When my first child left for college, I knew the end was in sight. I knew that navigating the transition to the next season of life would be a challenge, and I needed help. Sweet friends agreed to pray with and for me, wonderful older moms opened their hearts by sharing their own experiences, and great books stepped in with wisdom and practical advice. Here are some of the resources I found (and continue to find) most helpful. Want more information on these resources? Click on each book to open a link on Amazon.com.
Lots of young moms tell me that even the prospect of the empty nest brings fear and anxiety to their hearts. That feeling is totally normal! When my oldest child headed to high school, all of the sudden the empty nest loomed large before me. How do you prepare your mother’s heart – even years before it comes? With this in mind, I’ve put together a special page of resources for Not-Yet Empty Nesters, another geared just toward New Empty Nesters, and finally, one for Long-Time Empty Nesters. My hope is that the resources I’ve recommended will be a blessing as you seek not to just survive, but thrive, during this season of life. We can do it together, and I’m going to encourage you all along the way!
Authors Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates tackle the mixed emotions that accompany the entrance into the empty nest season of life with understanding, humor and encouragement. They address the upside and the challenges of this period. Along the way, they share stories of women who have been through the empty nest transition as single moms, women dealing with serious or chronic illnesses, and others with unique challenges. There is also a wonderful section on dealing with aging parents. This is a must-read for new empty nesters or those who see it coming in the near future. Click here for more information.
David and Claudia Arp provide rich insights to couples on reconnecting when the children are gone or leaving soon. This book is full of practical strategies and concrete advice to help you transition into the “second half” of married life. It will leave you hopeful and excited about entering into this new phase of life with your best friend and closest companion. Click here for more information.
This hilarious book, by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, along with her daughter Francesca, offers a mother-daughter perspective on everything from aging gracefully to dieting to communicating with aging parents. Scottoline, who is a single mother, shares family photos and focuses on enjoying life, including her newly empty nest. Daughter Francesca writes about life as a twentysomething, sharing about first dates, the challenges of decorating your first apartment, and starting life as a single girl in New York City. This book is highly entertaining and you will find it hard to put down. Click here for more information.
The subtitle to this book is “Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind” and true to it’s title, it does a great job of offering guidance on the changing roles parents play in parenting adult children. Covering topics such as acceptance of past parenting mistakes, helping adult children become fiscally responsible, negotiating the often emotional roller coaster of parenting adult children and even becoming a grandparent, this book offers Biblical wisdom and practical advice. Click here for more information.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be 10 suggestions of date ideas for empty nesters. I was wrong! Instead, authors David and Claudia Arp have put together a series of 10 dates/activities, which are designed to progressively help couples reconnect and rekindle their relationship. The “dates” are based on themes like Revitalizing your Love Life, Becoming Best Friends, Relating to Adult Children, and Growing Together Spiritually, among others. Click here for more information.
Part of the popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series (150 titles have been published so far, with other 100 million books sold), this book is full of stories – 101 to be exact – written by parents who have already navigated the empty nest transition. Some are humorous, some are heart-warming, and some are bittersweet. Along the way, the kids chime in as well, providing a unique viewpoint from another angle. This book is inspiring, amusing, and most of all, relatable. Click here for more information.
A follow-up to author Stormie Omartian’s best seller, The Power of a Praying Parent (2 million copies sold), this book focuses on praying God’s Word over your adult children. Also included are the author’s personal insights as well as insights from other parents. Not sure where to start? This book is full of sample prayers to guide you as you support your adult children through prayer. Click here for more information.