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Life in An Empty Nest: Boohoo or Yahoo?

Changing diapers, play dates, carpools, homework, PTA meetings, cheering on the team, late nights, homecoming, cooking, coaching, grocery shopping, doctors’ appointments, college applications all part of the transitions of life from the moment your kids are born to the time they leave your nest.  

We asked local parents to tell us about life after kids.

Yahoo--Debbie-Rose-and-Brandon“I totally felt Yahoo! This was because my last son was so ready to go to college. He is happy which has made us happy with this new stage in his life. Although he is some distance from Dallas (at the University of Alabama), we get to game days and other activities to make it a point to be a part of his new endeavor. So I do not miss the day-to-day laundry, meal making and carpooling. I enjoy my extra time by traveling more with my husband, being at our lake home, yoga, volunteering and of course organizing areas that have needed organizing for a long time! – Debbie Rose pictured with son Brandon (McKinney)

Yahoo-Jyll-Spears-“I felt Yahoo.  I enjoy spending time with my husband, my dogs and my foster dogs, and I found a way to stay connected to my high school mom friends. As our children moved from high school to college life, a group of moms at JPII decided to maintain their bond and have some fun by getting together for “Operation College Care Packages”.  The way it works is one mom hosts a “packing lunch”. Each mom arrives with an item for each student that she has chosen from the following categories: sweets, savory, holiday, school supplies, or utensils with a Halloween, Valentine or Easter theme. Sometimes as many as 18 moms participate; each mom signs a card for each student. Packing is followed by a sit down lunch and time for sharing stories about our kids’ new experiences away from home for the first time. It’s a wonderful time to visit, and the kids love the treats!    – Jyll Spears pictured with son Ryan (Plano)

Yahoo-Ceil-AAs my fourth child graduated from high school in 2012, I was feeling all kinds of emotions – sadness that all my children were grown; relief, happiness and pride that all were accepted into the college of their choice; and anxiety on what the future held for my husband and me.

My life for the previous 24 years had centered around my children’s activities and volunteering at their schools.  After getting our youngest child settled into her first year of college, I was at a loss for what to do with my free time.

Since my husband has Parkinson Disease we had attended information sessions and fundraising activities for Parkinson Voice Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the voices of those people that have Parkinson Disease and other related neurological disorders.  After becoming familiar with this organization and the wonderful service they provide, I began volunteering at the clinic in Richardson.  I felt satisfied that I had found another purpose in my life.

I began volunteering in the spring of 2013, and by summer I was offered a paid part-time position as a Patient Liaison.   The CEO quickly recognized the skills that I developed in planning and coordinating events at my children’s schools, and in 2013 I became the Community Relations Manager.   I love what I do, and I still have time to volunteer at the high school in an alumni mom position, travel with my husband and children, and take classes that will help me be more valuable to Parkinson Voice Project. – Ceil Pajda, Richardson 

Yahoo-Brenda-RichardAt first I was very sad when my twin sons went off to different colleges.  I treasured every minute on our family trip to Canada the summer before they left.  I soon became excited to be a couple with my husband again without worrying about the kids’ schedule.  We enjoy a more casual schedule and can do things on our own time and at a moment’s notice.  We also downsized and bought a home with many remodeling project to keep me occupied. – Brenda Richard pictured climbing a glacier in Canada (Prosper)

Yahoo---Teresa-NiermeyerI definitely felt Boohoo when both of my kids went to college.    When my youngest went off to college, I tried many things.  I went back to work, but that didn’t make me happy.  I found new hobbies like jewelry making and furniture painting, and I continued to play Mahjongg with my friends.  I am learning to take time for me and to stop and smell the flowers!  – Teresa Niermeyer (Plano)

Have your kids flown the coop?  Share your thoughts, feelings, advice and adventures with us! Email: Tricia@GoodLifeFamilyMAG.com

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