The Nest is Empty… Now What?


The Nest is Empty… Now What?

By Laurie Battaglia

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 /

There comes a time in every parent’s life when the inevitable happens… the kids grow up! And if it all goes well, they actually move out of your house and begin a life of their own.

The question for Mom and/or Dad is, “Now what?” Parents tend to create a life around their children. They attend their activities, make friends with other parents, and get very, very busy. Suddenly, when the kids are around 14 or 15 years old, parents realize that their little birds are about to leave the nest.

It’s an odd time. The house gets quieter. Parents are forced, for the first time in years, to deal with each other and figure out what is left of their relationship. It may have grown apart, or gone stale. It could be a great time for renewal and a return to passion and togetherness. Or not. Single moms and dads often put off getting into relationships while the kids are around, but now… they aren’t.

Women in particular seem to go through a re-emerging of sorts. After years as a mom (even if working full-time in a challenging, fulfilling career), a woman can start to get very uncomfortable. It’s her time. She’s done her job well. “Now what?”

Coaching Tip:

First, acknowledge that emotions can be raw at this time. It’s a time of reckoning with yourself. You may feel caught in the swirl… not knowing which way to turn. Anger, resentment, sadness can feel overwhelming. Add to that the emotions of perimenopause and … you get the picture.

Take new steps. Try new things. You may not have thought about your own needs for years. Now is the time. Act like a kid again. Try a sport, take a class, go on an artist date with yourself. Get creative. Figure out who you are now. What pieces of your past are going to come along into your future, and what pieces will you leave behind? What no longer serves you?

Try this exercise: Close your eyes, breathing in and out. Get centered by breathing slowly at your own pace. When ready, project out about five to 10 years. Picture your perfect life. Who is there with you? What are you doing? How do you feel? What are the gaps between that perfect life and where you are now? How can you take one small step to begin closing those gaps? Now open your eyes, and get started!

About the Author:

_DSC9171wLaurie D. Battaglia, MS, ACC CPC, ELI-MP

A born connector, people magnet, gifted presenter, and calm, methodical coach, Laurie loves showing women who are going through the motions of life, wondering “When will it be MY turn?”the way to live their dreams. Like her husband Joe, she has seen it all.  Having spent 30+ years developing people in corporate environments while struggling to find meaning in a marriage that wasn’t working, Laurie discovered her own path to living the dream. Her ability to coach and develop high achieving women who feel overly responsible and burdened by life is her true passion and calling. Contact her at (888)505-5762 or visit