Thanks for stopping by my little piece of the cyberville “coop” for a visit!
My name is Kim Steadman and I am a wife and mother which I feel are two of the highest callings any woman can have! I am also a busy employee and a minister’s wife (and minister’s daughter!)
I truly hope you find here inspiration and encouragement along your Empty Nest journey.
Let me tell you a little bit more about myself.
The short story is:
- Empty Nest Survivor
- 40 something grand-ma
- Love animals
- Semi eco-conscious
- Watching my weight
- Love to read
- Enjoy cooking (which is why I have to watch my weight)
- Watch movies of all kinds from cartoons to sci-fi but I don’t like the bloody/gory stuff.
- Go Texas Rangers!
- Google Queen
- I LOVE spending time with the love of my life, my husband of 29 years
- I LOVE MY FAMILY
Now, for the long story….
I was born and raised in Texas. Yes, the accent is real and it is what my husband tell you attracted him to me all those years ago sitting in a college class for Criminal Justice.
We live on our little piece of earth in the outskirts of a bustling city which I like to say is a piece of “country in the city”. We actually have fields and woods in the front and to the side of us that house numerous wildlife including coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and the elusive bobcat. To the back of us we have the city and can get to a restaurant or store in less than 1 mile! It’s a HOOT!
After our son left for college a year earlier than we had planned. It all happened suddenly because we thought he had one more year of community college and living at home. Very quickly though, he decided to go to community college close to the college he wanted to be accepted in, and within about 2 months we were packing him and driving him 200 miles away.
Our drive home that day was filled tears and silence by both my husband and myself. I had not really even thought about what I would feel like at this phase of life. So when it happened it my emotions were a roller coaster. I was glad for our son. We had always talked about “when he left home” but it came a little sooner than I had planned for. I wasn’t completely prepared for this new stage, but I kicked it into gear and began exploring the new possibilities.
The first thing I did was to dive back into a full time career. I had been working part time. As soon as our son graduated high school and started college, I started getting my mind busy. I can’t truthfully say that I did this with the purpose to “survive the empty nest syndrome”. But, since hindsight is 20/20 I can say that I do know it helped me keep my mind busy. Truthfully, the entire goal was to work full time and put all the income towards our son’s education. The goal was for him to graduate with no debt (we had a plan, we stuck to it, and we accomplished that goal!
Not to be all business, we also planned a celebration cruise to celebrate our new freedom and to celebrate our 25 year anniversary (a few months early).
We also decided to travel. Over the course of a few years, we explored the east coast, west coast and points in between. Let’s see:
- Key West Florida
- Ruidoso NM
- Red River NM
- San Francisco CA
- Countless trips to Oklahoma to get away from the city.
- Numerous weekend get-aways.
- Many visits to the college town of College Station, TX to visit our son in college
We had some new found freedom and put some tread on the tires!
It was also during those years that I decided to journal and write in order to help me work through the myriad of feelings and emotions that came with the empty nest and to find new purpose and design a new life as an “Empty Nest Mom” as I transitioned into this new phase of life. I also started on what some would call a path to “self development”. I started reading 10 pages from a good book daily. These two actions kept me grounded in building myself in a positive manner.
It was actually at the beginning of 2012 that did some intense reflection on myself. I was really to the point that I knew I didn’t want to be “just an stellar employee” and that my #1 job wasn’t really on the front burner any longer (Mom).
After all these years I had lost touch with myself. So many years had been invested into family and our son (whom I love with all my heart!) I really didn’t know myself. I had lost touch with me and who I was. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a depression or hours crying and sniveling. It was just an observation made over time and would come to light when someone would ask something simple like “What are your hobbies?”.
The empty nest time allowed me to get back into touch with discovering things that I LIKED! For instance, I love nature and can spend hours just sitting outside watching the birds. I love the solitude. Being a mom, running around playing chauffeur , with Job Mom as number one priority, I did like so many mom’s and didn’t take time for myself. Now I had the freedom of time to do so!
After some soul searching questions and deep thinking I came upon the realization that it was time for me to get back to some of my passions of my youth that had been put on the back burner all these years.
It was in July when our son and our lovely daughter-in-love announced to us that they were going to be having a baby that I was able to reflect and truly realized a wonderful truth. I had survived “The Empty Nest” zone and was going to enter the phase of “Grandma”. I can truly look back and say that my husband and I had the times of our lives and we still are!
What would I say are some key things we did that helped?
- We had a plan of what we would do when our son graduated high school – and we stuck to it!
- We had fun with our new found freedom by traveling and spending time together.
- We probably did the ultimate and did a big house renovation, which included knocking out walls, switching rooms around and did a make over on room’s purposes. In other words, when our son came back for week during the summer of 2010 (1 year before he was to graduate from Texas A&M) he didn’t have his old bedroom any more! It was now the master bedroom. We had truly refeathered our empty nest in more ways than one!
- And finally, I also reconnected with my inner core values and started pursuing my dream of creative writing. I am currently working on a children’s book as well as embarking on a mission to help other empty nest mom’s find new purpose and redesign their lives now that they have the new found freedom of “the empty nest”.
If you found yourself in “the kids at home zone” of hustle and bustle of everyday life feeling joyful but now feel emptiness and sadness, you have found the right place.
If any of these questions have been nagging at you lately, then you have come to the right place:
- What is my new purpose?
- Now that I’m not “needed” any more, what do I do?
- Who am I?
- Can I ever be happy again?
- How do I remake myself, now that “Mom” isn’t my Number One job?
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