I like to refer to myself and my dear sweet hubby as pseudo empty nesters.Â That’s because, while our oldest two daughters have been out of the house for a few years now, the other three aren’t completely gone yet.
How do we know this?
They still have bedrooms in our home.
We still claim them as dependents on our taxes.
We still pay their cell phone bills.
We’re getting close to daughter #3 coming off the family dole, but the babies, our twins, just started college so we have a few years to go until we are completely empty nesters rather than pseudo ones.
But, there have been significant changes since we took ourÂ youngest two children away to college last month.Â These changes are beginning to give us a good idea of what it will really be like once they are all completely gone.
Baker’s Dozen – What’s Changed Since Our Babies Went Away to College
1)Â Less laundry.Â A lot less laundry.Â Frighteningly less laundry.
2)Â Our calendar has a lot of bare spots.Â So many bare spots that I stopped looking at it.Â Which meant I missed an important meeting.Â I NEVER miss meetings.Â It was so unusual that the other people at the meeting called me to make sure I was all right.Â Which I was.Â Embarrassed but all right.
3)Â We now have time to sit down after dinner and watch television.Â Without our eyes being closed, drool coming out of the corners of our open mouths, and snores rattling the windows.Â Who knew shows like BigÂ Brother actually existed?
4)Â I don’t have to clean house as often.Â Now that I have time to clean house.Â My house has never been cleaner.
5)Â What hasn’t changed – dear sweet hubby’s desire to help the kids when they call.Â His first instinct is how can I make this happen?Â My first instinct is how can they take care of it themselves?
So my daughter calls and says toÂ dear sweet hubby they’ve run out of Ramen noodles and can you tell mom to go buy some and get them to our friend who is coming to visit us this weekend?Â Really?Â We are giving them a weekly allowance, and I’m supposed to run all over town for less than $5.00 worth of stuff to send to a college 185 miles away?Â I think that is one of the life lessons that they are supposed to be learning.Â How to figure stuff like this out.Â Gee.Â Notice they called dad and not mom.Â And what happened to the cases of Ramen noodles that we gave them when they moved into their dorms?Â Less than a month ago.Â I think we are feeding the entire dorm.
6)Â I’ve had 2 requests to overnight stuff to our two babies.Â Requests which I have ignored.Â Seriously, if I started overnighting all the silly stuff they think they need, they will never figure stuff out for themselves.Â It’s easier to say no when they are so far away.Â Besides, I was cleaning the house, and didn’t have time to go overnight stuff.
7)Â When I say no, I have to call dear sweet hubby and let him know that he can’t override my no by saying yes.Â Well, that hasn’t really changed.Â Did I ever say the girls have their daddy wrapped around all of their fingers and toes?
8)Â We can be more spontaneous and pick up and go wherever and whenever we want.Â So long as we plan ahead.Â Because we still have to plan around dear sweet hubby’s work schedule.Â Empty nester â‰ retirement.
9)Â I am spending way less time and money at Target, WalMart, and the grocery store.Â In fact, our local Target is undergoing a major renovation which I didn’t know about since I hadn’t been there in awhile.
10)Â I spend days not leaving the house.
11)Â Hubby is driving the teenager’s car which means he is using half the gas which means we are spending a lot less money on gas which means we can afford to buy cases and cases of Ramen noodles for 2 100-pound girls who must not be using their meal plans.
12)Â I’m having to re-learn how to cook.Â A lot less food.Â That is a real challenge for me since I have been cooking for a crowd since I was a kid with 7 siblings.Â Thankfully, dear sweet hubby likes leftovers.
13)Â We can enjoy each other’s company ANYWHERE in the house.Â If you know what I mean.Â Wink.Â Wink.Â Oh.Â Wait.Â We still have 2 young adults living with us.Â Guess this will have to wait.Â Sigh.