Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Empty Nest??

Ever since I remarried, I looked forward to the time when Steve and I would get an opportunity after raising kids to enjoy our time alone. When I married him, he accepted the full-time responsibility to take on a ready made family at that time, which involved my 3-year old daughter. So we have never had the experience of just enjoying time together, alone.

So when our youngest got married and moved out, we were not the sad parents mourning that chapter of our lives, we were actually somewhat excited and looking forward to doing things we weren't able to, like simply enjoying a quiet evening at home, going to dinner and the movies without the added expense and being able to travel a bit more. We even looked into the notion of buying a RV and road tripping a lot since Steve travels quite a bit for work.

But what those empty nesters don't share with you is that, parenting is never completely over and parents are not left alone. You still receive phone calls to share the latest news and what's happening in their lives which is great, but you also get late night phone calls when things are going wrong. From health concerns, relationship issues, fights with their spouses, and so much more, it seems like my life lately has been once again managing the lives of those who are constantly calling.

I can recall when I moved out of my parents home, I called to check in. Schedule lunch. Visit for a holiday, but everything else was part of managing my life as an adult. It means thinking for yourself at times.

Now don't get me wrong, it's nice to give advice from time to time based on our life experiences and such, but lately it seems a daily occurrence, late night phone calls without regard for their parents who have their own set of worries to contend with and what they don't know is that it's not just them calling. They don't realize that there are multiple things happening in our lives we don't share with our kids. We handle those issues all within our family, which at this stage should be Steve and I.

People often say, well take a vacation and get away from it for a time. They don't realize those phone calls never stop. I've had short weekend trips ruined by midnight phone calls saying their sick, or their fighting with their spouse again, or half a dozen other things that can simply wait til we return. Nothing except a life and death issue warrants calling your parents late in the evening and waking them up.

I know I am bound to get countless replies by people telling me that I should be happy my kids feel comfortable calling me. That's not the point of this post. I guess I ask myself at what point will they begin to manage their issues on their own? I honestly don't think they understand just how many times throughout the day I am called. If not one, then the other one. If not both, then their spouses call, my brother calls, or half of dozen people that seem like its all at once.

In bite size chunks, these situations are manageable. What I sometimes ask myself is why are not the other sets of parents being called? Why us?

This is just me, ranting after another two day episode of three different people having their own meltdowns and needing to "talk to someone."

This is one time, that I don't believe that Calgon will take me anywhere without phone service.

Until then, I pray. I try to see what God is trying to teach me in these situations and perhaps for some, I might have to re-establish appropriate boundaries for the time being, like you don't get to call your parents at 2am to saying you and your spouse are fighting. You don't get to call them at 2am to say you're having second thoughts about your marriage. You don't get to call them saying your having cramps and can't sleep.

Those can wait til morning. I don't know of anyone who can think clearly after being woken up out of a dead sleep. For now, this post will simply be the rant of a sleep deprived, over stressed mom that is trying to manage things as well as I can.

And that empty nest thing? I don't think it will ever be truly empty. Now I need to call my mom and apologize for all those late night phone calls when I was still living and hope and fighting with my brother at home. Mom, I am so so sorry!

1 comment:

Dogmom Diva said...

Wow sounds like a very stressful situation. Right away you NEED to set boundaries. Dont call before or after a certain time. Please make some rules, so you can try to get your life back. Hugs))