The kids are gone! It’s time to get naked!
I know, it’s been awhile, right? You spent the last couple of decades staying respectably covered in front of your kids, having ridiculously silent sex with the TV on as loud as possible, and making sure you had a bra on before any of your kids’ friends came over. If you forgot, you would never hear the end of their embarrassment.
We never stop being parents (so that doesn’t go away), but when our kids spring forth from the nest, we have our own chance to spring forth—from whatever is containing us! You can add anything you want to your life (or wardrobe). And walking around with a naked face or naked body is more than acceptable. If it feels good, do it! Plus, I doubt your significant other would mind!
My husband, David, and I have two children who are two years apart in age. So when our oldest, Sarah, left the nest, we still had our son, Jack, at home to keep us busy. But very soon, it was about time for him to leave, too. I spent his whole senior year of high school mourning his impending move-out. I kept reminding David of all of the “lasts” in our lives: Our last time having Jack and all his buddies over for enormous quantities of homemade cookies, our last time begging him to take a shower after shooting hoops for two hours, and our last time going to one of his band’s gigs in a Phoenix coffee house.
Soon no more kids (and their chatter!) would fill our house. And I was accustomed to a lot of both. On almost every Friday night during Jack’s high school years, it seemed he and his friends were at our house: eating, listening to music and making plans for later in the night. The funny thing was that they never seemed to leave—unless it was to get even more food to bring back to our house. Teenage boys eat enormous amounts of food! What we saved on clothing (our daughter loves clothes just like her Mom) we way outspent on food for our son and his friends. I loved baking for them, though. My specialty was chocolate chip cookies.
The thought of that all being gone seemed lonely—and quiet!
But the date still came. It was time to take Jack to New York University where he would join his sister in building their own lives as adults. We moved him into his freshman dorm and, then, with tears dripping down my face, I kissed him goodbye. I sobbed most of the way back to Phoenix.
Then, it happened: We got home and realized our schedule didn’t need to revolve around anybody but us! Suddenly, it was as if David and I were dating again. We had the most amazing time during that first week as empty nesters. We could be naked when and where we wanted and make love in any room in the house without worrying about someone walking in on us.
By the end of the week, Jack called. “Mom, are you doing OK,” he asked. “Jack, Dad and I are having the time of our lives! ” I immediately chirped back. I sensed his shock. He figured I was sitting in a pool of tears that I started back in his dorm room. He quickly got over that (teenage boys don’t hold grudges for long!) and was so happy that his Dad and I were going to be more than OK without him. We were both starting a new chapter of our lives. And they would be beautiful.
Whether it’s our kids moving out or menopause creeping upon us, it’s easy to see ends as final. But if we make an effort to look over, under, and around them, we can catch a glimpse of the beginnings that follow in their wake. So when a so-called ending comes your way, remember it’s really just the start of something new… or better yet, naked!
Remember: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN.
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20 thoughts on “Empty Nesters – Time to Get Naked!”
I love this Ellen. When in doubt, get naked!!
Or, at the other end of the spectrum, I’ve navigated two teens through high school with my partner and, just as the youngest was moving out for college last month, my partner announces he no longer wants to be in the relationship. While sad to imagine not having daily contact with the kids, I was looking forward to more connection with my partner. Your experience was what I hoped for, but it was not to be.
Good grief………….I am sending you love and hugs. I know this is a very difficult time for you, but I promise you –in time —-there will be better days ahead.
As a childless couple, we’ve had this freedom always but perhaps never appreciated it until reading your piece!
You can date night every night………how fabulous!
Yeah, I may want to lose a few more pounds first. LOL
There is more of me to love now……….but hey…………nothing wrong with that!
When our kids were young, one of our parents would watch them one night a weekend so we could have a loud date night, lol. When they became older, there were spend the nights out and they had dates, during which we had our dates. But yes, we can do whatever we want now.
You were so lucky to have your parents nearby so you could have those “loud” date nights! That was wonderful.
Love this! Going to share it in a roundup post on Sept 2. I have a semi-empty nest and while I miss the kids that are gone, there’s no sitting around crying about their absence. Life is short and lots to do!
Love your attitude, Shelley!
We felt the same way the first few weeks of having an empty nest. I think thinking about the empty nest before it happens is worse than actually having it!
I sure stressed over it during Jack’s senior year of high school. I think back now and wish I hadn’t focused on being sad and lonely, but rather focused on that fact that it was going to be a positive new chapter for ME and def for my son. That is why I wanted to share this with other newbies and with women who might enter this new chapter next year.
I love this! I used to have a work friend who talked about how they’d declared their bedroom a “naked zone” once their boys left home. My kids were still at home and I remember hearing her glee as she’d talk about this. I’m sharing it in a roundup post on 9-2-17 I love it so much!
Thanks, Shelley!Iit is so sweet of you to share the post. Empty nesting is the beginning of a new chapter for both our children and ourselves. Change is good and can be fun!
My wife and I, who blended families in 2004 and married in 2006, talked about how great the empty nest was going to be, and the fact that we’d be free to walk around naked. We even discussed downsizing to a two-master-bedroom home where either one could be used for dates, but giving us our own spaces to retreat to for sleep. Sadly, five years ago as my wife turned postmenopausal, before our youngest left the nest, her libido crashed and she said she was no longer interested. Being so suddenly denied the romantic, passionate life we led before has hurt. I know it’s the hormonal shift that’s responsible, but I sure felt (and still feel) abandoned. Now I’m the only one who walks around the house naked when she’s out.
I am so sorry that you are experiencing this loss of intimacy in your marriage. Loss of libido is common symptoms of menopause. The best advice I can give you and your wife is to help her find a Menopause Specialist. I have some helpful tips here: https://ellendolgen.com/resources/find-a-menopause-specialist/ A Menopause Specialist can evaluate what is causing the issue. These problems are fixable with the help of a good Menopause Specialist. Good Luck!
Take a look at today’s Menopause Mondays. There is some info on this very problem. https://ellendolgen.com/2017/10/updates-from-the-north-american-menopause-convention/