Adjusting to Empty Nesting

Adjusting to Empty Nesting

  • Zan Mendenhall
  • 08/18/22

Having 3 daughters and being a stay-at-home Mom when the girls were growing up, I had difficulty as each daughter left the nest to go away to college.  Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we are using this time to re-connect more and do things together more for ourselves rather than our daughters.  We have learned to be more present in each experience and reinforce the love and companionship we found in each other when we first met over 30 years ago. 

Not every parent has this opportunity, especially if they are a single parent.  Initially, we visited our oldest daughter 1 to 2 times a quarter.  This was always a mutual decision.  We did not want to impose and visit if she did not want us there and we did not go to visit her at a drop of hat if she needed us.  This sometimes can be difficult to deal with.  For this daughter, having boundaries was very important so that we could maintain a healthy relationship while apart and this still holds true until today.  Boundaries is the key to our successful relationship today.

Our middle and youngest daughters do see more of us in the fall quarter as they were both involved with the college football games.  Our middle daughter was a drummer in the marching band, so we went to an occasional game or two to see her perform.  As the years went by, we discovered that these football games were a great getaway for my husband and me.  We eventually became season ticket holders and went to every game. 

Our youngest daughter will be a cheerleader this coming Fall 2022.  Since we have our season tickets, we look forward to visiting with her many times during the first quarter.  Luckily for us, our daughters loved sharing these experiences with us and want us there to support them just as we did in high school. 

Every child is different, so every experience as they leave the nest will be a change for us parents no matter what.  Feelings of loss, hurt, excitement as well as disappointment come to mind.  However, we also needed to be thankful that our daughters were keeping themselves busy through school involvement and making friends.  We came to realize we did our jobs as parents, and it was critical for us to trust our parenting so that we could trust them.

In anticipation of the empty nesting years, I decided to re-invent myself.  As an Electrical Engineer by degree, going back to industry after being out of industry for about 18 years was not a viable idea for me.  I went back to work doing what I love to do, building relationships through Real Estate.  Now in my 6th year, I am very proud of all my accomplishments and the relationships I have nurtured with both my buyers and sellers who are now my friends.  This is a full-time career for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Zan's business is built on the relationships she has with her clients. Every client is important to her and she strives to create a mutual connection that will last for years to come.

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