Empty Nest Survival Kit

Empty Nest Survival Kit

Have you put together your empty nest survival kit? Since so many young adults will be heading off to college soon, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some ideas so you can put together  your empty nest survival kit.

Contrary to popular belief, Empty Nest Syndrome is not really a clinical diagnosis, so there aren’t really any factual numbers on how many parents are impacted by it every year.   But, the statistics are that  5 million students are expected to graduate high school and college each year so it’s a good bet, you are NOT alone in your feelings. =)

First, I found laughter and joy a great asset in my empty nest survival kit.  I think this cute list some college kids put together during a brainstorming session will bring a smile to your face.  Some made me giggle and some were very clever ideas! What do you think?

Empty Nest Survival Kit – What College Kids Suggest For Their Parents

Remember, these ideas are straight from the mouths of the kiddos, bless their grown adult hearts =)

  • A cookbook on a culture you’ve always wanted to explore (Greece anyone?)
  • A set of tickets to the theater or a play so they can have their first “real alone” date!
  • Make small dolls to represent the kids. Get popsicle sticks or clothes hangers and paint faces on them; use yarn for hair. This way the “kids” will always be with them.
  • Write down important info on note cards: everyone’s cell phone number, address, etc. so they feel encouraged to write letters or send you packages in the mail
  • A box of tissues- for when they just have to cry
  • A home movie of you all reminding them of what you each did that really bugged them- make them chuckle a little
  • A photograph of you all- to remind them you are a close family


Mom’s Empty Nest Survival Kit Ideas

Here are my top 7 ideas for your Empty Nest Survival Kit

  1.  Schedule a time to talk (or stalk their Facebook page) – this means actually talking to your kids and scheduling 1 day a week to interact and talk to them.  While Facebook is a great window into what’s going on in their life, remember, it’s just a window.  You want to keep the communication channels open and talk to them about ‘stuff’ and remain active, but not TOO active, in their life!
  2. Acknowledge your feelings. Allow yourself to cry.  OK, hour is up.  It’s time to Live and THRIVE Now!
  3. See that man over there..In chair.  He’s your husband. TALK to him! Chances are even if he’s not showing it, he’s probably missing the kids like you are.  Talk about it. And then talk about things you can do together!
  4. Explore – Ever think about taking a cooking class?  Or going on an exotic trip?  BINGO, you have time now!
  5. Create new memories.  You don’t have to stay in the same routine now.  Step OUT of the box!
  6. Re-evaluate your values and decide who YOU are now.  Mom is not job #1.  And that is not a bad thing!
  7. Instead of the old “honey-do” list, start a “FUN-DO” list.  List some fun things you and your spouse can enjoy – TOGETHER


More Empty Nest Survival Ideas for Mom

The quote from the book  “I’ll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students“, sums it up.  “It’s your turn now,” says Margo Woodacre, “Get involved in something that you have wanted to do and previously did not have enough time to do…” The ideas around this are endless.

  1. Go back to school
  2. Take a class
  3. Take up a new sport
  4. Join a health club
  5. Start a new hobby
  6. Rekindle an old hobby
  7. Travel
  8. Volunteer
  9. Explore some new films
  10. Learn a new language
  11. Go back to school
  12. What do YOU want to DO?!

These are just some brief ideas to get the brain gears turning. Can you think of more?

OK, all kidding aside. I did have some things in my survival kit that helped me over the humps from surviving to thriving.

My personal private Empty Nest Survival Kit

1. A journal – I did a lot of journaling.  I did realize I was coming into a transition of my life and wanted to work through my feelings and ideas. I ended up compiling some of the journal prompts that helped me navigate the uncharted waters into the “Empty Nest Journal: 30 Points and Prompts to Navigate the Uncharted Waters.” You can buy it today on Amazon. These prompts got me to thinking about things in my past, which helped me to feel confident to eventually quit my corporate job and pursue my writing career.

2. Gratitude – Another thing that helped me over my initial ’empty nest’ blues was concentrating on my gratitude. If you need some help elevating your gratitude, I created a cute, free method you may enjoy. You can find out more about The 21 Day Gratitude Game by clicking ==>HERE<== to visit the page here on my blog.

3. Pray, pray and pray some more – I did a lot of talking to my Heavenly Father. =)  It’s OK. He has big shoulders and was right there to wrap me in his arms, pat me on the head and let me know that I was going to be just fine!


Kim Steadman is a wife, mother and proud Meme. She is a cubicle nation escapee who now pursues her lifelong dream of a creative writing journey. Her writing works include “The Creative Prayer Journal” and “The Diary of a Recycled Dog.” She loves to help other creatives nurture the connection between their faith & creativity. Connect with her on Facebook at KimSteadmanAuthor

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