I want to encourage you to stay motivated, whatever your circumstances.
Recently, I was chatting with a lady whose children have already grown and left the nest. She said the thing that struck her most when the last had gone, was that for a time she lacked motivation because her reason for doing the things she normally did was gone. Her motivation was gone because the need for the tasks was gone… or at least she temporarily thought the need to do was gone.
Wow! I thought immediately of all of you. And I thought I need to write about this:
What is our reason for being?
This isn’t just about empty nesting though… This is about us as mums and our reason(s) for our activities, our reason(s) for doing, our reason(s) for being!
Build a life
As for me, I’m about to build a new life because my only son has left for adult life (yes, of course he’ll visit!)
Don’t we all need a piece of our lives that is our own? It may be a small piece amidst parenting, spouse, job, friend, and/or family. But even a tiny piece that is our own “space” is important. It’s just something else to think about beyond our every day responsibilities, as much as we love them:) A little hobby perhaps, or a special pal we can share with, is important — a piece that is a part of our identity, that is personal, that we can call our own…
This moment in my journey
In the full scheme of things, both my life and my son’s life has changed. I’m a single parent (my husband passed away in 2021). I’m mother to one young man. What will be my motivation for being who I am now that he is independent?
I can fill my life with empty activities…. I shan’t do that.
I can fill my life with people…. Yes, that’s partly a good idea but only to a point.
I can fill my life or leave a hole…. Or I can contemplate and then decide what to do.
I’m big on contemplation personally. I think aimless busyness isn’t really good or productive. I prefer to choose my adventures and my fellowship wisely.
Building my life? I’ve no agenda and no idea what life will look life in 12 months’ time. I am continuing to do the useful activities, in all their varied shapes and sizes that I already have in my life. And I’ll continue to engage with friends and family, and if they’ll have me, I’ve a little more time to give to others than I did before September. And I can make some new friends.
But what really matters, I think, is for me to keep looking outward and upward, with hope and expectation, that purpose will unravel or reveal itself to me. I need to keep alert to opportunities that come along and be open to making changes to my own life patterns.
Be open! That’s the operative key, I think. Let’s stay motivated by engaging with opportunities. If none come along, we may need to ‘stoke the fire’ a little… go out of our way a bit to meet new people and have new conversations.
I like the sound of that.
Being a mum is time consuming and very engaging. But always we need to find time to build something of our own, so that when the house shifts, such as it becoming empty of children, we need to have other things that interest, challenge, engage us.
We are mums. But our identity goes beyond being mums. We are women, we are joyful because we are mums and we are joyful and hopeful that good will come out of every circumstance. Sometimes that takes time, sometimes it’s immediate, but I think with my whole heart, good will always come.