Today is Mother’s Day, so Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! In honor of all the moms (and dads!) out there, I wanted to let you in on a little secret: If your kids are grown and you have an empty nest, it’s okay for you to leave, too.
I just read this blog penned by the GypsyNesters, which is a brilliant wordplay on Empty Nesters gone rogue. She was discussing the idea that traveling or moving away in your retirement does not in fact make you a bad parent. I could not agree more and would like to offer further encouragement.
The world we live in today is incredibly small. Through the magical internet, it is possible to stay in touch with family and friends as regularly as you’d like. While it might not be the same as sharing a hug, you can still be there for every single important moment.
I have video chatted during birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, bridal showers, baby showers, adventures in learning to crawl, and good old fashioned lazy Sunday mornings. I text my friends as much now as I did when we lived in the same city. I “see” my family more often now through video chats than I did when I lived only a few states away. Technology has enabled us to stay connected despite physical distances.
Whether you live around the corner from your family or around the world, it’s what you put into a relationship that matters. If you want to witness every milestone and memory, there’s an app for that. And if you want to avoid being overly involved and guilted into babysitting for free multiple times a week, there’s a plane for that.
Make your own choices for your own life based on your own dreams. Ignore whatever your gossippy neighbor is saying about the divorcee who up and moved to an island. Because at the end of the day, you could be listening to that negative gossip, or you could be listening to the waves crash on the beach while sitting with that divorcee who had the nerve to follow her dreams.
At the end of the day, your choices are your own. Don’t allow guilt or gossip to influence you. If those people were following their own dreams, they wouldn’t have time to try to make you feel guilty for focusing on yourself for the first time in decades.
To all you Empty Nesters: Fly toward freedom, wherever that may lead you! Whether you visit 30 countries, or spend winters in the tropics, or buy an RV to wander down each road you find, go do whatever makes you happy. It’s okay for you to leave the empty nest, too. And remember: a simple life leads to happiness.
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