Empty Nest, Full Heart

Empty Nest, Full Heart LisaNalbone.com

Empty Nest, Full Heart LisaNalbone.comMy nest is empty but my heart is full of:

Love and pride in the amazing human being that is ready to loosen or break the apron strings,spread their wings and fly.

Appreciation for the interesting, joyful, fun adult companion and friend they have become in addition to being my baby.

Sadness to see them leaving and moving beyond me even though I know that is what I intended.

Nostalgia for all the sweet memories and the years that passed so quickly.

Frustration that we didn’t savor the moments more while they were happening, not really understanding how fleeting they would be

Trepidation about the new adventures and adversity the chicks might face without us, no longer needing us to be the guide.

Fear for myself: who am I now? Will I be able to shift smoothly into this new stage and bring my attention back to prioritizing my needs and growth after so many years of focus on preparing the chicks to leave the nest?

Worries I try to hide :

Will they be ok? Will they find love? happiness? security?
Will they still want to talk? laugh? visit?
How do we adapt as a couple?
Why does everyone else seem to transition so easily?
How do other mothers get through the day with no tears?
Why do some seem so happy to send their children off?
What’s wrong with me?

Hope. Can I turn the emptiness of loss into the space to bring forth new creative projects? Maybe ones that have been put on the back burner? Or completely new ones for who I am now?

Joy and Gratitude for all our blessings and choices and new things ahead.

Sigh. Smile. Deep breath.

Cue up Bill Staines song, Child of Mine.

One that has been making me sniffle since those days of what seemed like endless rocking chair time. Especially these sections:

There is a road, and that road is all your own

But we are here, you need not walk alone.

To face, not fear each coming new unknown

Is the way to lift your wings


Child of mine, where spirits fly above

There is but one that belongs to you

So let it grow and it will thrive on love

For it is love that sees us through.


You have hands that will open up the doors,

You may have the hopes this world is waiting for

You are my own, but you are so much more

You are tomorrow on the wing, child of mine.

(excerpted lyrics copyright Bill Staines, Child of Mine)


I’ve learned a lot from my child. Guess I’ve still got things to learn.

5 thoughts on “Empty Nest, Full Heart

  1. Thank you for this, Lisa! Beautiful sentiments, beautifully expressed. Remembering Child of Mine brought tears to my eyes. I guess they will always be our babies. <3

  2. Hello, and thank you. Has it gotten easier for you or is it still a challenge when each child leaves? I can’t imagine the many challenges you will have to face with the child who will stay with you. I wish you all well.

  3. Thanks, Suzie. I appreciate your listening, reading and responding. Having good friends makes it a lot easier to deal with the sad feelings and move into the new possibilities stage.

  4. I found you on twitter. This is a beautiful post. I understand your feelings well. We have had six children fly the nest so far. There’s still two more and one who will never leave the nest. If I had known how hard it would be to let them grow up, I might not have had nine!! It’s bittersweet for sure!

  5. Lisa, I’m sure many other moms in your position have these feelings–and I have heard you talk about them yourself as recently as last night–but your post expresses it all so fully and so well. I will have to search out the song you cite. Thank you.

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