The unexpected joys of becoming an empty nester

Feb 12, 2023
The empty nest experience is a chance to embrace new beginnings and create memories that will last a lifetime. Source: Getty Images.

Reaching the stage in life where you become an empty nester is a significant milestone for baby boomers, however it can also bring with it a gamut of emotions.

On the one hand there can be a sense of pride as the kids venture out into the world, but on the other hand, the sudden lack of daily interaction after so many years of sharing a home can be a challenging adjustment.

Despite the mixed emotions, research released by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency indicated that a majority of baby boomers are actually embracing the new-found freedom by spending more time on their own hobbies and interests.

More than half of seniors reported feeling happy after their children moved out, while a slightly smaller proportion of 41.1 per cent said they were sad about the development.

Given that the majority of empty nesters seemingly embrace their kids flying the coop, one Reddit user was curious as to what the unexpected joys of becoming an empty nester entailed.

Taking to the forum one user asked “what have you been pleasantly surprised about since your kids are gone?”

For many, the departure of their beloved children provided them with more free time to pursue their interests, reduced expenses, and a less hectic daily schedule.

One respondent noticed a considerable improvement in their sex life once their children left home.

“Sex in every room is back on the menu!” they said.

For another over 60 there was suddenly more time and energy to do the things they love.

“I am suddenly picking up hobbies i haven’t had the energy for in years,” the over 60 said.

The daily task of laundry became a lot easier for one person, although they did admit to missing the “chaos sometimes”.

“No more mountains of laundry. No more searching for cups under the sofa. But I miss the chaos sometimes,” they explained.

A reduction in the amount of paper towels one household went through was an unexpected outcome for one couple who now had the house to themselves.

“Among other things, our paper towel use is a tiny fraction of what it was before my daughter moved out! I had no idea she used so many, lol,” they shared.

“Other advantages: one fewer person to plan dinner around; more sexual spontaneity; a room for my BFF to stay in when she visits; lower costs on utilities, groceries, sundries; naps in the living room are possible again; lots more.

“I miss the child, but there are definitely lots of advantages. Most of it wasn’t totally surprising but the size of increase in the quality of life was unexpected.”

Another empty nester discovered that grocery shopping became “easier” and the “food lasts a lot longer”.

While one commenter likened their newfound freedom to “a second honeymoon” and that they have had “much more time for fun” with their wife.

Although becoming an empty nester can be an emotional journey, as indicated above, it can also come with many unexpected and pleasant surprises.

For many, it can be a time of rediscovery and self-care. With the newfound freedom, you can pursue hobbies, travel, and spend quality time with your partner. It can also be a time to strengthen relationships with grown children, as they embark on their own journeys in life.

Ultimately, the empty nest experience is a chance to embrace new beginnings and create memories that will last a lifetime.



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