An Empty Nest Forced Us To Be A Couple Again

miniature house in nest

Last night my husband and I went out to dinner. Alone. This is about as unusual as pigs flying. Our daughter is 18 and in her first year of college, but living at home. Our son is 12 and in middle school. Somehow we've gone from having little kids, to having kids, to now having nearly grown kids in the blink of an eye.

We like to take our kids with us when we travel or eat out, and they like to come. Everything is just more fun when everyone is along. When they were younger, we didn't have a lot of babysitting options, so nights out together were very rare. In fact, after more than one babysitting snafu, we pretty much gave up until our daughter was old enough to hold down the fort.

As our kids have gotten older, they've started to create their own lives. Our daughter is gone more than she is home, with friends or at school events. She's even learning to go on doctor appointments alone. Our son is just beginning to become a teen and already is busy with sports and friends. The way they need us has changed. Now we're needed for advice, consultation and companionship as opposed to constant monitoring, steering and disciplining.  In a few years, our daughter will move out. Our son will not be far behind. And we'll be alone. Together. Except I've kind of forgotten how to do that. Sure, we watch TV together, go for walks and communicate about everything, but it's been a long time since we just had each other as a day-to-day family. Remembering When It Was Just The Two Of Us

Instead of working myself up about the empty nest that is coming my way, I've decided we need to practice being a couple again. Thus, we're making an effort to go to dinner or a movie once a month, alone. This creates much whining. "Why can't we go?" Because we need to learn to live without you. Because our lives have to go on after you leave. Because we need to remember how to do this. Because we need to rediscover each other. Because this is our future. The (Very Sexy) Benefits Of An Empty Nest

Brette Sember is a mom of two and author of over 30 books, including How to Parent with Your Ex and The Complete Credit Repair Kit. Her website is

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