel guilty about her when she released me into the wild – fortunately, she didn’t and that’s why it’s a wonderful thing to help her now. I’m not trapped in some martyrdom that passed on between generations! hallelujah!

    I don’t have enough to travel the world all the time (yet) and pay all their college loans back, but I am starting to plan smaller trips and I look forward to meeting new people! Thanks for the post. Glad that I’m not the only one happy about another phase of life. :))))))

  13. Oh man, you guys are awesome! We’ve been looking forward to being nesters since a few hours after our daughter was born. She’s a fantastic girl, even at 12 (maybe I’ll need to retract that in a year or two), and we love her to death. But we’re husband and wife first, parents second, and can’t wait until we can resume our just-us-two life. Can’t tell you how guilty we’ve felt about that too–makes us sound horrible. But it is what it is. Thanks for blazing this trail–we’ll be right behind you!

  14. This blog is like a breath of much needed air! Our “kids” are now 31, 29, and 26 (along with 2 beautiful grandchildren). They’re all educated, and have good jobs. The middle one (a daughter who is married) has the 2 grandchildren. All of our kids have recently migrated across the country to Texas (the most recent being our daughter with the grandchildren).After all these years of parenting (and babysitting the grandchildren), my husband and I are finally back to the two of us and are beginning to enjoy our new-found freedom. The problem is that our kids keep “hinting” at the fact that we are being a bit selfish by not following the family west (to watch our grandchildren grow up). My husband and I love visiting and plan to visit at least every 2-3 months, but we are also wanting to build our retirement home on some property we own next to a beautiful river here in WV, where we have resided our entire lives. Having spent many years as an over-involved mother, I am [naturally] feeling a bit guilty by our decision. How can I keep from falling back into that old habit of giving up what I want to do in order to keep my kids happy??

    1. Thanks Dee Dee! What is there to feel guilty about? How did your kids get to be the great adults that they have become? You’ve done a great job, no need to apologize for taking a little time for yourselves.

  15. I just found your website and am experiencing the same thing. Our kids are grown although one is living with us and in college, but my husband and I have also embraced the more travel life style. In the past year, we have been to Las Vegas, Colorado, Mexico, and Italy. We have plans for Greece, and we’re wondering what National Parks we’ll hit in Utah this year. Loved raising the kids (well not all the time) but we’re taking our good health and heading out while we can.

  16. Hubby and I have experienced a gradual move to being empty nesters, with our sons leaving one at a time and mostly not at home even when at home. We did the grieving process during their gradual moving away. Now that we are full empty nesters, having already gone through the grieving stage, we are in the “organize” and “cut-the-clutter” and “update house” stage. We think it will take a few years to get it up to par, but are very anxious to be able to be at the “gypsy nesters” stage where our to-do list consists of getting out and doing things and having fun.

  17. It’s hard though when your husband leaves at the same time – where does that leave me? Still struggling after 5 years to find a place to call home again. My kids are adults now and we are still close but yes they have their own lives but I lost my home and my husband and my sense of security all at the same time. Not trying to put a dampener on things but just saying not everyone’s luck to still have a partner to start enjoying.

    1. In reply to Melissa whose husband left around same time the kids did. Unfortunately I know what you mean. My last child graduated from college and husband about to retire when he lost his job (improper internet use). Was just the tip of iceberg and long story short a week later he moved out. I too was planning our retired life and travelling like the GypsyNesters. Wanted to go to Alaska and volunteer while exploring area. Alas it was not to be. I now find myself no longer a mom or wife and plans for travel are off. It’s only been 6 months for me but I haven’t given up my dreams yet. Hang in there, maybe it will happen for each of us.

    2. I recommend the book, “Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Geldman Golden. Her situation sounds similar to yours and she found it as a great opportunity to get out and travel. I am a single female and travel primarily on my own. I find it’s a great way to meet new people and offers massive flexibility and freedom.

  18. You have it. I just started a blog, sort of an empty nest, travel adventure kind of thing, because I am ready to go and do what I want to do. My husband and I have discovered the joys of being just us, again. Do you scuba dive? Join us on one of our adventures!

  19. I’m liking GypsyNester as a lifestyle — its what I dreamed of throughout my military career. A familiar pattern: married w/ children @20something; grandparents @40something; retired and nesters @50something. Tried the 9-5 corporate world for a year after retirement, now ready for a GAP YEAR that will last till my body proves I’m not as young as I used to be. Working on a blog site to share my travel adventures & fallasophies. Embarking on a world tour this fall by planes, trains, automobiles, & boats — starting off with the Camino de Santiago in Spain as a perspective-setter. Thanks for sharing your philosophy and serving as a beacon for many unfulfilled nesters such as I. OBTW, the ramen survival kit endures. Ramen used to cost 25 cents per packet. Add a 50 cent can of tuna and you have a gourmet meal in 2.5 min. Happy travels! See you on the road.

  20. To: Empty Nesters
    My husband and I married in our teens, had three childred in our twenties and were grandparents in our forties. When our kids moved out to explore their own lives we took off around the country in a mobile home for five years and had the time of our lives. Mobile phones hadn’t been invented so we used to call them once a week to report our wonderful adventures and to let them know where we were. When we did return to our home it was only to use it as a base as we kept travelling on and off until we officially retired. What a wonderful time we had and we were married 60 years before my husband died because we were so happy.

  21. Wow! Well done! 🙂
    We are on different side of the road and a little bit out of norm. We’ve traveled and enjoyed our young lives till now (around 40) and NOW we are going to have kids. Crazy ah?
    But who said you cannot travel WITH kids? Why raising kids should be ALWAYS a hard work?
    We are going to prove that it is not.

  22. As awful as it sounds I am really looking forward to the time when my man an I can spend time together. I have so many plans in my head and sometimes I sit and dream about what we can do. I so want to do what you doing I will be following your blogs and add those to my dreams, which will become a reality sooooon

  23. We’re not quite there yet but yes, while we’ll miss having them around, we are certainly looking forward to time to ourselves. One son is out and on his own and the younger is doing his honors degree.. last year and then he’s in the job market 🙂 F

    antastic blog – thank you for sharing.

  24. David and Veronica, what an amusing and delightful post to read. Thank you for sharing. I tend to agree with you – our “job” is done and it’s time for the kids to get out there and use the lessons learned to get them there and learn a few of their own now.
    It’s fun to watch from the outside so to speak and as for grand kids – perfect – hand them back when they’re not cute and cuddly lol

  25. This gave me a good laugh. As much as I love my daughter and son it was great when they left so wife and myself could reconnect again. Life has been a journey since, a very different journey to the early days but a very rewarding one and hopefully more happy days to come, loving our new life. Carry on enjoying yours

  26. Thank you so much! I love everything that you and your wife write! You are so inspiring and deliver your message with great sincerity and humor.

  27. Thank you very much…you have hit the nail on the head. I celebrated the first day of school, potty training, table manners and the empty nest like there was no tomorrow. My homo sapiens have been out of the nest for over twenty years and I am still feeling giddy!

    As for the top ramen…yum! 🙂

    b+

  28. Enjoy your escape while you can. Once you have grandchildren, you’ll find it tougher to stay away for more than a couple of months at a time (assuming that your kids and grandkids live close by).

    1. I have 10 grandchildren and 1 on the way spread from Houston to Vancouver, WA. They love coming to grandma’s house but i would like to sell out and get on the road so do not know just what to do. Suggestions are welcome.

  29. My husband and I have the exact same philosophy. Dear daughter is graduating high school this year and son & wife just bought their first house. We started selling off items this year and figure we have a 2 year process of cutting crap before the house goes up for sale. Dear daughter will then have the option of putting on her big girl panties and moving out or coming along for the boat ride. We plan to do the Great Loop leaving from our home state of NJ and heading north in our cabin cruiser. We plan on taking 5 months to complete the loop ending in a southern state where we plan to rent a home base to jump from. We no longer want the white picket fence and hefty mortgage payments – we what to see it all!

  30. Greetings wherever you are.
    I told my husband the other day that I wanted to sell everything and I mean everything over the next 18 months and hit the road. He thinks I am crazy. He is worried about retirement, insurance, blah, blah, blah. I understand his concerns and want to know if there is a site that will help me get our ducks in a row. I want to have a plan of sorts before selling our biggest investment, our home.

    1. Don’t know of any one site that does that. We kind of did everything as we went along and made sure we could take care of all our bills and so forth online. But it meant contacting each place separately. Sorry, there’s no shortcut that we are aware of.

    2. Lisa, I was thinking the same thing. How do you keep up online while on the road, know the best places to go, doctors in case of emergency, etc. Engine trouble? I like having a plan and learning from others first. Or at least having someone to ask if it happens. What’s the best rig to have? MH or trailer and truck. These won’t hold me back but I like to have some info under my belt.

  31. I love what you’re doing and my parents always wanted to do the same thing, though my Mom died of MS just as I was graduating from college. That stunted a LOT of my dad’s hopes and aspirations for traveling the globe with his best friend. My mom was the one that pushed him to go, but without her, he just doesn’t seem to want to “go”. I’ve tried everything, he visited me in Peru, which was a HUGE step. Though these days, with all of his physical and emotional “syndromes”, he won’t stray too far from the house. Note #2—he’s gained almost 80 lbs and uses that as an excuse too. I moved back home temporarily to sort out his diet, fridge, life, etc and it works, though it’s a band-aid. My problem is slightly reversed from yours—I’m the travel nomad, though I come home to take care of things periodically. Instead of an empty-nester, I don’t have children and have one parent as a child. I’ve started a rudimentary blog on traveling yourself to “unsick”, as I know my health and mental health is AMAZING when I’m traveling and I couldn’t be happier and healthier. I want the same for my Dad—for all the Dad’s out here in their Lazy-boys flipping the channels. For all Americans who think that the only option is to eat at Olive Garden, listen to the neighbors bitch about how the hedges need to be trimmed and your tree branch is getting closer to my house, can you cut it down? These “syndromes” lol can all be alleviated by travel. Keep up the travels! Stay healthy and happy!!!

  32. Hi Gypsynesters!
    Your site had made me take heart! I seem to remember my former self (looking back through the haze of 17 years of child-centered life) and am starting to feel myself wake up with LOTS of questions…like your description of a ‘recovering helicopter parent’ on blog post- that’s me!

    HOw do you manage this financially, expecially if you still have a kid in college and are saving for future retirement years?

    What kind of employment/income generation do you find or make that lets you be so free? After years in the lock-step of 9-5 both my husband and I could use a little pump-priming to get our own ideas flowing. Any interest in starting a blog thread where those coming awake could share with you not-so-old pros?

    How ’bout a blog thread for people to share how they figured it out – like a ‘ready, set go’?

    One more year ’til we can hopefully join you all out there on the road, if we can get this figured out…..thanks for being here to inspire us!

    1. Thanks for writing, we really like the idea of a thread to let everyone share their ideas. We’ll work on that.
      A lot of people ask us about finances and no doubt the answer is different for everybody. In our case we’ve been pretty lucky. We sold our house just before the market fell apart, so we don’t have any housing expenses, plus had some money saved. We bought some rental properties too. Most importantly, we live and travel cheap so it doesn’t really cost any more than living anywhere else would. (See our post about living in an RV http://www.gypsynester.com/bamf.htm ) Some of our travel includes house sitting or David still does some concerts that pay our way. College costs were definitely a hit but it was money we had planned on spending and retirement… well we kind of figure we should enjoy it while we can. We have both spent most of our working years self employed and figure we will be able to continue to find ways to make a little money into what would normally be considered our retirement years.
      Hope this helps and look forward to hearing from you again and seeing you along the road sometime.
      -David & Veronica
      The GypsyNesters

  33. so nice to be tweeted…aftr years of making my twitter acct dormant, i get a great anniversary gift…your site!
    although i still have my three children at home (a 26, 24 both working) and a 17 going to the university this May, many times now that i find myself alone in the house.
    its our 27th wedding anniversary today..yey!!!! still here and i couldn’t be happier..thank you for sharing GypsyNesters!

  34. Oh thank Goodness! I am retired Navy and a single mom to a high school senior. Having viewed the last three years since my retirement as another “tour of duty” with the objective of getting my son out of the house and off to college I have been feeling wound-up and ready to pack my bags as soon as he crosses the stage. Then the guilt sets in. I am so thankful to have found your blog and a community that relishes the newfound freedoms that the empty nest provides. Slowly but surely selling off the ‘stuff’ and planning my year after graduation with no return tickets, I am suffering a bit of anxiety. How will he know where to reach me? When I posed this to him, his reply “get one of those cell phones that works everywhere!” He will be fine! Thank you Thank you Thank you to my new-found friends! See you out there somewhere!

    1. Welcome! One thing we can say is that new technology has made our lives so much easier. From staying in touch with our busy adult kids to making travel arrangements, we don’t know how we would do it without the internet and our trusty i-phone.
      No guilt allowed, you have done your job and it is time for the chicks to fly. Just take things as they come and deal with them. We like to say: The Plan is No Plans.”

    2. Wonderful website. My house is let and has the previous 7 years whilst I have been writing poems and stories and trying to support a mid twenties male to stick with original career plans rather than be dumned down to flatmate expectations. I have travelled a lot in our canterbury region in nz because i have been away from this my homeland 35 years. Still wanting to be single. Gail

  35. We are not there yet but wondered how you are financing these adventures? It looks like you’re traveling the world but traveling is so expensive. If I sold everything I owned right now, I doubt it would finance my adventures for a long while. DId you pick and choose your path or live off an annuity or what?

    1. We manage through several things. We bought rental property after we sold our home, have some investment income, have always lived frugally, but mainly we travel cheap. (see Our Year in an RV post for info on that) When we go to Europe I combine the trip with work so that helps over there.
      Hope that helps. -David

  36. Hi, I remember you two from St. Croix and once in a while you pop up on my fb page. I only casually followed your adventures until last week when Hovensa announced their closing. Now my husband ( a Hovensa guy )and I will leave Stx (at least for a while) after living there for 30 years. We have no ties, and no kids at home. Number one thing to do on our list is plenty of travel. We will be following your blogs and website much more closely!

    1. Hey Debra, The Hovensa closing is devestating for the island no doubt. Good for you finding the bright side, take the opportunity to see the world. Let us know how it is going and maybe we’ll see you somewhere along the way.

  37. Although I love my 4 kids dearly and spoil my 2 grandangels properly my dearhubby and I are excited about our future together. As for health care, we don’t worry about it much. Living one day at a time with a smile 🙂

  38. What do you two do about healthcare? I think that is the only thing holding me back from following in your footsteps. Good luck and keep safe.

    1. We get asked that a lot. We have always been self employed so we are used to paying for our own insurance and not having many benefits. We have major medical with a large deductible, cheap but doesn’t cover much short of catastrophic. Luckily we are both in good health and don’t use much health care.

  39. MissMary, there’s nothing wrong with being sad when your kids leave. Parents just shouldn’t let it consume them; the kids moved to a different residence, they’re not dead.

  40. I am so happy that I found your site. I have two sons 15 and 16. I felt like I was the only one who was happy that their children were almost ready to be on their own. Now only if I could get my husband to stop buying so much unneccesary junk I would love to follow in your footsteps. Thank you for sharing your story.

  41. I really enjoyed your article in Huff Post. My husband and I became empty nesters in 1998 when our second child went to college. We always tell people how we were doing the happy dance after we dropped him off in the dorm. We thought about buying an RV then, but we were still in our 40’s and could not retire fully. Since, then we have traveled every chance we could, sometimes taking 2-3 trips a year. We have been to Portugal, Spain, London, Greece, Jamaica, Mexico, Hawaii, Japan, Peru and traveling in the US. We really enjoy traveling as a couple and in a few years we look forward to buying an RV and doing more road travels.

  42. I am a widow of 5 years..ready to retire in a year and get a motor home and travel. My question is do you run into women who travel alone in their motor homes.

    1. I’ve been an empty nester/gypsynester off and on for a few years. Have had to relaunch my son a time or two. In the meantime this year, I bought a 17 ft Casita and SUV combo on the cheap as part of my travel “transportation”. My husband is less interested in taking off than I am (he started a “retirement job” he now loves), so I’ve done a couple solo trips of a couple thousand miles each. Once I did the initial short shakedown trips with my husband, I kind of got in the groove and it’s been fine — and fun — by myself. I use common sense as I always do traveling alone but have felt perfectly safe. I feel a sense of accomplishment and get lots of positive comments when folks see little gray-haired 120lb me with my little dog settling into the campgrounds! The rig is really small enough to be manageable by myself. I plan to go cross country from our home in Florida to Washington state and BC Canada to see family next summer, mostly on my own. I’m excited about it. You can do it!

  43. David & Veronica, so happy to see a couple enjoying life! So sad that many in the USA have forgotten how! I’m a gypsy but married a homesteader?!?! I have already warned him that one day when he can’t get around anymore, I’m strapping him in the passenger seat and hitting the road!

  44. Glad I came across your site. I am thrilled at being an empty nester and I do embrace my life now. I cannot do what you have done, but I don’t “whine” about my children being out of the house. I am always on the look-out for things I can do (afford to do) to live this wonderful life on my own. And I treasure the time with my kids and grandkids when they come about. I hope I can one day take to the road like you. Happy Trails.

  45. After marrying for the 2nd time 10 years ago and coming into the marriage with a child in tow, my husband and I made plans for when we would become emptynesters but never got to see those plans fulfilled, husband died when my daughter was a senior in highschool so i became an emptynester by myself. I love my daughter and grandson dearly but my life doesn’t revolve around them. I plan on fulfilling those plans one day, even by myself if I have too.

  46. Love your Blog!!!! You have truly put a great twist on the Empty Nest. I too, am loving this chapter of my life. I lost both my parents and became a grandmother in 9 months. This was more transformational than puberty! I just returned from a trip to S. Africa where I went on Safari and visited Victoria Falls, but am enjoying life at home just as much. I take classes and play tennis and golf. I have time to do community service and give back just a bit, and I even have time to smell the roses. Great Blog!

      1. You are just getting into what I did starting in 1998. I am a Widower. I am doing what we had planned to do when we retired. In the military, I traveled from Berlin to Sydney. Now, it is see some of the USA I have never seen. I loved where we stayed in Hawaii. I do visit Freeport, Bahamas. I have been to the Channel Islands and I love them. Catalina I went back to visit in 1998. I first visited the island in 1948. I have some disabilities now, but I have had the opportunity to travel since 1998. Keep it up. One thing I have learned to do. One, turn off the cell phone when in the USA. Call my children and give them some idea where I will be for a couple of months. Keeps peace in the family.

        I love and more power to you. If you happen to be in or near Tyler, TX, visit and go out to Tiger Creek Wild Life Refuge. Give Terri or Jen a big hug from the Candy Man.

        Simply leave foot prints and keep moving.

        Old Sarge.

  47. We’ve been gypsies all our lives with kids and dogs in tow. Now we are to the Gypsy Nester part of our lives, with kids on their own and doing quite well due to their gypsy life-styles.

    We still have dogs, but feel no guilt in leaving them at the kennel if we are off to a no-dog zone. Many times they just pack up in the Jeep with us, off to some new place or adventure.

    We are building a 100% off grid 10 acre ranch in the Rockies as a new base camp. (No mortgages, car payments, etc. here). Our highest expense is for communication.

    We started an online business about 13 years ago, so we can work anywhere in the world.

    The Jeep is always packed and ready for adventure to some place. Right now it is discovering the Rockies and Baja Mexico.

    Who knows where the road will lead us? Who cares? That’s the fun of it.

    Thanks for your blog. Also saw your story on Huff Post.

    1. We think about where we might set up a base camp at some point but nothing has struck us yet. Always loved the mountains though so that will certainly be in the running. Sounds like it is working for you. Keep rocking!
      😉

  48. When my dear hubby married me I had a daughter then added three more kids so we’ve never had true, real alone time until now and we are loving it. Love my grandkids and boy is it nice to send them home to their awesome parents when we’re worn out from their play.

    Loving this new phase of our life. Now, if our house would just sell, we’d really be on our way!

  49. Hi Gypsynesters! So glad to find your site. I post as the Empty Nest Mom – but no “syndrome” issues or slogging from my perspective either. I love your take on grown kids, love your sense of adventure and love this site – lots of helpful information. My relatively new husband and I just bought a 5th Wheel and so far have loved the places we’ve been and look forward to lots more. Will visit often. And empty nesting? We’re right there with you – loving this stage of life. Thanks for all that you share here. The Empty Nest Mom No sydrome involved

  50. Thanks for a different approach. You made my day. My husband keeps telling me that in a month I will wonder why I ever thought I’d miss having a teenager in the house-guess he’s right. I look forward to sharing more of these wonderful, upbeat comments and experiences.

  51. I had to laugh at your comment re Ramen noodles, as that is exactly what we’ve told our 4 kids-its an inexpensive fall back if you’re really hungry. Having said that, I have to say, this blog is absolutely refreshing to read! My husband and I never for a moment suffered from “empty nest” and I don’t like that term at all. This is a 2nd marriage for us, and we came to it with 4 kids total, so we never had a chance to be alone. I made sure we had that “couple” time as we were raising them-our bdrm was off limits to them. They had the rest of the house, our bedroom was our sanctuary. We love our kids dearly, even more now that they’re fully grown human beings, and we’re in touch with them frequently, but I have no urge to settle near any of them, including the one with grandkids. I love our grandkids too, but have no inclination to be a full-time granna with them. We spent a few years with the revolving door, but settled that question when we sold our home/belongings and hit the road as “Happily Homeless”. Now our kids are the ones who call US up and say “where are you?” and I love it. Our marriage is stronger than ever, we have only ourselves to answer to. “Empty nest syndrome?” Hah, that’s for the birds and the pharma industry-not us!

  52. My story: late marriage, late child bearing, late empty nest, own mothers lived to 92,95, We have been care giving and trying to be loving for a long time now and now that we need that. No one around! Except each other and we are very cranky so sorry if we give what is the equivalent of what they used to call being “flamed”. We fly off the handle more easily but best of luck to you gypsienesters. Too busy trying to make a living in an economy gone bust are they (the fledglings) and we are not going to eat the ramen stuff because it will probably make us sick. And we don’t want to get sick any more because the healthcare bill has just about done our whole family in. No grandkids and no marriages and are children are “late bloomers” as well.

  53. David & Veronica …
    Our oldest is out, one is in college and still feeding at home and the youngest is a HS Junior. When the last one started driving we had multiple “Oh Crap” moments. It hit us suddenly … we’re going to be alone soon. So we’re both now exploring what’s next … our dreams, our passions & strengths. What you guys are doing rocks. Look forward to following your adventures and sharing a few of our own. Best, Doug

  54. Lonely,

    I have raised all my children and had chosen to raise them alone:felt that didn’t want to bring anyone into the family:thought it might make things harder for the kids. Now they are raise and left the nest for about 5yrs now and the oldest leaves and comes back which is ok…and I now have 7 wonderful grandkids..But I still have not figured out what to do with myself I sometimes feel so lost and in my own world ..I am happy that they have gone on they’re own..I have not live alone been raising kids since I was 16 and now I am 41..lol yeah I know its time to find myself: and I was glad to see Im not alone with this emtynest:I have the good question;What now?? school yes great idea…but most people my age still a have children..so my Question: wonder what to do now…kids have thier own life and family has theres and I am still doing samething wondering: and wondering how? happy but lost and have been lost since they left…? what to do now? I haven’t found the greatness of them being gone…but I am happy for them…

    1. Shoot, you are VERY young. School is certainly the way to go. Just go! Book clubs, interior design classes, volunteer, learn to ride a horse..yes there are lessons for adults. Look up ‘glamping’ and Sistersonthefly.com. Family history research (genealogy) is the top hobby in the US.
      If I were only 41 again…but at time I had a 3 yr old so wouldn’t work.
      You can do it! 😀

  55. No kids, but age can scare the heck out if you if u let it. Keep moving and doing!!! That’s what we do. You guys have the right idea and I love reading all your posts. GypsyNester appeals to everyone, empty nesters or not

  56. I’m trying to shift gears that way. We’ve set goals for reaching retirement, and they’re all falling in place. Now we have to focus on what comes after. Thanks for the encouragement.

  57. I appreciate you guys so much. I’m trying to get over the notion that “I work, therefore I am.” I’ve been defined by my career for so long that I’m feeling adrift just thinking about giving it up.

    1. Rebecca, The “work, therefore I am” is truly a tough one. Focus on the good you’ve done and spend some time researching ways to bring new experiences that will bring meaning to your life. I found that having goals that I could look forward to made all the difference in the world — my focus slowly began to change and soon I couldn’t wait to get started on my new chapter in life!

  58. OMG Thank Goodness I found your site!
    Talk about a close call…
    I was just about to cry myself to sleep realizing my 15 year old has one foot out the door. What a strange feeling…wasn’t it I who has encouraged him to be so independent? And now I’m crying because he’ll be leaving soon? So I get to my computer to look up “empty nest” syndrome and wow, thank you, I only had to read one article about how terrible this could be for me before finding your site. WHEW! THAT was close. I feel better already. Truly Grateful.

    1. verymissmary,

      Your comment made our day! We are so honored to be of help in your journey to the very exciting next part of your life! Thank you SO much.

      If you are on Facebook, we have a great group of folks on our page who look at things like we do – celebrating a job well done — you might find added inspiration there — http://facebook.com/gypsynesters

      Go get ’em tiger — we look forward to hearing a lot more from you!

  59. Your Gypsy Nesting Post is absolutely hilarious and oh so true! I couldn’t agree more! I especially love the satement about teaching the cubs to kill a bag of Ramen noodles. Oh so very true!

    As a gypsy myself (RV’er) our kids are APPALLED – APPALLED I say that we live sitting stationary in our 5th wheel trailer after giving up 3 acres and a 5 Bdrm./3 Ba. 4,000 sq. ft. home. AND we intend to purchase a very tiny teardrop camper (not an RV) to travel with behind our mini-van. I tell them to just call us the original Trailer Trash!

    But life is so much fun after kids, but even more fun after you realize the grandkids, however fun they are, aren’t able to tie you down emotionally as well…we’re off to the races with you guys! See ya down the road! My Blog is Hit the road Jack! http://www.gypsysatheart.blogspot.com

  60. David & Veronica

    Couldn’t agree more, just wish my son who is still at University would agree but it is good whilst he is away.

    We have just set up a Home & Hospitality Exchange website for us empty nesters, seniors, boomers or whatever name we are given, so look forward to travelling and exchanging with other empty nesters.

    Brian
    https//www.homeexchange50plus.com

  61. Dear (Happy)Nesters , Unable to state better myself. Good grief.When first child born (at 30) they said’ oh you’ll miss her when she’s gone’.”yeah? We will see ” was the often firm reply to that comment. She’s gone now and admittedly ‘missed’ but very little. 3 more years and her kid sister is out too but am trying to tell that one she “cannot stay home w/ mom n dad forever”. Might miss her more. Cannot wait til house is empty and my things not broken and my space nice and clean and…well you ‘know’ that picture. Thanks for the encouragement as is the first ever seen in type let alone giving hope for the matter that I am not alone. Dad however will shrivel up n die like a bad fruit neglected in the fridge I fear. Thanks again..

  62. Great article! There’s always going to be someone who would rather retreat than grab the challenge of making a new life, right? You speak to those of us who are life-long learners, adventurers and experience-gluttons like me!

    Life begins again after the kids move out!

    1. There are definitely some people who always want to see what’s over the horizon, and others that don’t. We won’t judge the others, but sure know what we prefer. Thanks.

  63. No i will not be alone. What all parents want is to raise our kids to be self suffecient. They do come around and call on a regular basis. We all want to have our lives too.

  64. I don’t know how anyone could be this happy about your kids leaving!There will come a time when you want to hear the nagging or the dirty dishes in the sink-you must have someone around you and are not completely alone.

    1. I totally agree crystal.With one that will be 18 in 4 mos and the other 16 and a half Im not looking forward to them gone either.I not only love my kids but like them. We belong together.

  65. this is fantastic…..love the blog and your thoughts are ours also! We are enjoying the house to ourselves, finally…after how many years…am too old to count that high and way too old to remember how! We can only hope they stay out and let us enjoy!

  66. My perspective is somewhere in between the “glad they’re gone” and “how do I live without them.” Mine have been “grown-up” for a while now. When the last one left for college my husband followed me around (literally) for a few days until I turned around and told him this behavior had to stop! We had a few lonely months without our youngest, but we did get over it and began enjoying our life as a couple again. In the past three years we have entered the world of grandparents, which is all I ever thought it would be — and much more. I find that while I still need to have some interests of my own, they have to take a back seat to my grandson. Enjoying him is so much better than putting me first. I guess I’m back where I started — finding a balance between work and family. This isn’t a put-down for those who are enjoying the empty-nest. I’ve been there and back, but I’ve moved on….

  67. OMG after reading this I almost peed my pants laughing. I am a mom of 4 kids and 3 are on their own I was almost dreading when the last child would leave home (not for another 6 years) Now I am looking forward to it. Ahhh the joy of them being on their own..

  68. I am SO glad the kid(s) are gone! He is 25 now and out on his own for a couple years, and as a guy, I think I love him even more now because he has more perspective on life. When I do something for him now, he totally appreciates it. I love him unconditionally as a son, but in addition now I love him as his own person.

  69. You’re great! Our kids are gone and we couldn’t be happier!! I found all the empty nest syndrome quite depressing…dear God…I must be a horrible mother (lol). I raised them right, gave them what they needed to survive, I love them dearly but here’s the door. Only problem I have is I didn’t change my phone number…damn…they keep calling and calling (sorry, I really do love them). Now my husband and I can have our time. That’s why we had our kids so young, we wanted to still be able to hobble around a bit once they were gone.

  70. Love your post! I admit, when the kids left, I was sad, but I was also relieved! lol And yes, sacrifices were made for my kids when they were home and when they left, I said, “This time’s for me!”

    I worked in a job I did not enjoy (hated) for 15 years because it was good pay, secure, and had benefits. As a single mom, I was afraid to give that up because of my kids. But they are on their own and supporting themselves and I returned to school and am pursuing my own interests. It’s been hard to start a new career at my age, and especially in Michigan with their desperate economic woes, but it’s worth it, for my happiness.

  71. When I got married my wife came with a house, car, three dogs, a cat and two boys. A year later we added another boy so we never really had time for ourselves before children. Now that the children are all married and on their own we have time together. We get to do the fun things that couples do without worrying about babysitters or getting back home to take car of the children.

    We do miss our children and we see then whenever we can but we also enjoy our time together.

    Whoa! I think I just saw my wife running down the hall in her birthday suit! She never did that when the kids were around!

  72. Kids are interesting projects – they each give you something to do for the next 18 years or so – maybe more.

    But – kids are people too. They will make their own decisions – some good some not so good. As a parent your responsibility is to expose them to the things that make an adult successful and explain why – the best that you can.

    I”ve heard “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.” That starts becoming significant by the time they’re teenagers.

    My advice, and this isn’t at all profound – give it your best shot – we all did. If they become successful, great! They obviously listened. If they screw up big time – it’s probably because of decisions they made that were NOT based on what you spent years teaching them.

    If they make it – enjoy. If they don’t – you still have a life to live, and ‘as the days get shorter when you reach September’ you’ve got a chance to get your priorities back on yourself. If you’re truly blessed you’ve got a spouse to share the golden years with.

    Do it – either way, your obligation ends when they become old enough to be defined as adults.

  73. There’s life after kids if there was life before them and during them. Those whose whole life revolves around propagating the species can end up looking at a “great big empty” when their sole purpose in life is over. Just my humble opinion.

  74. ROLF! I LOVE what you wrote! As my youngest child approaches adulthood (he’s 17) I am not shoving him through the door, but I AM holding it open (I want him to be able to see the way). };->

  75. I truly enjoyed reading your post which is so true, however never have I digressed since my daughters have been out on their own, pretty much proud ofthe way their handling life as it come to them as well as making their own choices in life, as I told them the choices YOU make in life YOU will have to live by them. My hubby and I do spend a lot of time with our one and only grand child and it seems we are raising a kid again, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world at least we know we can love her and send her packing back to mommie lol.

  76. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is just the perspective I needed today. Baby is 18 and making unreasonable demands…

  77. Our kids had a revolving door to our basement until a couple of years ago. When one moved out, another one came back, sometimes with a wife! That ended when the last child bought a home of his own two years ago this summer, and for the first time in our married lives, we have the house to ourselves! No regrets here!!!

  78. I totally agree! Me and my husband are able to make decisions based on just what we feel like doing, when we feel like doing it. I love my kids and I do miss seeing them everyday, but there is most certainaly an upside too!

  79. Woo Hoo! You are my newest role models!! We are in our early to mid 40s and we have two teens(13 and 15). Of course we love them so very very much–of course we have enjoyed the wonderful years of raising them–of course we will miss them terribly when they leave–of course we look at their baby pictures wistfully and think, “Where did the time go?”. BUT…We are now in the countdown phase: 3 years with the oldest and 5 years with the youngest, then it is OUR TIME!!! The goal is to get them raised to adulthood–the goal is to teach them to BE adults who stand on their own two feet–the goal is to get to the end of the job of parenting and LET GO!! We have very independent streaks that run deep inside us–we raised our kids the same way. We flew away from our families’ nests when we were “of age” and we never looked back–we want our kids to do the same thing! Soon it will be time for the next generation to fly away and begin lives of their own–and then we can get down to the business of living the REST of our lives!! Great blog!

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