Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Preparing for Life When The Kids Are Gone

Most parents who have children can't imagine life without them. But unless we die early we are all going to experience the empty nest at some point.  Unfortunately many parents never prepare.

Instead, they spend eighteen or more years living life around their children and work. Children's activities require constant attention, taxiing and expenses. Work of course takes a significant amount of time and energy every week.

Perhaps there's a break for a week or two of vacation. But then the process starts all over again.

But what about mom and dad?  Will they ever learn to spend meaningful, fun and anticipated time together?  In many cases, no. That takes thought, planning and work.

So instead, the last child heads off to college or a family and mom and dad sit across from each other with no clue how to enjoy each other. Or they simply sit in front of the television and plan to die.

There is a better way.

Start living as a couple now. You probably did it for a few months or better yet years before the kids came along. From the time you started dating until that first baby arrived you were most likely great friends who talked, went out together, planned fun times and couldn't wait for the next time.

For some reason we think though that when kids enter the scene all that has to end. Now granted, it's more difficult. But we're making a huge mistake when our children become the center of their and our universe.

Instead we would be far wiser to keep making time together a high priority. You can still date if you work at it. You can still find time away if your plan well. As I've said other place planning is half the fun. In fact, it's not that you can't afford to be together, you can't afford NOT to be together.

Your kids need to see you making each other a priority or they'll do the same when they get married. They need to know they're not the center of the known universe. Life in not all about them.

So start right away. Put time for you as a couple on your calendar. Sure, there are limits and times when it will be harder but when the time comes for your kids to leave you'll be more OK with it and healthier in the process.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment