Empty Nest

empty nest

In September, I alluded to some disturbances in my life, without giving you all specifics. I have always felt that it was important to maintain my children’s privacy. The main goal of this blog is to share healthy ways of caring for a family as a single parent.

Still vague [I know,] my youngest child has moved out at age 16. My nest is empty. I will do what I can to support all of my children, in the various stages of their lives. My youngest is wanting to be responsible for the choices that he makes. I salute that intent. I pray that if things become difficult that he will think of me as a safe harbor.

That said, I wonder if the lifespan of this blog is winding down.

I still have some parenting work to do with the offspring in college. And I need to finish getting the house ready for sale to further my dreams of travel and the kid’s college. I can blog about those things. But the day to day of children in the home is likely finished.

There are many bloggers who post about frugality and many about minimalism. What do you all think? How can I serve you? Or is this blog done?


29 responses to “Empty Nest

  1. I follow your blog because I am a single mother and also work in healthcare. I think you are also about my age. For these reasons, your writing resonates with me more than some of the other blogs on frugality and minimalism, many of which are written by “millennials.” While I read and enjoy several of those blogs, I identify with your contemplations and words on a different level.
    I don’t know if this is helpful or not. I just wanted you to know that you are unique and your blog has been helpful for me. I will be an “empty-nester” in a few years.

  2. I would be interested in reading about how you deal with this new chapter of your life. From possibly downsizing, to traveling, to frugal recipes…I enjoy reading about your everyday life.

    How has your schedule changed since your little birdies have left the nest? Have you picked up any hobbies? Are you still thinking about selling the family home? Any recent do-it-yourself projects?

    As long as you still enjoy blogging, I’ll still enjoy reading your blog 🙂

  3. I would love to hear about your life as you travel and continue your pursuit of simplification.

  4. Fawn, your blog has touched many lives, in many ways; but, it is your blog. It ends when you need to end it. For myself, I would want you to keep on writing about your simple life, wherever it leads you.

  5. Fawn, your words and example have helped me more than any other writer or blogger. Whenever I get discouraged at my (lack of) progress, I remember that you *have* kept moving, *have* thought through and considered how to keep on your path. I’ve followed your guidance since the SLN days. I hope you will continue to keep writing.

  6. Hi Fawn, I enjoy reading about your level of minimalism. I will never attain, or even attempt it, but the AIDS thrift shop got more of my stuff thanks to one of your wardrobe posts. I’m not a single parent, divorced or anywhere near as young as you, but your writing often affects my thinking. As Quakers say – you speak to my condition.

    Your transition is one that can speak to many kinds of “letting go.” I think of older adults downsizing, the newly divorced or widowed finding new paths, other parents watching their nests also empty…

    In my experience, transition can be painful. I recommend your giving some thought to transitioning your writing to letting-go / transition experiences as your new focus and continuing to blog. Perhaps under a new title?

  7. I would not venture to say that your parenting is done. On the contrary! You are facing a huge milestone in your developmental trajectory as a parent: an empty nester with children still in the difficult years of adolescence and young adulthood. They need you now more than ever: your guidance, presence (on the phone, via email or text even), strength, example, love, and encouragement. They just no longer need you to shuttle them to band practice or make sure they’re eating their vegetables at dinner. (Please allow yourself time to grieve the end of the childhood of your 16 yr. old, acknowledge the close of your super-busy parenting years, and time to re-define who YOU are!!!)

    This era for you marks the closing of one chapter of life and parenting, and marks the beginning of dozens more exciting chapters yet to be written! Parenthood has defined–and continues to define–many of us, regardless of where our children now live or how old they are. I think your blog can easily continue to be fresh and inspiring, regardless of your status as an empty nester.

    I truly hope you continue to write and share your adventures, thoughts, and life with us, on this blog or in another one (or via another medium…whatever way you choose, I am sure we will love it!!). What an exciting adventure is the life ahead of you!


  8. The other commenters were so eloquent in their replies, so I will just add my 2 bits. I’ve really enjoyed your writing and will be an empty nester myself in 3 years, so I would be interested in reading how you make that transition as well as how you “parent” young adults. I like your perspective on frugality and minimalism, because you give your real life examples instead of just going round and round with rehashed best ten lists of general advice (as other websites/blogs are wont to do). As long as you are willing to continue with the blog, I will be here to read it. : ) Thank you for all the years of writing!

  9. I hope your son is well, and I hope you are too.

    You should ultimately do with your blog whatever will make you the happiest. But I would be sad to see it go. I am not a mother yet, but have loved your blog from the first time I read it. To me, it truly stands out as containing the most simple ideas/methods/priorities. A true mark of genius, I think 🙂 You seem to be an independent thinker, and it is a refreshing and helpful viewpoint.

    That said, I would truly like to hear about any of the happenings or thoughts in your life that relate to simplicity, from mundane details of everyday life, to your thought processes on your next life direction. I can’t pick a single idea, because as I’m writing this, so many posts of yours from the past have helped me. Things that I would have no idea would be of interest to me, or that don’t seem like especially novel ideas, but yet have made me think in a new way, such as using a simple dust mop/broom instead of a vacuum, making ready made sandwiches to pull quickly from the fridge, and turning your own home into a quiet retreat have given me a lot to think about and act on.

  10. I would be sad to see you go as I have enjoyed reading this blog and often go back to previous ones to reread them. However, you should do what feels best to you. Your new adventures may mean you’ll have less available time to continue this but we will all understand if you choose to stop writing. All my best to your son and I think it’s wonderful that you have let him go without any criticism of his decision. I left home at 18 and a half and all hell broke loose. My parents were furious and wanted to disown me — even take me to court to force me to change my last name! Over the years things improved and now I’m taking care of aging parents with dementia and Parkinson’s. Whatever decision you make will be the right one and we will all respect that.

  11. I love hour blog so much and I think you have a very unique voice in the minimalist wave. Many of your blog posts have resonnated deeply with me and I often think back to them long after I have read them. I definitely think that you have a lot more to say and I have a long long list of suggestions for topics!
    At the same time, don’t forget that you owe us nothing and if you feel this blog has become some sort of burden you owe yourself to drop it to pursue other things. But you will be very much missed. Without a doubt your unique perspective can still be very useful to many, myself the first! Your advices are particularly helpful because they source from a deeper life experience than the one of the average blogger!
    I also celebrate the fact that you respect your childrens privacy, I believe that nothing is more important than mutual trust in parent-children relationships.
    I cannot write very long today because of lack of time but I wanted to react quickly!

  12. Fawn, I am so grateful for your blog. It has helped me with my efforts to simplify all aspects of my life…home, family, work and personal. I have three children, two in college and one in high school. I (might) have an empty nest in three years. I feel you will have a lot of meaningful things to say as you transition to this new season of your life. You have given so much to the people who read your blog. If writing it still has meaning for you, I hope you continue. Your simple life is a wonderful example for those of us who are simplifying too. Best wishes to you on your way to new adventures! I know you will still be discovering. If you feel you have anything to say about simple living, cooking, saving money, or parenting growing young adult children I hope you will keep writing. Thank you and God bless.

  13. Fawn, as others have said, your parenting is not over, it is just a new chapter. I find value in what you say, and I appreciate your point of view.

  14. I have so enjoyed reading your blog. If you continue to write, I will continue to read. You offer a different perspective and seem to be focused on what is really important in life. That encourages me greatly. Thank you!

  15. Dear all–Thank you for your heartfelt comments. It pleases me that you find value in the things I have to say. I will continue the blog as I transition from this stage to the point of being ready to travel. Then it would make sense to start a travel blog. I will always be writing some thing or another. It’s one of my favorite things. 🙂
    Again, thank you all.

  16. I’d sure be sad if you stopped since your blog is by far one of my favorite. It has made me braver in taking it to the next level. The pictures of how few things you live with have been incredibly inspiring to me. I remember pictures better than I do words but your words are great too. I consider the time you’ve spent recording what you’ve done to be very valuable. Thank you, and I wish you wouldn’t stop.

  17. your blog has touched me in that I’m starting the journey as a single parent and I love seeing that you can live this life, and get out the other side with the integrity that you entered it with, I would love to hear about what the other side of parenting has in store!

  18. Fawn, I have really loved and benefited from your blog in so many ways. I would hate to see you stop writing. I will continue to read your blog as long as you continue to write but I know you must do what is best for you. It would
    be great to hear about your traveling adventures as that is what my husband
    and I want to do once he retires.

  19. Fawn, I really love reading your blog posts and would greatly miss your writings. However, if you are feeling that this blog has become a burden to you then it’s probably time for you to end it. I would like to hear of your traveling adventures.

  20. As a mom of two 16 year olds, I feel your pain and send you hugs!!!! I love your blog. It is my absolute favorite. I have a different life situation (married homeschooling mom) but your pursuit of simplicity and living a life on your terms inspire me so much! I am always thrilled to see your posts come up in my inbox. Every time I get an urge to buy another kitchen gadget I literally re read your kitchen posts to force myself to think. I wish you the best.

  21. I agree with all the other commenters!
    I guess we are of an age and I did think I was an empty-nester but my youngest, at 19, is not quite as far on as her older sisters who left home early so we still have work to do etc. plus we (like you!) are grandparents, which is wonderful and a whole new chapter to go through, also while we care for parents/grandmother… I always check for new posts and enjoy and admire the simplicity of your no-nonsense attitude, which is maybe not so obvious to others as to yourself and maybe why we all enjoy hearing about how you approach life! It would be great if you continued writing about all the different parts of your life as you have done even if I do see that you may tire of doing so, just hope not 😉 And I look forward to your travels, too…

  22. I’d like to read about any if those, and also, just about YOU!

  23. I have loved reading everything on this blog and it helped me so much. Thank you so much and whatever decision you make will be fine.

  24. I love reading your blog, and I have little in common with you. I’m 30, single, no children, although I do work in LTC/SNF. I just enjoy how real and unpretentious you are in your writing as you share your simple/frugal journey. I enjoy that you are not trying to impress anyone, you are just “being you” in day to day life, and giving us the privilege of sharing in that. I would greatly enjoy continuing to read about your journeys. The romance is in the simplicity.

  25. I love reading your blog as well. 🙂 I’ve been reading for about a year and your posts always ground me and fill me with determination. As another poster said, you don’t try to impress anyone and that is appealing. My situation is dissimilar to yours–I am married, 32, and have two young boys. However, I strive toward a more minimalistic lifestyle both at home and in my head.

    I hope you and your son are doing well and wish you the best of luck on your new path.

  26. Fawn,
    I love your blog because you are much more ‘real’ than the current millennials writing about minimalism! You talk about your work, the fact you’re considering selling your house, and your upcoming travel. If you do decide to stop blogging for a bit, just take a sabbatical. But please keep us posted on where ever life takes you. I think your life will be interesting no matter where you land because YOU are interesting!

  27. Fawn, You are a wonderful writer. In addition, to support other replies, I also think your perspective is more mature and focused than many. You add value to many lives, clearly. I like how you equate physical space with psychic space, very true. But, do what is best for you. Now. You can leave, you can come back. I will be here re-reading your posts, re-focusing my self.
    My sympathies for your loss. To have a child leave before the parent is ready, or thinks the child is ready, can be difficult. Hugs as well. But, I suspect you have raised competent, capable people. Take heart! Pray, love yourself. And finally, as you said, there is no need of forgiveness in this instance.

  28. I enjoy your blog and I look forward to your writings and thoughts. You are and will always be a mom!

  29. Please don’t go! Your blog is most definitely my favorite minimalist blog out there. As a single mom of 4, now ages- 25,27,30,& 32. I can assure you the “Mom” adventure will continue!

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