The Empty Nest: A Bittersweet Time

by Tara R.

When you and your partner were in those first few years together, the word was spontaneity. If you wanted to throw a blanket on the living room floor, or make love on the couch, you could. You didn’t have to worry about a little person toddling down the hall and asking why daddy was wrestling with mommy.

But, you two decided to procreate, to bring a third person (or more) into your lives. You knew your alone time would change, that intimacy would take on a new priority. What you might not have appreciated was that not only were your nights were no longer yours, but your days weren’t either. You may not have planned on you both being so tired and if you did get too far passed snuggling, that moment would be interrupted by a crying, wet or hungry baby.

When you are in those first weeks, or months of being a new mom you are so overwhelmed by all that involves that the last thing you are thinking about is a loss of intimacy with your significant other.

The bad news is that this phase can be long, the good news it that one day you will be living in a child-free house again. I’m talking about that ever elusive Empty Nest.

As your offspring enter those independent years, when you let them spread their wings to leave your side and your home, that spark of intimacy begins to flare again. It’s not like you can never be alone with young children, but you better have acute hearing and a strong bedroom door lock.

The adolescent years can be freeing for you and your kids. Sleepovers for your children can mean your own game night, with the only chance of interruption being a call from your youngster wanting to come home.

By the time your offspring makes it to their teens, your opportunities for more alone time increases. You may even feel free enough to leave the door unlocked.

Then the little ones aren’t so little and they take off for college and hopefully a dorm room. It’s like starting all over again. Spontaneity returns and you can get your groove on without worrying about timing, locked doors or thin walls.

It as if you are young again. Only this time, you have experience on your side. You’ve had half a lifetime of getting to know each other, what he likes, what you like, and when and where.

There is a sadness about your children leaving home to be on their own, but there is also a sweetness about being able to enjoy being just a couple again.

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'The Empty Nest: A Bittersweet Time' have 1 comment

  1. January 14, 2011 @ 6:50 am Melisa

    So true! Great post!

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