When the Bird Leaves the Baby Boomer’s Nest…

It’s a normal passage of every parent’s life.  Their child- now a young adult- leaves the nest for grown-up life.  Whether the kid leaves home to go to college, get married, start a job, or just runs away like I did at the age of 18 (was I still a kid then?) it’s a major life change.  It can be an exciting time for the young-un, (that’s boomer-speak for young person) and a difficult time for the parents.  By the time your baby gets to the ripe old age of 22 and graduates college, you’d think you’d be ready for the next chapter. No more laundry drop-offs, no more college-size tuition payments or gas money emergencies.   Now you can focus on sharing your empty nest with your still-hot spouse.  It’s part of the the circle of life, right?

It can be an exciting time for the young-un, and a difficult time for the parents.


But for some of us younger Baby Boomers, our kids’ transition into adulthood triggers the tear faucet and feelings of loss.  This DSP mom got a big dose of that this past weekend, as we celebrated our daughter’s impending transition from college to life on her own– with a job in a different state! (at least she has a job)  DSP Dixie provides lots of great tips for college grads entering the work world.  But what about me?  Where do I fit now?

Don’t get me wrong- I’m looking forward to hiking, biking and traveling the world with my husband, fulfilling our bucket list.  But all that excitement doesn’t mask the feelings I discovered following our daughter’s graduation party.  My youngest is all grown up, making a life of her own, and doesn’t need my unsolicited advice anymore.  Woe-is-me.  I thought I might be getting “Empty Nest Syndrome“, a well-known condition that afflicts many parents when their kids flee the coop.  Once I stopped sniffling I remembered that this is an opportunity for us “Empty Nest” parents to celebrate!

According to a survey by Carin Rubenstein, PhD, about 10 percent of moms are crippled by this syndrome that includes depression and loss of a sense of purpose.  Rubenstein wrote Beyond the Mommy Years: How to Live Happily Ever After…After the Kids Leave Home.

Another study by Christine M. Proulx, PhD, shows there’s an upside to the end of the era of taking responsibility for your kids’ lives.  According to her research, most of you parents experience several cool and positive changes including:

  • Pleasure over the way your child has grown up and matured
  • Deepening friendship with your child as you enter a new type of relationship
  • Enjoying their adventures, as well as your own
  • Improved mood and a sense of well-being since you have fewer daily parenting responsibilities

Other benefits of having fewer, if any, children to care for every day include:

  • An opportunity for you and your partner to focus on each other more- did I say “still hot”?
  • Time to travel and do activities that you have put aside because of your children
  • A chance to explore a new hobby or get involved with a cause
So that news got me off my pity-pot and on to planning a hiking trip to the Swiss Alps;  #1 on my bucket list.  But wait- not so fast… what’s this other “new” trend that may threaten our plans?  Many college grads are returning to the nest as soon as the laundry piles up?  And they stay?!  Tune into my next Empty Nest chapter about today’s Boomerang Generation.  Oy…
To read more about a new take on the end of the  Empty Nest Syndrome check out this informative article at:

Bionic Boomers Know it’s Never too Late to Live in the Prime of Your Life

I like to think of myself as progressively regressing in age.  I  mean, seriously, just because I’m past my first half-century on this earth,  I don’t have to accept the standard belief that we folks over 50 have hit the … Read more »

May is Celiac Awareness month and Gluten-Free is no Fad for Me

Since May is Celiac Awareness month, I am reminded how It seems we can’t go to a restaurant or down a grocery store isle these days without seeing or hearing about foods marked “gluten-free”.  In fact, a well-known national restaurant … Read more »

The Best Thing About Being a Mom…

I love being a mother.  It’s been my greatest accomplishment. No matter how exhausted or stressed or over-committed this DSP mom was while raising my two kids as a single parent, I have no regrets.  Both kids are on their … Read more »

New Boomer Challenge: Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Distracted by “squirrels” There’s a reason I never sent my Christmas cards– nor fulfilled my New Year’s resolution to organize my drawers.  I still need to finish that screenplay based on my dad’s memoirs too.  Sometimes I just get distracted. … Read more »

Earth Day: The first day of the revolution

In the beginning… I was at the very first Earth Day celebration at Marshall High School in Portland, Oregon– some might say the perfect place to be for such a revolution. It was April 22, 1970. An impressionable 16-year-old high … Read more »

I Find my Favorite Things on Pinterest

These are a few of my favorite things Here’s the way we DSPs share our favorite things with each other— and with you.  In case this is new to you, Pinterest is a virtual online pinboard that displays creative ideas for … Read more »

I Put a Leash on my Lost Things

What’s missing- again? I just celebrated a birthday this week.   The day before that momentous occasion I lost my phone.  It seems that with each birthday,  I find myself looking for more things more often than when I was … Read more »

DSP CONNIE: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

I almost never forget my phone (I just misplace it) I almost always remember where I put my keys I will NOT eat animal brains The first time I took a film class in college I knew my life path … Read more »

This Year I Vow to get Organized!

Chaos theory I have come to the conclusion that being disorganized has made my life unmanageable.  Some experts say the stress caused by a “cluttered” and confused lifestyle can manifest in many ways- from constantly searching for our keys or glasses … Read more »